Alain Abran

PhD, is a Professor and the Director of the Software Engineering Research Laboratory

Department of Software and IT Engineering
Universite du Quebec, Canada.
1100, Notre-Dame Street West

Alain Abran, PhD, is a Professor and the Director of the Software Engineering Research Laboratory at Universite du Quebec, Canada. He is also Co-Chair of the Common Software Measurement International Consortium. He was the international secretary for ISO/IEC JTC1 SC7. Dr. Abran has over 20 years of industry experience in information systems development and software engineering.



Title and abstract

Measurement in Software Engineering: Engineering Practices or Placebos

Measurement is fundamental to science, engineering and fair trade. When software design and decision-making are not based on sound and standardized measurements, is computer science a science, is software engineering an engineering practice, and are software stakeholders getting fair deals?

Over the years, a large variety of ‘software metrics’ have been proposed to practitioners, including Storypoints and Velocity, the most widely known metrics within the Agile community. Most such software metrics claim to tackle a number of issues at once, but are they sound engineering solutions addressing the fundamentals of measurements or are they placebos for quickly placating perceptions? Are they designed to ensure accountability or do they lead rather to unaccountability? Which ones of the current software metrics are based on sound engineering foundations and which ones will withstand the test of time?

Dr. Abran holds a Ph.D. in Electrical & Computer Engineering (1994) and master degrees in Management Sciences (1974) and Electrical Engineering (1975).
He has been a full professor at École de Technologie Supérieure (ETS) – Université du Québec (Montréal, Canada) for over 20 years, following 20 years of work in information systems development and software engineering management within the Canadian banking industry. He has graduated over 40 doctoral students in software engineering.
His research expertise includes software productivity & estimation models, software quality, software functional size measurement, software project & risks management and software maintenance management, + 500 peer-reviewed papers and +8,500 citations (Google Scholar)

Author of a number of books:



2004 co-executive editor of the Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge – SWEBOK (see ISO 19759 and www.swebok.org).
Chairman of the Common Software Measurement International Consortium (COSMIC) – http://cosmic-sizing.org.
A number of Dr. Abran research works have influenced international standards in software engineering: ISO 9126, 15939, 19759, 19761, 14143-3, etc.