Comparing and contrasting model-driven engineering at three large companies

Håkan Burden, Rogardt Heldal, Jon Whittle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Context: Hutchinson et al. conducted an interview-based study of how model-driven engineering, MDE, is practiced in 17 companies. Their results include that successful MDE companies develop domain-specific languages; are motivated by a clear business case; and are committed at all levels of the organization. Goal: Whilst the results are useful, the study is a very broad one, with one or two interviewees per company. This paper supplements Hutchinson's study by focusing on three large companies that are applying MDE and undergoing a parallel transition to agile methods. Method: Formal data collection strategies - 25 semi-structured interviews, observations and progress meetings - were combined with informal interaction. The data was analysed both inductively for new insights and deductively for comparison with the results of Hutchinson et al. Results: Our findings show how MDE can include domain experts in software development and how agile development and MDE can coexist. In general our results validate the findings of Hutchinson et al. There are two areas where our results differ - the engineers' sense of control and the appropriateness of their skills and training. Conclusions: Using a combination of data collection strategies and analysis techniques our study casts new light on earlier research as well as contributes with novel insights regarding the adoption of MDE.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication8th ACM/IEEE International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement
EditorsTore Dybå, Marco Torchiano
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450327749
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement 2014 - Torino, Italy
Duration: 18 Sep 201419 Sep 2014
Conference number: 8th


ConferenceInternational Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement 2014
Abbreviated titleESEM 2014
Internet address


  • agile practices
  • case study
  • inductive and deductive analysis

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