Using Students as Subjects – A Comparative Study of Students and Professionals in Lead-Time Impact Assessment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In many studiesin software engineering students are used instead of professionalsoftware developers, although the objective is to draw conclusionsvalid for professional software developers. This paper presentsa study where the difference between the two groups is evaluated.People from the two groups have individually carried out a non-trivialsoftware engineering judgement task involving the assessmentof how ten different factors affect the lead-time of softwaredevelopment projects. It is found that the differences are onlyminor, and it is concluded that software engineering studentsmay be used instead of professional software developers undercertain conditions. These conditions are identified and describedbased on generally accepted criteria for validity evaluationof empirical studies.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Computer Science
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-214
JournalEmpirical Software Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Publication categoryResearch