As a community, we have begun to recognize that software cannot be produced with a standard technology, but needs to be developed with technologies tailored to the goals and characteristics of particular projects. Consequently, software engineering research needs to be performed in an experimental context that allows us to observe and experiment with the technologies in use, understand their weaknesses and strengths, tailor the technologies for the goals and characteristics of particular projects, and package them together with empirically gained experience to enhance their reuse potential in future projects.
Several software engineering research groups have made the paradigm shift to an experimental, empirical software engineering view. The purpose of this network is to encourage and support the collaboration and exchange of results and personnel among these groups. Specific emphasis is placed on experimentation and empirical studies with development technologies in different environments; the repetition of experiments across environments; and the development and exchange of methods and tools for model building, experimentation, and assessment. The long-term expectation is that such cooperation will enable the abstraction and unification of environment-specific results and knowledge with the objective of generating the basic components of our discipline.
The founding ISERN members chose the Quality Improvement Paradigm as the reference model to provide a common terminology for their cooperation. The QIP is an experimental framework for software development, based on the scientific method and instantiated in the TAME project at the University of Maryland. It views measurement as essential to the capture and effective reuse of software experience, and assumes the process is a variable based on the characteristics and goals of the project and organization. This framework views software engineering as a laboratory science which must be supported by the effective cooperation between academia and industry in order to achieve significant improvements.
ISERN is open to other academic and industrial groups world-wide which are active in experimental software engineering research and are willing to adopt the experimental framework. There is no membership fee. The individual network members are responsible for funding collaboration through existing local or future joint grants.
To see the whole manifesto (Purpose and Focus, Common Research Framework, Activities, Communication, Members, Membership Application, Meetings and Meeting participation, Benefits, Benefits from Network, Benefits to Researchers, Benefits to Companies), check COMPLETE ISERN MANISFESTO.