Software Startup Engineering: A Systematic Mapping Study
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Systems and Software. 2018, 144, 255-274. 10.1016/j.jss.2018.06.043
Abstract Software startups have long been a significant driver in economic growth and innovation. The on-going failure of the major number of startups calls for a better understanding of state-of-the-practice of startup activities. Objective With a focus on engineering perspective, this study aims at identifying the change in focus of research area and thematic concepts operating startup research. A systematic mapping study on 74 primary papers (in which 27 papers are newly selected) from 1994 to 2017 was conducted with a comparison with findings from previous mapping studies. A classification schema was developed, and the primary studies were ranked according to their rigour. We discovered that most research has been conducted within the SWEBOK knowledge areas software engineering process, management, construction, design, and requirements, with the shift of focus towards process and management areas. We also provide an alternative classification for future startup research. We find that the rigour of the primary papers was assessed to be higher between 2013–2017 than that of 1994–2013. We also find an inconsistency of characterizing startups. Future work can focus on certain research themes, such as startup evolution models and human aspects, and consolidate the thematic concepts describing software startups.