Behavioural Software Engineering

The purpose of this course is to learn and to better understand humans that are key in making software projects successful. It includes an understanding of behaviour and social aspects of humans as individuals or groups that participate in and drive software engineering. This course complements the technology and process focus that dominates the software engineering area today. The focus is on the individuals and groups in software development and briefly cover results at the organisational level. Those that participate in this course will gain knowledge that will help them to better cater the needs of their colleagues as well as employees, build on their strengths as well as overcome their weaknesses, and in turn it helps increase the chances of running successful software projects.

About the course

The course is given by Blekinge Institute of Technology .

The course will comprise of six modules:
  1. Introduction to Behavioural Software Engineering definitions, concepts, and motivations.
  2. Individuals: Personality and cognitivebiases, their effects, and related indicators/measures.
  3. Individuals: Models for motivation andattitudes.
  4. Individuals: Concepts for experience andemotion.
  5. Groups: Norms and creativity within software page 1 development.
  6. Politics, happiness and freedom in software organisations for software engineers.

Learning outcomes

The student should after the course be able to:

Explain and discuss the importance of Behavioural Software Engineering and how it differs from classical Software Engineering.

  • Explain and discuss the effects of personality and cognitive biases in relation to software engineering.
  • Discuss and apply models for norms and motivation in software development.
  • Give examples of and discuss creativity, as well as creativity enhancement techniques, in software development.
  • Critically reflect on their own experience with regards to behaviour and social aspects as individuals and within groups.
  • Reflect on the emotions that software developers experience and how they impact a project.
  • Identify, discuss and critically reflect on political behaviour in their software organisation.

Related industrial challenges addressed in the course

BSE focus on the classic SE challenges; develop the right quality, resource efficient development, changes etc. with the perspective to get people to better contribute to the goal by considering the humans aspects more.


Fabian Fagerholm, Blekinge Institute of Technology

+46 455 38 58 23



The course is included in the Prompt project, which is partly funded by the Knowledge Foundation. You can find more information about Prompt here .