Understanding what industry wants from requirements engineers: An exploration of RE jobs in Canada

Chong Wang, Pengwei Cui, Maya Daneva, Mohamad Kassab

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

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Prior research on the professional occupation of Requirements Engineering (RE) in Europe and Latin America indicated incongruities between RE practice as perceived by industry and as in textbooks, and conducted detailed analysis of both RE and non-RE job aspects. Relatively little is published on the RE competencies and skills industry expects, and seldom investigated the application domains calling for RE professionals.

Aims: We felt motivated by those findings to carry out research on RE job posts in a North-American market. Especially, we focused solely on RE-specific tasks, competencies and skills, from the perspective of defined position categories. Plus, we intend to explore the application domains in need for RE professionals to reveal the wide range of RE roles in industry.

Methods: Coding process, analysis, and synthesis were applied to the textual descriptions of the 190 RE job ads from Canada's most popular online job search site, especially to the text referring to tasks and competencies.

Results: We contribute to the empirical analysis of RE jobs, by providing insights from Canada's IT market in 2017. Using 109 RE job ads from the most popular IT job search portal T-Net, we identified the qualifications, experience and skills demanded by Canadian employers. Furthermore, we explored the distribution of those RE tasks and competences over the 11 categories of RE roles.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that the majority of the employers were big to very big companies in 29 business domains, and the most in-demand RE skills for them were related to RE methods and to project management aspects affecting requirements. In addition, employers placed much more emphasis on experience, both RE-specific and broad software engineering experience, than on higher education.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 12th ACM/IEEE International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement, ESEM 2018
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-5823-1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event12th ACM/IEEE International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement, ESEM 2018 - Oulu, Finland
Duration: 11 Oct 201812 Oct 2018
Conference number: 12

Conference

Conference12th ACM/IEEE International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement, ESEM 2018
Abbreviated titleESEM
CountryFinland
CityOulu
Period11/10/1812/10/18

Keywords

  • Exploratory study
  • Job ad
  • RE career
  • RE job market
  • Requirements engineer
  • Requirements engineering practice

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  • Cite this

    Wang, C., Cui, P., Daneva, M., & Kassab, M. (2018). Understanding what industry wants from requirements engineers: An exploration of RE jobs in Canada. In Proceedings of the 12th ACM/IEEE International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement, ESEM 2018 [a41] Piscataway, NJ: IEEE Computer Society. https://doi.org/10.1145/3239235.3268916