Volume 7 Number 2 (Feb. 2012)
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JSW 2012 Vol.7(2): 389-397 ISSN: 1796-217X
doi: 10.4304/jsw.7.2.389-397

Software Requirements Engineer: An Empirical Study about Non-Technical Skills

Faheem Ahmed
Faculty of Information Technology, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, UAE

Abstract—Over a period of time software industry has seen a steady growth and the main reason for this growth is increase in the supply and demand of software. In software industry people are hired from different parts of the world having technical and non-technical skills. However, nontechnical skills which are equally given importance while hiring a new employee are relatively given little attention by researchers from software engineering community. The main objective of this work is twofold; firstly we provide comprehensive empirical evidence about up to what extent software industry is considering different non-technical skills while hiring a new employee as software requirements engineer. Secondly, we also target to find out whether employers’ non-technical skills requirements, as advertised in job postings, in case of software requirements engineering profession are similar across different cultures. We used a dataset of 250 jobs descriptions from four different regions of the world in this study. The broader conclusion of this study shows that there is an explicit requirement of having communication skills in a software requirements engineer. While some other non-technical skills such as analytical and problem solving, interpersonal skills, ability to work independently, and team player have also been given some moderate consideration. Whereas, organizational skills, open and adaptable to changes, innovative, and fast learner skills are given least priority. On the regional side although Australian, Asian and European cultures exhibits more similarity than North American culture on the choice of non-technical skills requirements in hiring new employee in case of software requirements engineering profession but generally we concluded that cultural difference does not have a major impact on this decision.

Index Terms—Human Factor, Non-Technical Skills, Software Engineering, Empirical Software Engineering.

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Cite: Faheem Ahmed, "Software Requirements Engineer: An Empirical Study about Non-Technical Skills," Journal of Software vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 389-397, 2012.

General Information

ISSN: 1796-217X (Online)
Frequency: Monthly
Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Antanas Verikas
Executive Editor: Ms. Yoyo Y. Zhou
Abstracting/ Indexing: DBLP, EBSCO, ProQuest, INSPEC, ULRICH's Periodicals Directory, WorldCat, etc
E-mail: jsw@iap.org
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