Jim Buchan

Senior Lecturer

Phone: +64 9 9219999 ext 5455

Email: jim.buchan@aut.ac.nz

Physical Address:

Office: WT704A
Level 7, WT Building
AUT Tower, corner of Rutland St & Wakefield St

Postal Address:

Private Bag 92006
Auckland 1142, NZ


BSc, MSc(Hons), GradDip(InfoSys), DipTchg

Memberships and Affiliations:

ACM (from 2000 to present)

Agile Auckland Professional Network (secretary from 2014 to 2019)


Jim is a software engineering researcher and teacher at AUT in the Software Engineering Research Lab (SERL). He has 15 years experience in industry having moved to and from academia several times. He has had a number of leadership roles at AUT including Director of SERL and Director of Research for the School. He currently helps to lead SERL where he works with staff and PhD students to understand and improve the state of collaborative software development. He partners with a number of companies to work on interesting problems they are curious about. One of Jim’s goals is to develop curious and creative students who are work ready, and he constantly works with industry partners to keep the learning useful and up-to-date. Another of Jim’s goals is to help the development of the software industry in NZ Inc by investigating and sharing evidence-based answers to common software development challenges.

Teaching Areas:

Jim has taken leadership roles and developed and delivered courses at all levels of Postgraduate and Undergraduate study. He teaches mainly in the areas of:

  • Software Engineering methods
  • Agile Methods and Adoption
  • Software Requirements Engineering
  • IT Project Management
  • Critical Thinking
  • Research Methods

Research Areas:

Jim's research focuses on behavioural software engineering related to the use of empirical methods to understand and improve the development of software in teams. The focus is on working with industry partners to understand what practices, tools and techniques are supporting teams of developers to develop and maintain software systems. This includes research in areas such as:

  • Software Engineering Process and Metrics
  • Agile practices, adoption, and tools for developing software
  • Team Onboarding Program Design
  • Developing High value  teams
  • Software Engineering and AI
  • Requirements Engineering
  • Distributed Cognition
  • Supporting learning in SE education

Current Research Projects:

  • How Inclusion and Diversity are perceived in development teams and the impact of inclusive and diverse teams
  • Use of AI techniques to support automation of Requirements Candidates in Product Lines
  • Developing a personalised team onboarding approach and supporting tool
  • Understanding the skills and capabilities of modern software testers
  • Extending the Agile way of working including DEvOps and Mob Programmong and Modern Agile
  • Understanding Requirements Engineering activities using the theory of Distributed Cognition
  • Understanding the factors contributing to high value software development teams
  • Using sound profiles to for team health diagnostics


  • Buchan, J., & Pearl, M. (2018). Leveraging the mob mentality: An experience report on mob programming. In EASE'18 Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering 2018 Vol. Part F137700 (pp. 199-204). Christchurch. doi:10.1145/3210459.3210482
  • Senapathi, M., Buchan, J., & Osman, H. (2018). DevOps capabilities, practices, and challenges: Insights from a case study. In Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering 2018 Vol. Part F137700 (pp. 57-67). Christchurch. doi:10.1145/3210459.3210465
  • Alshakhouri, M., Buchan, J., & MacDonell, S. G. (2018). Synchronised visualisation of software process and product artefacts: Concept, design and prototype implementation. Information and Software Technology, 98, 131-145. doi:10.1016/j.infsof.2018.01.008
  • Holvitie, J., Licorish, S. A., Spínola, R. O., Hyrynsalmi, S., MacDonell, S. G., Mendes, T. S., . . . Leppänen, V. (2018). Technical debt and agile software development practices and processes: An industry practitioner survey. Information and Software Technology, 96. doi:10.1016/j.infsof.2017.11.015
  • Buchan, J., Bano, M., Zowghi, D., MacDonell, S., & Shinde, A. (2017). Alignment of stakeholder expectations about user involvement in agile software development. In ACM International Conference Proceeding Series Vol. Part F128635 (pp. 334-343). Karlskrona, Sweden. doi:10.1145/3084226.3084251
  • Licorish, S. A., Holvitie, J., Hyrynsalmi, S., Leppänen, V., Spínola, R. O., Mendes, T. S., . . . Buchan, J. (2017). Adoption and suitability of software development methods and practices. In Proceedings - Asia-Pacific Software Engineering Conference, APSEC (pp. 369-372). Hamilton, New Zealand: IEEE. doi:10.1109/APSEC.2016.062
  • Ogier, H., & Buchan, J. (2017). Exploring the feasibility of diegetic in-game store user interfaces. In ACM International Conference Proceeding Series. Geelong, Australia. doi:10.1145/3014812.3014881
  • Tahir, A., MacDonell, S., & Buchan, J. (2015). A study of the relationship between class testability and runtime properties. In Communications in Computer and Information Science Vol. 551 (pp. 63-78). Springer Verlag. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-27218-4_5
  • Hussain, W., Buchan, J., & Clear, T. (2014). Managing Requirements in Globally Distributed COTS Customization. In A. Vizcaino, & Q. Wang (Eds.), Proceedings 2014 IEEE 9th International Conference on Global Software Engineering Workshops (pp. 33-38). Los Alamitos, California: IEEE. doi:10.1109/ICGSEW.2014.13
  • Buchan, J. (2014). An Empirical Cognitive Model of the Development of Shared Understanding of Requirements. In D. Zowghi, & Z. Jin (Eds.), Requirements Engineering (pp. 165-179). Berlin: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-662-43610-3_13
  • Tahir, A., MacDonell, S. G., & Buchan, J. (2014). Understanding class-level testability through dynamic analysis. In ENASE 2014 - Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Evaluation of Novel Approaches to Software Engineering (pp. 38-47). Lisbon, Portugal.
  • Buchan, J., Li, L., & MacDonell, S. G. (2011). Causal Factors, Benefits and Challenges of Test-Driven Development: Practitioner Perceptions. In T. D. Thu, & K. Leung (Eds.), The 18th Asia-PAcific Software Engineering Conference (pp. 405-413). Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. doi:10.1109/APSEC.2011.44
  • Buchan, J. (2010). Developing an Enquiring Attitude – Cross Cultural Teaching and Learning Strategies. In Global Intercultural Collaboration Workshop 2010. Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Buchan, J., Ekadharmawan, C., & MacDonell, S. G. (2009). Insights into Domain Knowledge Sharing in Software Development Practice in SMEs. In S. Sulaiman, & N. M. M. Noor (Eds.), Proceedings Sixteenth Asia-Pacific Software Engineering Conference (pp. 93-100). Penang, Malaysia: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.. Retrieved from http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/APSEC.2009.47
  • Buchan, J., & Ekadharmawan, C. H. (2009). Barriers to Sharing Domain Knowledge in Software Development Practice in SMEs. In M. Ohira, & Y. Yunwen (Eds.), Proceedings of The 3rd International Workshop on Knowledge Collaboration in Software Development (KCSD2009) (pp. 2-15). Tokyo, Japan: Japanese Society for Artificial Intelligence.
  • Holder, S., Buchan, J., & MacDonell, S. G. (2009). Towards a Metrics Suite for Object-Relational Mappings. In Model-Based Software and Data Integration : First InternationalWorkshop, MBSDI 2008 (pp. 43-54). Berlin: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-78999-4_6
  • Connor, A. M., Buchan, J., & Petrova, K. (2009). Bridging the research-practice gap in requirements engineering through effective teaching and peer learning. In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference of Information Technology: New Generations (pp. 678-683). Las Vegas, NV, USA: IEEE Computer Society. doi:10.1109/ITNG.2009.134
  • Philpott, A., Buchan, J., & Connor, A. (2007). An Integrated Tool Set to Support Software Engineering Learning. In J. Hosking (Ed.), Proceedings of SIENZ'07 Software Innovation and Engineering New Zealand Workshop.
  • Kaskenpalo, M. -P., Petrova, K., Philpott, A., & Buchan, J. (2004). Embedding information security curricula into existing programmes. In M. E. Whitman (Ed.), 1st annual conference on Information security curriculum development (pp. 20-29).
  • Whitmann, M., Petrova, K., Kaskenpalo, P., Philpott, A., & Buchan, J. (2004). Embedding information security curricula in existing programmes. [CD-ROM]. In M. Whitmann (Ed.), Proceedings of the 2004 Information Security Curriculum Development Conference (pp. 15-29). Kennesaw, Georgia, USA: ACM. Retrieved from http://infosec.kennesaw.edu/InfoSecCD/Program.shtml
  • Buchan, J., Parry, D., & Kennelly, J. (2003). Ontology supported medical knowledge management system for the desktop. [Abstract]. In N. Kasabov, & Z. S. H. Chan (Eds.), Proceedings of the Conference on Neuro-Computing and Evolving Intelligence, AUT Technology Park, Auckland, New Zealand, 20 and 21 November, 2003 (pp. 81-82). Auckland: 2003 NCEI / Knowledge Engineering and Discovery Research Institute (KEDRI).
  • Petrova, K., Sarkar, N., & Buchan, J. (2003). Net-centric computing: A post-graduate course. In S. Mann, & A. Williamson (Eds.), Proceedings of the 16th annual conference of the National Advisory Committee on Computing Qualifications (pp. 375-379). Dunedin: Wickliffe Press.
  • Buchan, J., Mann, S., Clear, T., & John, H. (2002). "Computing the profession": Crossing the chasm with a new master's degree in information technology. In S. Mann (Ed.), Proceedings of the 15th Annual Conference of the National Advisory Committee on Computing Qualifications: Technology and Innovation: New Understandings and Influences (pp. 13-19). Dunedin, NZ: Wickliffe Press. Retrieved from http://www.naccq.ac.nz/
  • Buchan, J. (2001). Creating learning experiences to enhance transferability: Examples from an introductory database course. Poster presented at the. In National Advisory Committee on Computing Qualifications 14th Annual Conference. Napier, New Zealand.


Winner of Faculty Teaching Awards 2014 and 2016 (nominated 2015)

Best Paper Award Industry Track EASE2018 (with M. Pearl)

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