C. Miesbauer, R. Weinreich: Classification of Design Decisions: An Expert Survey in Practice, European Conference on Software Architecture (ECSA 2013), Montpellier, France, Springer LNCS, 2013, p. 130-145, doi:10.1007/978-3-642-39031-9_12.


Support for capturing architectural knowledge has been identified as an important research challenge. As the basis for an approach for recovering design decisions and capturing their rationale we have performed an expert survey in practice to gain insights into the different kinds, influence factors, and sources for design decisions and also on how they are currently captured in practice. The survey has been performed with software architects, software team leads, and senior developers from six different companies in Austria with more than 10 years of experience in software development on average. The survey confirms earlier work by other authors on design decision classification and influence factors but also identifies additional kinds of decisions and influence factors not mentioned in this previous work. In addition, we gained insight into the practice of capturing, the relative importance of different decisions and influence factors, and on potential sources for recovering decisions.