Applying virtual reality to teach the software development process to novice software engineers

Gulec U., YILMAZ M. , Isler V., Clarke P. M.

IET SOFTWARE, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1049/sfw2.12047
  • Title of Journal : IET SOFTWARE
  • Keywords: interactive learning environments, software development life cycle, software development process, software engineering education, virtual reality, AUGMENTED REALITY, EDUCATION, STUDENTS, GAMES, ENVIRONMENTS, ACCEPTANCE


Software development is a complicated process that requires experienced human resources to produce successful software products. Although this process needs experience from the individuals, it is hard to provide this experience without encountering real incidents during the software development process. To fill this gap, this study proposes a Virtual Reality Based Software Development Framework (VR-SODEF), which provides an interactive virtual reality experience for individuals learning about the tasks of software development starting from requirement analysis through software testing. In the VR-SODEF, the participant takes on the role of a novice software developer being recruited into a virtual software development organisation who should work alongside five virtual characters, played by artificial intelligence. This exclusive viewpoint draws participants from the 2D separation of the classical experience and virtually into the world of the software development itself. Participants experience the intense dramatic elements created for simulation and confront the challenges of virtual software practitioners in a somewhat uncompromising virtual simulation environment. To examine the efficiency of the VR-SODEF, it was tested on 32 computing students, with results indicating that virtual reality can be an effective educational medium, especially for skills that might traditionally be acquired through experience rather than traditional classroom-based teaching.