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Tackling Secure Software Engineering: Exploring Developer Challenges

Type of project: Collaborative 

Duration: 12 months

My role: Led, designed, and conducted the end to end of the project

Founded by: Huawei

Project Brief

Despite numerous efforts to enhance software security, vulnerabilities continue to persist within software applications. Existing research lacks a cohesive framework to systematically understand the challenges faced by developers in ensuring software security. Instead of blaming developers as the weakest link in developing secure software, I investigated different aspects of their challenges. I provided a comprehensive list of challenges and the interplay between these factors that raise the challenge.


I meticulously evaluated 126 research papers to develop a robust framework encompassing the various challenges encountered by developers in this domain.



The framework I created is organized into 17 distinct areas, categorized into three dimensions: Human, Organizational, and Technological. By adopting this multi-dimensional approach, I aimed to capture the complexity of the challenges developers face and their interrelated nature.

These challenges are deeply intertwined, directly and indirectly influencing each other throughout the development process.


My findings pave the way for future research endeavors in the field of secure software engineering. This systematic understanding of the challenges will enable researchers and practitioners to explore targeted solutions and innovative strategies to improve software security.

Read the whole results here.

This project received an Honorable Mentioned Award from SOUPS, 2022. 

Research Analysis Process

Main Categories of Developers' Challenges

The framework of Developers’ Challenges and Their Interplay

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