There are also questions tagged (3x) and (5x). All 3 questions tagged process are about development methodologies. 4 of the 5 questions tagged processes are about development methodologies and software engineering process, while the fifth is about emulating UNIX processes.

Yannis (and others) have cleaned up the development-methodology, process and processes tags so there are no more questions with these tags applied to them. This leaves four tags to deal with.

The FAQ uses the term "development methodologies" to describe what's on-topic, merging all into the development-methodologies tag might be appropriate. However, development-process is much more widely used. Although the formal name is "software engineering process", I'd shy away from that name because the descriptor "software engineering" is redundant here and "process" alone is too vague (development processes versus business processes versus system processes).

Ultimately, I think that this tag might need manual clean up as part of the Structured Tag Clean Up effort to capture the breadth of software engineering process: process improvement, software development life cycles, process assessment, process quality. It would be easier to see if this was necessary and then implement it if we had everything in one tag, though, rather than across 5 or 6.

Proposal: Automatically merge development-methodologies, methodology, development-methodology, and process into development-process. Synonymize development-methodologies, methodology, and development-methodology with development-process. Manually retag the 4 development methodology questions in processes into development-methodologies. Evaluate the quality of the development-methodologies tag as part of Structured Tag Clean Up at a later date.

  • However, development-process is much more widely used. I don't think so...
    – yannis
    Feb 2, 2012 at 16:42
  • @YannisRizos As a tag, it is. It appears on over 200 questions. That's over 4 times more questions than development-methodologies and methodologies and 200 times more than development-methodology.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Feb 2, 2012 at 16:44
  • Indeed, but they are not actually synonyms are they? The development process includes structured methodologies, but isn't limited to them. It's a generic catch-all tag, and the number of questions can be easily attributed to mistagging, and not taken into consideration in this discussion.
    – yannis
    Feb 2, 2012 at 16:48
  • Process and methodology are synonyms. You have activities (requirements engineering, design, implementation), models for organizing these activities (waterfall, spiral, iterative and incremental), and then implementations of the models (RUP, Scrum). Your process or methodology for building software is your particular implementation of a model. Then the line blurs when you introduce Lean - it's a set of practices, but generic across activities and models. Ultimately, I think it needs to be split up (see the careers tag) into various aspects, but that becomes easier to determine with one tag.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Feb 2, 2012 at 16:54
  • @Yannis Yeah, I would assume some are mistagged. Overall, it looks pretty good. I would ultimately support a structured tag cleanup that eliminates development-methodologies consists of process-improvement (changing your organizational processes, probably co-tagged with PI techniques such as cmmi, six-sigma, and lean), specific model tags (waterfall, spiral), and specific implementation (scrum, rup) tags. I just think it's too hard to assess and work with if everything's spread out. Let's do the easy work now to get things a little better, assess, and fix.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Feb 2, 2012 at 16:58
  • @YannisRizos Thanks for the clean up on process and processes. I guess the short story is: all four tags are bad (too vague), but it will be easier to assess and organize around a single tag to clean up than four tags. So by merging into one bad tag, we eliminate three bad tags and have a central area to work in for a Structured Tag Clean Up.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Feb 2, 2012 at 17:03
  • SDLC (the process) includes implementation and tools, which aren't really that relevant to most methodologies. Not really synonyms. Remember, we are software developers, SWEBOK doesn't really mean much to us. I'm writing an answer give me a sec :)
    – yannis
    Feb 2, 2012 at 17:08
  • @YannisRizos As a software engineer specializing in software engineering process (it was my concentration in my degree program), I can say that's not true at all. Your team/organization process is often supported by tools, but no process requires specific tools. Unless I'm missing your point. (I'm in the Programmers Chat right now if you want to take this there - I'm running a 4 hour stability test right now...1 hour in.)
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Feb 2, 2012 at 17:11

1 Answer 1


Went ahead and:

And removed some deprecated tags, like in the way. Now we can concentrate on the major tags:

First things first, should be merged into , obviously. But all three tags are generic catch-all tags and I don't see any point in keeping them around. From our discussion in comments, I get that you want them merged so it will be easier to clean up later, and apply more relevant and specific tags. That's fine by me, and it will help the clean up process.

Still, I don't think everyone will agree with your definitions of process and methodology. When I see a question tagged as methodology (or variants of) I expect it to be about one of the common structured methodologies, not about implementation, which is part of the software development process. Having two tags instead of one, won't really hurt the clean up effort, will it?

And we should probably blacklist &

  • I get what you're saying about development-process and development-methodologies now. You're taking process as requirements->architecture->design->implementation->testing->maintenance and methodologies as models and methodologies such as Spiral, waterfall, Scrum...? In my experience "process" refers to the methodology. The other things (requirements, design, implementation) are simply activities in the process (or methodology). I would have to take a much closer look at how the tags are used now, but I would want a question to be tagged with both the appropriate phase(s) and methodologies.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Feb 2, 2012 at 17:26

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