Side research

On the Selective Attention of Researchers (or the “No Shit” Effect)

What is Side research?

A popular tweet from Brendan Berg (@gnuaesthetic) presents sarcasm as a side-effect of an engineer solving a problem with the help of coffee. In my short career as a PhD student in computer science, I can add another by-product to a researcher solving a problem with the help of coffee: side research projects!

Side-research diagram

An occupational hazard of relentlessly trying to find and fix problems in the current state-of-the-art is that one tends to start questioning even the simplest things in life. On the days I am really tired, I see research questions, correlations, interesting observations and patterns in the weirdest things. And of course, being in a den of other PhD students in the same state as I am does not help. You can imagine the kind of hypotheses and experiments we then conduct and inflict on our other colleagues.

On this page, you will find a few of those side research projects that will most likely never be published anywhere else. The evaluation is shaky at best, and missing at worst, but the main ideas make sense (or at least, we thought they did). Most importantly, we had lots of fun coming up with them, and hope that you will enjoy reading about them.

I am a researcher and PhD student at the Software Engineering group at Fraunhofer IEM, Paderborn, Germany. You can find more on our actual research on our group’s blog.