Any engineering organization that’s been around long enough has accumulated a culture — usually oral, sometimes written — about the best ways to do things. Software science attempts to formalize and test the prescriptions of that culture, thereby eliminating its superstitions and increasing the confidence that can be placed in its validated beliefs.

In that sense, software science is a kind of introspected version of The Lean Startup methodology; but instead of studying customer behavior, and thinking up ways to increase revenue, software scientists study the behavior of engineers, and think up ways to improve productivity.