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About me

Table of Contents

The Researcher

Software is neither visible nor tangible, yet it defines how we live, work, teach, learn, and research. Therefore, the advances in society, economy, education, and research depends highly on the quality of software. But how do we build better software?

Finding answers to software engineering’s fundamental questions is at the core of my motivation. I am particularly interested in the foundations of software engineering (for example, providing solid measurements for answering the questions) and bringing those foundations into practice (for example, to better understand and improve code review, to ensure tax compliance for software engineering). Although part of my work is qualitative, I love to crunch numbers, dig into large datasets, and apply all sorts of data analysis. In particular, I am an enthusiast of simulations as an empirical research method in and for software engineering research.

In my research, I have the privilege to collaborate with outstanding scientists and prestigious companies like Google, Microsoft, Spotify, Siemens, Ericsson, BlackDuck (now Synopsis) and Trivago around the world.

As an passionate advocate for open science, all of my studies are freely available. For the studies of which I am the first author, I publish preprints, provide extensive replication packages, and make code and data (to the extent legally and ethically possible) publicly available.

The Entrepreneur

Together with an interdisciplinary team of researchers, we discovered that collaborative software engineering is actually taxable if the collaboration crosses national borders. We found out that:

  • We are the first to describe and aim to resolve tax compliance for software engineering.
  • Traditional taxation methods do not scale for fine-grained and massive collaboration in software engineering.
  • Tax compliance in software engineering requires dedicated tool support, which does exist on the market.

I am thrilled to be part of this journey to develop a software solution for tax compliance in software engineering at Kolabri.

Learn more about Kolabri and tax-compliance-as-a-service on

The Consultant

Not everything is research. Not everything requires one to set out for new knowledge. Some problems, although sometimes very complex and troublesome, require the hands-on and practical application of existing knowledge. On such problems, I work as a software engineering consultant at Capraro Dorner, a consulting company I co-founded with my dear colleague Maximilian Capraro. We offer tailor-made consulting services around open source and inner source for companies.

Learn more about our services at

The Human Being

I am the father of two wonderful kids, who are everything to me, and married to the love of my life, Christina. When not in front of a computer, you can likely find me swimming, running, or hiking to compensate for my passion: delicious food. And from time to time, I touch a piano inappropriately with my band Klaf├╝nf.

Michael Dorner
Michael Dorner
Software engineering researcher