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The objective of my doctoral dissertation research is to formulate, implement, and validate metrics and techniques towards perceiving some of the influences on software development, predicting the impact of user initiated changes on a software system, and prescribing guidelines to aid decisions affecting software development. Some of the topics addressed in my dissertation are: Analyzing the extent to which changing requirements affect a system's design, how the delegation of responsibilities to software components can be guided, how Aspect Oriented Programming (AOP) may be combined with Object Oriented Programming (OOP) to best deliver a system's functionality, whether and how characteristics of a system's design are influenced by a outsourced and offshore development. The metrics and techniques developed in my dissertation serve as heuristics across the software development life cycle, helping practitioners evaluate options and take decisions. By way of validation, the metrics and techniques have been applied to more than 10 real life software systems. To facilitate the application of the metrics and techniques, I have led the development of automated tools which can process software development artifacts such as code and Unified Modeling Language (UML) diagrams. The design and implementation of such tools are also discussed in the dissertation.