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2013 35th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE)
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2013 6th International Workshop on Cooperative and Human Aspects of Software Engineering (CHASE), May 25, 2013, San Francisco, CA, USA

CHASE 2013 – Proceedings

Contents - Abstracts - Authors

6th International Workshop on Cooperative and Human Aspects of Software Engineering (CHASE)

Title Page

Welcome to the 6th International Workshop on Cooperative and Humans Aspects of Software Engineering (CHASE 2013). The workshop brings together researchers and practitioners interested in high quality research on human and cooperative aspects of software engineering. This is the sixth edition in an annual series that began in Leipzig, Germany, in 2008. Since then, CHASE has been a meeting place for the growing community and the possibility for researchers interested in joining the field to present their work in progress and get an overview over the field.

Full Papers

Differences in Jazz Project Leaders’ Competencies and Behaviors: A Preliminary Empirical Investigation
Sherlock A. Licorish and Stephen G. MacDonell
(Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand)
Studying the human factors that impact on software development, and assigning individuals with specific competencies and qualities to particular software roles, have been shown to aid software project performance. For instance, prior evidence suggests that extroverted software project leaders are most successful. Role assignment based on individuals’ competencies and behaviors may be especially relevant in distributed software development contexts where teams are often affected by distance, cultural, and personality issues. Project leaders in these environments need to possess high levels of inter-personal, intra-personal and organizational competencies if they are to appropriately manage such issues and maintain positive project performance. With a view to understanding and explaining the specific competencies and behaviors that are required of project leaders in these settings, we used psycholinguistic and directed content analysis to study the way six successful IBM Rational Jazz leaders operated while coordinating their three distributed projects. Contrary to previous evidence reported in personality studies, our results did not reveal universal competencies and behaviors among these Jazz leaders. Instead, Jazz project leaders’ competencies and behaviors varied with their project portfolio of tasks. Our findings suggest that a pragmatic approach that considers the nature of the software tasks being developed is likely to be a more effective strategy for assigning leaders to distributed software teams, as against a strategy that promotes a specific personality type. We discuss these findings and outline implications for distributed software project governance.

Motivation of Software Engineers: A Qualitative Case Study of a Research and Development Organisation
A. César C. França, Ana C. M. L. de Araújo, and Fabio Q. B. da Silva
(UFPE, Brazil)
Understanding motivation of software engineers has important implications for industrial practice. This complex construct seems to be affected by diverse environmental conditions and can affect multiple dimensions of work effectiveness. In this article, we present a grounded theory that describes the motivation of software engineers working in a not-for-profit private research and development organisation. We carried out a holistic case study for seven months, using structured interviews, diary studies, and documental analysis for data collection, and grounded theory techniques for data analysis and synthesis. The results point to task variety and technical challenges as the main drivers of motivation, and inequity and high workload (caused by poor estimations in the software process) as the main obstacles to motivation in the organisation.

Collaborative Bug Triaging using Textual Similarities and Change Set Analysis
Katja Kevic, Sebastian C. Müller, Thomas FritzORCID logo, and Harald C. Gall
(University of Zurich, Switzerland)
Bug triaging assigns a bug report, which is also known as a work item, an issue, a task or simply a bug, to the most appropriate software developer for fixing or implementing it. However, this task is tedious, time-consuming and error-prone if not supported by effective means. Current techniques either use information retrieval and machine learning to find the most similar bugs already fixed and recommend expert developers, or they analyze change information stemming from source code to propose expert bug solvers. Neither technique combines textual similarity with change set analysis and thereby exploits the potential of the interlinking between bug reports and change sets. In this paper, we present our approach to identify potential experts by identifying similar bug reports and analyzing the associated change sets. Studies have shown that effective bug triaging is done collaboratively in a meeting, as it requires the coordination of multiple individuals, the understanding of the project context and the understanding of the specific work practices. Therefore, we implemented our approach on a multi-touch table to allow multiple stakeholders to interact simultaneously in the bug triaging and to foster their collaboration. In the current stage of our experiments we have experienced that the expert recommendations are more specific and useful when the rationale behind the expert selection is also presented to the users.

Why Do Newcomers Abandon Open Source Software Projects?
Igor Steinmacher, Igor Wiese, Ana Paula Chaves, and Marco Aurélio Gerosa
(UTFPR, Brazil; USP, Brazil)
Open source software projects, are based on volunteers collaboration and require a continuous influx of newcomers for their continuity. Newcomers face difficulties and obstacles when starting their contributions, resulting in a low retention rate. This paper presents an analysis of the first interactions of newcomers on a project, checking if the dropout may have been influenced by lack of answer, answers politeness and helpfulness, and the answer author. We have collected five years data from the developers mailing list communication and issue manager (Jira) discussions of the Hadoop Common project. We observed developers communication, identifying newcomers and classifying questions and answers content. In the analyzed period, less than 20% of newcomers became long-term contributors. There are evidences that the newcomers decision to abandon the project was influenced by the authors of the answers and by the type of answer received. However, the lack of answer was not evidenced as a factor that influences newcomers decision to remain or abandon the project.

Emergence of Developer Teams in the Collaboration Network
Bora Caglayan, Ayşe Başar Bener, and Andriy Miranskyy
(Bogazici University, Turkey; Ryerson University, Canada; IBM, Canada)
Developer teams may naturally emerge independent of managerial decisions, organizational structure, or work locations in large software. Such self organized collaboration teams of developers can be traced from the source code repositories. In this paper, we identify the developer teams in the collaboration network in order to present the work team evolution and the factors that affect team stability for a large, globally developed, commercial software. Our findings indicate that: a) Number of collaboration teams do not change over time, b) Size of the collaboration teams increases over time, c) Team activity is not related with team size, d) Factors related to team size, location and activity affect the stability of teams over time.

How Software Architects Collaborate: Insights from Collaborative Software Design in Practice
Jae Young Bang, Ivo Krka, Nenad Medvidovic ORCID logo, Naveen Kulkarni, and Srinivas Padmanabhuni
(University of Southern California, USA; Infosys, India)
The increasingly complex software systems are developed by globally distributed engineering teams consisting of a number of members who collaborate to gather the requirements, as well as design, implement, and test the system. Unlike other development activities, collaborative software design has not yet been studied extensively, and thus it is not fully understood how it is conducted in practice. We have commenced a series of studies to address this. As the first step, we have interviewed architects at a global software solutions provider to observe how collaborative software design works in practice. In this paper, we report the observations and insights we gained from the interviews related to (1) the various roles of software architects in collaborative software design, (2) the project-specific networks of software architects, (3) the impacts of geographic distribution, and (4) the collaboration cost drivers. We also discuss how we are using these insights to shape up our subsequent research.

The Rise and Fall of a Central Contributor: Dynamics of Social Organization and Performance in the GENTOO Community
Marcelo Serrano Zanetti, Ingo Scholtes, Claudio Juan Tessone, and Frank Schweitzer
(ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
Social organization and division of labor crucially influence the performance of collaborative software engineering efforts. In this paper, we provide a quantitative analysis of the relation between social organization and performance in Gentoo, an Open Source community developing a Linux distribution. We study the structure and dynamics of collaborations as recorded in the project's bug tracking system over a period of ten years. We identify a period of increasing centralization after which most interactions in the community were mediated by a single central contributor. In this period of maximum centralization, the central contributor unexpectedly left the project, thus posing a significant challenge for the community. We quantify how the rise, the activity as well as the subsequent sudden dropout of this central contributor affected both the social organization and the bug handling performance of the Gentoo community. We analyze social organization from the perspective of network theory and augment our quantitative findings by interviews with prominent members of the Gentoo community which shared their personal insights.

Cooperation Wordle using Pre-attentive Processing Techniques: Tested for Color Blind Observers
Ilenia Fronza, Andrea Janes, Alberto Sillitti, Giancarlo Succi, and Stefano Trebeschi
(Free University of Bolzano, Italy)
Developer turnover can result in a major problem when developing software. Senior developers leaving the team cause a loss of knowledge; on the other hand, new developers need some time to become fully productive. In this paper, we propose to use a wordle to visualize quickly the level of cooperation of the team in the project. Each word is the name of a class; the size of the word depends on the total effort spent by the team on the corresponding class, and the color is determined by the percentage of team working on the class. We applied pre-attentive processing techniques in the designing phase, so that the user can find out quickly those classes requiring high effort of a small part of the team. This information allows to take corrective actions, such as re-allocating some resources. Thus, this visualization can help in mitigating the knowledge loss and the slowing down due to turnover. On the base of our wordle, we describe four possible cases of development activities. A sample application of our visualization, in the context of a multi-developer project, shows concretely its potentials. We checked, through simulations, that the interpretation of our wordles remains the same for color blind users.

Social Media in Transparent Work Environments
Jason Tsay, Laura Dabbish, and James D. Herbsleb
Social media is being integrated into work environments making them more transparent. When the work environment is transparent, it has the potential to allow projects to transmit information about work artifacts and events quickly through a large network. Using signaling theory, we propose a theory that users interpret this information and then make work-related decisions about attention and effort allocation in a principled manner. In the open source context of voluntary participation, broadcast activity information act as signals that allow developers to make highly informed choices about where to expend their attention and effort and with whom to collaborate. We propose four potential signals from literature and interviews with developers in our research setting and discuss the implications for social media in software development environments.

Short Papers

A Qualitative Study about the Life Cycle of Lessons Learned
Davi Viana, Jacilane Rabelo, Tayana Conte, Andréia Vieira, Ellen Barroso, and Mário Dib
(UFAM, Brazil; Fundação Des. Paulo Feitoza, Brazil)
Software activities are executed by people and demand great knowledge. For this reason, knowledge dissemination activities are important in software organizations. One of the ways of sharing knowledge is through the practice of lessons learned dissemination. The form of dissemination could help to clarify questions about how lessons learned are shared in the organization. This paper aims to analyze the life cycle of lessons learned in a software organization, in order to understand how they are treated during the course of the projects. Results show that discussions of the lessons encourage the exchange of knowledge between the team members. However, it is necessary to improve the form of knowledge dissemination in all the organization, as well as encourage learning this knowledge.

A Study of Architectural Decision Practices
Thomas D. LaToza, Evelina Shabani, and André van der Hoek
(UC Irvine, USA)
Architectural decisions shape a software architecture and determine its ability to meet its requirements. To better understand architectural decisions in practice, we interviewed developers at two organizations. The results revealed that architectural decisions often become technology decisions, which are in turn influenced by both technical and social factors. Meetings and knowledge repositories help to communicate architectural decisions, but code reviews are ultimately necessary to ensure conformance. Costly changes to architectural decisions are caused by the discovery of an Achilles’ heel, an important scenario that cannot be supported by an architectural decision. These findings suggest an important need for social development tools that help developers more easily and successfully share valuable technology knowledge and more effectively make technology choices.

App-Directed Learning: An Exploratory Study
Jonathan Sillito and Andrew Begel
(University of Calgary, Canada; Microsoft Research, USA)
Learning a new platform is a common, yet difficult task for software developers today. A range of resources, both official resources (i.e., those provided by the platform owner) and those provided by the wider developer community are available to help developers. To increase our understanding of the learning process and the resources developers use, we conducted an interview and diary study in which ten developers told us about their experience learning to develop Windows Phone applications. We report on a preliminary analysis of our data viewed through the lens of self-directed learning. Using this lens, we characterize the learning strategies of our subjects as app-directed, and describe some of the particular challenges our subjects faced due to this strategy.

Crowd Development
Thomas D. LaToza, W. Ben Towne, André van der Hoek, and James D. Herbsleb
(UC Irvine, USA; CMU, USA)
Crowd development is a development process designed for transient workers of varying skill. Work is organized into microtasks, which are short, self-descriptive, and modular. Microtasks recursively spawn microtasks and are matched to workers, who accrue points reflecting value created. Crowd development might help to reduce time to market and software development costs, increase programmer productivity, and make programming more fun.

Improving Developer Participation Rates in Surveys
Edward Smith, Robert Loftin, Emerson Murphy-Hill, Christian Bird ORCID logo, and Thomas ZimmermannORCID logo
(University of Maryland, USA; North Carolina State University, USA; Microsoft Research, USA)
Doing high quality research about the human side of software engineering necessitates the articipation of real software developers in studies, but getting high levels of participation is a hallenge for software engineering researchers. In this paper, we discuss several factors that oftware engineering researchers can use when recruiting participants, drawn from a combination of general research on survey design, research on persuasion, and our experience in conducting surveys. We study these factors by performing post-hoc analysis on several previously conducted surveys. Our results provide insight into the factors associated with increased response rates, which are neither wholly composed of factors associated strictly with persuasion research, nor those of conventional wisdom in software engineering.

What Is Social Debt in Software Engineering?
Damian A. Tamburri, Philippe Kruchten, Patricia Lago, and Hans van Vliet
(VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands; University of British Columbia, Canada)
Social debt in software engineering informally refers to unforeseen project cost connected to a suboptimal development community. The causes of suboptimal development communities can be many, ranging from global distance to organisational barriers to wrong or uninformed socio-technical decisions (i.e., decisions that influence both social and technical aspects of software development). Much like technical debt, social debt impacts heavily on software development success. We argue that, to ensure quality software engineering, practitioners should be provided with mechanisms to detect and manage the social debt connected to their development communities. This paper defines and elaborates on social debt, pointing out relevant research paths. We illustrate social debt by comparison with technical debt and discuss common real-life scenarios that exhibit sub-optimal development communities.

On the Development of a Theoretical Model of the Impact of Trust in the Performance of Distributed Software Projects
Sabrina Marczak and Vanessa Gomes
(PUCRS, Brazil)
Trust is often defined as the belief that the trustee will meet the positive expectations of the trustor. Although several studies have discussed the topic, little is still known about the impact of trust (or lack of it) in the performance of distributed software projects. In this paper we present initial findings of an empirically informed study that aimed to identify which factors influence positively or negatively ones perceived trustworthiness of others in the project and the impact of such factors on specific project performance measures. Availability, competence, expertise, face-to-face communication, and leadership are among the factors considered to positively influence the development of trust and the consequent achievement of performance metrics. This is a first step on a larger investigation aiming to develop a theoretical model of the impact of trust in the performance of distributed software projects. Such a model can be used by researchers as a reference framework to further investigate the topic and by practitioners to better manage and organize distributed software teams.

Toward Social-Technical Code Search
Lee Martie and André van der Hoek
(UC Irvine, USA)
With the vast amount of source code that is publicly available today, searching for code has become an integral part of the programming experience. While a few dedicated code search engines are available, we contend in this paper that they have not nearly reached their full potential. Particularly, we believe that it is necessary for code search engines to not merely index code, but also construct a rich network of social-technical information that surrounds that code. With such information, much richer queries can be issued and novel interfaces can be built through which the results of such queries can be explored more intuitively. We make the case for social-technical code search, introduce six categories of social-technical information and how it would enhance search, and briefly introduce CodeExchange, our prototype platform we are developing to explore social-technical code search.

Exploring Social Structures in Extended Team Model
Mansooreh Zahedi and Muhammad Ali Babar
(IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark; Lancaster University, UK)
Extended Team Model (ETM) as a type of offshore outsourcing is increasingly becoming popular mode of Global Software Development (GSD). There is little knowledge about the social structures in ETM and their impact on collaboration. Within a large interdisciplinary project to develop the next generation of GSD technologies, we are exploring the role of social structures to support collaboration. This paper reports some details of our research design and initial findings about the mechanisms to support social structures and their impact on collaboration in an ETM.

Towards Collaboration-Centric Pattern-Based Software Development Support
Christoph Dorn and Alexander Egyed
(TU Vienna, Austria; JKU Linz, Austria)
Software engineering activities tend to be loosely coupled to allow for flexibly reacting to unforeseen development complexity, requirements changes, and progress delays. This flexibility comes a the price of hidden dependencies among design and code artifacts that make it difficult or even impossible to assess change impact. Incorrect change propagation subsequently results in costly errors. This position paper proposes a novel approach based on monitoring engineering activities for subsequent high-level pattern detection. Patterns of (i) collaboration structures, (ii) temporal action sequences, and (iii) artifact consistency constraints serve as input to recommendation and automatic reconfiguration algorithms for ultimately avoiding and correcting artifact inconsistencies.

An Examination of Shared Understanding in Free/Libre Open Source Project Maintenance
Brandt Braunschweig and Carolyn Seaman
(University of Maryland in Baltimore County, USA)
Many problems in software development are rooted in the difficulties of coordination and communication in the software development team. Arandas Theory of Shared Understanding for Software Organizations explains the role of shared understanding in coordination and suggests four attributes of team interaction that influence shared understanding and, therefore, the quality of coordination. To find evidence supporting this theory, we investigated cases of rework in the bug fixing activities of a Free/Libre Open Source software project. We look at the role of coordination breakdown in these cases of rework and examine them in terms of the theory. We found overall coordination patterns that are consistent with the Theory but we do not find evidence that a lack of shared understanding was a factor of rework in the cases examined.

Using Experimental Games to Understand Communication and Trust in Agile Software Teams
Eisha Hasnain, Tracy Hall, and Martin Shepperd
(Brunel University, UK)
Trust plays an important role in enabling software development teams to function effectively. Trust between individual team members has been shown to improve the independence of software teams and reduce the amount of project management effort required by those teams. Our main aims are to investigate (i) the impact communication has on trust between team members in Agile software development and (ii) the usefulness of iterated games as an experimental methodology. We use Game Theory in a simulated Agile development environment. We run 28 iterated games with 56 practitioner and student participants. Stand-up meetings are used as the communication intervention compared to games without such meetings to assess the levels of trust. Our findings are that increased communication has a very large positive effect upon the level of trust between team members in an Agile setting. Our results suggest that communication improves trust in development teams. Opportunities for communication should be built into development processes. Experimental games are a complementary (to qualitative approaches) and effective method for investigating human issues in software engineering.

Less is More: Architecture Documentation for Agile Development
Irit Hadar, Sofia Sherman, Ethan Hadar, and John J. Harrison, Jr.
(University of Haifa, Israel; AGT International, Switzerland; CA Technologies, USA)
The use of agile development methodologies in the software industry has increased significantly over the past decade. This has led to efforts to adjust these methodologies to enterprise products and complex systems development, and specifically to combine the requirement of minimalism with the need for well-defined up-front architecture artifacts. Nevertheless, in many cases, architecture is accompanied with extensive documentation that requires significant effort to review and maintain throughout the development lifecycle. This paper presents a case study that aims at identifying difficulties architects and other stakeholders encounter when dealing with architecture documentation in agile development. The findings indicate that the architecture specification document is usually very long, complex, and not self-explanatory. In order to adjust the architecture documentation to the lean and minimal documentation approach of agile processes, we propose a considerably shorter abstract specification document, requiring reduced documentation efforts and resulting in a lean documentation that is easier to review, update, and communicate.

How Does Kanban Impact Communication and Collaboration in Software Engineering Teams?
Nilay Oza, Fabian Fagerholm, and Jürgen Münch
(University of Helsinki, Finland)
Highly iterative development processes such as Kanban have gained significant importance in industry. However, the impact of such processes on team collaboration and communication is widely unknown. In this paper, we analyze how the Kanban process aids software teams behaviors in particular, communication and collaboration. The team under study developed a mobile payment software product in six iterations over seven weeks. The data were collected by a questionnaire, repeated at the end of each iteration. The results indicate that Kanban has a positive effect at the beginning to get the team working together to identify and coordinate the work. Later phases, when the team members have established good rapport among them, the importance for facilitating team collaboration could not be shown. Results also indicate that Kanban helps team members to collectively identify and surface the missing tasks to keep the pace of the development harmonized across the whole team, resulting into increased collaboration. Besides presenting the study and the results, the article gives an outlook on future work.

Motivations for Collaboration in Software Design Decision Making
Amani Alali and Jonathan Sillito
(University of Calgary, Canada)
Software design is a result of software design decisions made at different stages of the development process and these decisions are often made collaboratively. As part of an ongoing research project to understand and improve this collaborative process we have interviewed 13 designers about their design processes. In this paper we report on a preliminary analysis of our interview data focusing on why people collaborate around design decisions. We found that designers collaborate to improve their design decisions, save or share decision making effort, and in response to social or organizational work contexts.

Soft Skills in Software Engineering: A Study of Its Demand by Software Companies in Uruguay
Gerardo Matturro
(Universidad ORT, Uruguay)
Software development requires professionals with knowledge and experience on many different methodologies, tools, and techniques. However, the so-called soft skills, such as interpersonal skills, teamwork, problem solving and customer orientation to name just a few, are as important as, or even more important, than traditional qualifications and technical skills. In this paper we review a set of jobs advertisements offering job positions related to software engineering in order to identify what soft skills are most in demand by software companies in Uruguay. We also compare our findings with the ones reported in other recent studies carried out with data from other countries. This comparison shows that evidence exists about a common set of basic soft skills software companies demand when looking for new staff for software engineering activities.

A Descriptive Classification for End User-Relevant Decisions of Large-Scale IT Projects
Ulrike Abelein and Barbara Paech
(University of Heidelberg, Germany)
Large-scale IT projects with traditional development methods are still very common in practice. These projects mostly involve the end user in the beginning and at the end of the development. However, there are also user-relevant decisions in the phases between. Thus, it is important to investigate what decisions are made and which of them are user-relevant. Thus we suggested in our previous work a preliminary classification based on the TORE method to structure decisions. In this paper, we validate this classification and collected exemplary user-relevant decisions by experts in large-scale IT projects. As part of our research in user-developer communication, we conducted an interview series with twelve experts. The interviews confirmed that our previously suggested classification is comprehensive and helpful to structure decisions and revealed several amendments. The examples given by the experts enabled us to collect a comprehensive list of end user-relevant decisions, and thus lead to our descriptive classification

Aduno: Real-Time Collaborative Work Design in a Shared Workspace
Braden Simpson, Eirini Kalliamvakou, Nathan Lambert, and Daniela Damian
(University of Victoria, Canada)
In this paper we describe the design and evaluation of Aduno, a shared workspace tool that allows distributed software teams to collaboratively establish and prioritize work items for the purposes of task management and planning during the design phase. Aduno is highly visual and real-time, offering features that are often lacking from other popular collaborative development tools. Aduno also links to Github's issue tracker and easily translates work items on a whiteboard to project work items. Here, we describe the concept and design of Aduno and present its initial evaluation.

The Need of a Person Oriented Approach to Software Process Assessment
Alberto Sampaio, Isabel B. Sampaio, and Edwin Gray
(ISEP, Portugal; Glasgow Caledonian University, UK)
This paper represents a coherent critique of software process assessment, focusing on the concerns and perceived shortcomings present. A call is made to re-direct attention and resources toward understanding the true nature of people in software process assessment. The important, possibly crucial role of people at an individual, team-based and organizational level in the assessment process that precedes software process improvement is discussed by considering such factors as the relationship between a persons perception of the software process, the learning process and motivation and using theory and empirical findings published in the literature. It is suggested that the poor recognition of the many human factors may be a major reason why the software process is so difficult to improve. It is argued that the clarification of such important issues will help to achieve a significant step forward in software process assessment and improvement; and lead to significant improvements in quality, satisfaction and performance. In order to systematize our position and future research, several statements are formulated concerning the importance of people.

Understanding Cheap Talk and the Emergence of Trust in Global Software Engineering: An Evolutionary Game Theory Perspective
Yi Wang and David Redmiles
(UC Irvine, USA)
While studying global software engineering teams, we found that informal non-work related conversations are positively associated with trust. We sought to investigate this phenomenon more carefully. To this end, we employed evolutionary game theory. In that literature, the kind of non-work related conversations we observed are referred to as "cheap talk". We modified the original Stag-hunt game, and have it "play" repeatedly by a fixed population. Doing so, we are able to demonstrate how cheap talk in remote collaborations over the Internet is powerful enough to facilitate the emergence of trust and improve the probability of collaboration. We elaborate on the conditions for success and discuss both theoretical and practical implications of our findings for collaboration.

Meeting Intensity as an Indicator for Project Pressure: Exploring Meeting Profiles
Olga Liskin, Kurt Schneider, Stephan Kiesling, and Simone Kauffeld
(Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany; TU Braunschweig, Germany)
Meetings are hot spots of communication and collaboration in software development teams. Both distributed and co-located teams need to meet for coordination, communication, and collaboration. It is difficult to assess the quality of these three crucial aspects, or the social effectiveness and impact of a meeting: Personalities, psychological and professional aspects interact. It is, therefore, challenging to identify emerging communication problems or to improve collaboration by studying a wealth of interrelated details of project meetings. However, it is relatively easy to count meetings, and to measure when and how long they took place. This is objective information, does not violate privacy of participants, and the data might even be retrieved from project calendars automatically. In an exploratory study, we observed 14 student teams working on comparable four-month projects. Among many other aspects, we counted and measured meetings. In this contribution, we compare the meeting profiles qualitatively, and derive a number of hypotheses relevant for software projects.

Position Papers

Agile Offsharing: Using Pair Work to Overcome Nearshoring Difficulties
Lutz Prechelt
(Freie Universität Berlin, Germany)
A major problem in distributed development situations, in particular offshoring situations, is often creating a proper understanding of the requirements at the remote site. It is difficult even if such understanding is available at the local site. This note argues why cross-site, synchronous, closely-coupled pair work at an engineering level, such as pair programming, may be a method for solving this problem and that corresponding research should be carried out.

Analyzing the Friendliness of Exchanges in an Online Software Developer Community
Brendan Cleary, Carlos Gómez, Margaret-Anne Storey, Leif Singer, and Christoph Treude ORCID logo
(University of Victoria, Canada; Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany; McGill University, Canada)
AbstractMany online communities struggle with conflicts e.g. between newcomers and elders at some point. In July 2012, the Stack Exchange organization attempted to assess the overall niceness of the Stack Overflow community by rating the friendliness of 7,000 comments made on the site over a 4 year period. We performed a deeper examination of the comment dataset published by Stack Exchange. We find a high degree of comment repetition in the Stack Overflow database and suggest some simple heuristics that may help in automatically identifying unfriendly comments, providing managers of developer communities with simple means that could counter hostility.

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