22nd ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (FSE 2014), November 16–21, 2014, Hong Kong, China

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Evolution and Maintenance
Main Research
Hall 4-7, Chair: Massimiliano Di Penta
No Issue Left Behind: Reducing Information Overload in Issue Tracking
Olga Baysal, Reid Holmes, and Michael W. Godfrey
(Université de Montréal, Canada; University of Waterloo, Canada)
Publisher's Version
Preprint
Abstract: Modern software development tools such as issue trackers are often complex and multi-purpose tools that provide access to an immense amount of raw information. Unfortunately, developers sometimes feel frustrated when they cannot easily obtain the particular information they need for a given task; furthermore, the constant influx of new data — the vast majority of which is irrelevant to their task at hand — may result in issues being "dropped on the floor". In this paper, we present a developer-centric approach to issue tracking that aims to reduce information overload and improve developers' situational awareness. Our approach is motivated by a grounded theory study of developer comments, which suggests that customized views of a project's repositories that are tailored to developer-specific tasks can help developers better track their progress and understand the surrounding technical context. From the qualitative study, we uncovered a model of the kinds of information elements that are essential for developers in completing their daily tasks, and from this model we built a tool organized around customized issue-tracking dashboards. Further quantitative and qualitative evaluation demonstrated that this dashboard-like approach to issue tracking can reduce the volume of irrelevant emails by over 99% and also improve support for specific issue-tracking tasks.

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Time stamp: 2019-12-14T18:53:48+01:00