FSE 2016 All Events

24th ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (FSE 2016), November 13–18, 2016, Seattle, WA, USA

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Session 2: HCI and Process
Research Papers
Emerald 2, Chair: Peri Tarr
Foraging and Navigations, Fundamentally: Developers' Predictions of Value and Cost
David Piorkowski, Austin Z. Henley, Tahmid Nabi, Scott D. Fleming, Christopher Scaffidi, and Margaret Burnett
(Oregon State University, USA; University of Memphis, USA)
Publisher's Version
Abstract: Empirical studies have revealed that software developers spend 35%–50% of their time navigating through source code during development activities, yet fundamental questions remain: Are these percentages too high, or simply inherent in the nature of software development? Are there factors that somehow determine a lower bound on how effectively developers can navigate a given information space? Answering questions like these requires a theory that captures the core of developers' navigation decisions. Therefore, we use the central proposition of Information Foraging Theory to investigate developers' ability to predict the value and cost of their navigation decisions. Our results showed that over 50% of developers' navigation choices produced less value than they had predicted and nearly 40% cost more than they had predicted. We used those results to guide a literature analysis, to investigate the extent to which these challenges are met by current research efforts, revealing a new area of inquiry with a rich and crosscutting set of research challenges and open problems.

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Time stamp: 2019-06-18T22:43:50+02:00