Community Smells – The Sources of Social Debt: A Systematic Literature Review [article]

Eduardo Cabllero-Espinosa and Jeffrey C. Carver and Kimberly Stowers
2022 arXiv   pre-print
Context: Social debt describes the accumulation of unforeseen project costs (or potential costs) from sub-optimal software development processes. Community smells are sociotechnical anti-patterns and one source of social debt that impact software teams, development processes, outcomes, and organizations. Objective: To provide an overview of community smells based on published literature, and describe future research. Method: We conducted a systematic literature review (SLR) to identify
more » ... s, understand origins and evolution, and describe the emergence of community smells. This SLR explains the impact of community smells on teamwork and team performance. Results: We include 25 studies. Social debt describes the impacts of poor socio-technical decisions on work environments, people, software products, and society. For each of the 30 identified community smells, we provide a description, management approaches, organizational strategies, and mitigation effectiveness. We identify five groups of management approaches: organizational strategies, frameworks, models, tools, and guidelines. We describe 11 properties of community smells. We develop the Community Smell Stages Framework to concisely describe the origin and evolution of community smells. We describe the causes and effects for each community smell. We identify and describe 8 types of causes and 11 types of effects for community smells. Finally, we provide 8 Sankey diagrams that offer insights into threats the community smells pose to teamwork factors and team performance. Conclusion: Community smells explain the influence work conditions have on software developers. The literature is scarce and focuses on a small number of community smells. Thus, community smells still need more research. This review organizes the state of the art about community smells and provides motivation for future research along with educational material.
arXiv:2209.10671v1 fatcat:icy77zcuizb37npqnc4dapytja