From work to word: How do software developers describe their work?

Walid Maalej, Hans-Jorg Happel
2009 2009 6th IEEE International Working Conference on Mining Software Repositories  
Developers take notes about their work sessions, either to remember the work status and share it with collaborators, or because employers explicitly require this for project management matters. We report on an exploratory study which aims at understanding how software developers describe their work. We analyzed more than 750,000 work descriptions of about 2,000 professionals taken over 8 years in three settings. We observed several similarities in the content and time meta-data of work
more » ... ta of work descriptions. Most frequent terms, such as top-30 performed activities, are used consistently. Particular templates such as "ACTION concerning ARTIFACT because of CAUSE" occur frequently. Developers described sessions that last 30-120 min. 4-16 times a day. Maintaining diaries seems to consume between 3-6% of the total work time, and in 10% of the sessions, developers did not describe their work in sufficient detail. We argue that our results make the first step towards automatically generating work diaries for software developers. MSR 2009 978-1-4244-3493-0/09/$25.00
doi:10.1109/msr.2009.5069490 dblp:conf/msr/MaalejH09 fatcat:utvduenjlzcvde6z4udb57wvuy