Software Developers’ Information Needs

Jonas Richner. Software Developers’ Information Needs. Bachelor’s thesis, University of Bern, February 2019. Details.


Nowadays software shapes most aspects of our daily life, and application developers are increasingly confronted with complex scenarios which demand collecting information from various sources. As developers face many challenges in seeking desired information, a substantial amount of research has been performed to understand software developers’ information needs. However, little is known regarding researchers’ use of methods and measures to quantify developers’ information needs, and there has not been any effort yet to systematically select, review, and synthesize developers’ information needs that are presented in the literature. Consequently, we investigate this domain by conducting a systematic literature review. Through our search strategy, we identified 60 relevant papers. We discovered that the most common way to quantify developers’ information needs is to use surveys, and that some of the most valuable information that developers need to make progress considers the rationale (e.g., why is this implemented this way?), awareness (e.g., what have my coworkers been doing?), and the implications of a code change (e.g., what might break?). This thesis presents the review’s findings, which we believe will help scientists studying developers’ information needs by enabling them to use appropriate methods and measures for their research, as well as assist researchers in developing tools and practices that are better aligned with developers’ needs.

Posted by scg at 6 February 2019, 5:03 pm link
Last changed by admin on 21 April 2009