Graziotin-et_al-Psychoempirical_SE-ISERN-2014.pdf (2.16 MB)

Psychoempirical Software Engineering - ISERN 2014 Workshop

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posted on 15.09.2014, 16:34 by Daniel Graziotin, Xiaofeng Wang, Pekka Abrahamsson, Andreas Jedlitschka


Software is developed by humans, and it is employed by humans. Practitioners know this well, and claim that the way to get the best from developers is to focus on them as people. This claim, also echoed by Boehm more than 25 years ago, is appealing but very difficult to verify in research. The software construction process is mainly intellectual. Recently, the discipline of software engineering has begun to adopt a multidisciplinary view and has embraced theories from more established disciplines. However, Empirical software engineering (ESE) has too often ignored psychological measurements with perhaps the exception of personality tests. There is an opportunity for ESE to quantitatively studying human aspects. For example, research in organizational psychology suggests that studying affects (emotions and moods) on the job is fundamental for understanding performance issues currently unexplained by ESE research. Affects are deeply linked to intellectual performance and cognitive activities, especially with analytical problem solving and creativity. Recent ESE research is determining how deep is the linkage between affect and software development, and the first results are fairly positive. This, together with past studies on commitment in software process improvement, encourages the workshop chairs to call for an agenda of Psychoempirical Software Engineering, and to foster collaboration among ISERN members.

Our aim at the workshop is to report the results of our employment of psychological measurements in ESE research, to illustrate the theory behind affects, the different ways to measure them, the different ways to measure the creativity and the problem-solving performance of software developers, and to initiate research collaboration with ISERN members. We would like to collect the ISERN members’ experience with psychological measurements in ESE, and to gather desirable human aspects to be collaboratively studied in the near future.