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  • 1.
    Becker, Christoph
    et al.
    University of Toronto, CAN.
    Fagerholm, Fabian
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Mohanani, Rahul
    Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, IND.
    Chatzigeorgiou, Alexander
    University of Macedonia, GRE.
    Temporal discounting in technical debt: How do software practitioners discount the future?2019In: Proceedings - 2019 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Technical Debt, TechDebt 2019, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. , 2019, p. 23-32Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Technical Debt management decisions always imply a trade-off among outcomes at different points in time. In such intertemporal choices, distant outcomes are often valued lower than close ones, a phenomenon known as temporal discounting. Technical Debt research largely develops prescriptive approaches for how software engineers should make such decisions. Few have studied how they actually make them. This leaves open central questions about how software practitioners make decisions. This paper investigates how software practitioners discount uncertain future outcomes and whether they exhibit temporal discounting. We adopt experimental methods from intertemporal choice, an active area of research. We administered an online questionnaire to 33 developers from two companies in which we presented choices between developing a feature and making a longer-term investment in architecture. The results show wide-spread temporal discounting with notable differences in individual behavior. The results are consistent with similar studies in consumer behavior and raise a number of questions about the causal factors that influence temporal discounting in software engineering. As the first empirical study on intertemporal choice in SE, the paper establishes an empirical basis for understanding how software developers approach intertemporal choice and provides a blueprint for future studies. © 2019 IEEE.

  • 2.
    Fagerholm, Fabian
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Becker, Christoph
    University of Toronto, CAN.
    Chatzigeorgiou, Alexander
    Panepistimion Makedonias, GRE.
    Betz, Stefanie
    Hochschule Furtwangen, DEU.
    Duboc, Leticia
    La Salle Univ., ESP.
    Penzenstadler, Birgit
    Lappeenrannan Teknillinen Yliopisto, FIN.
    Mohanani, Rahul
    Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, IND.
    Venters, Colin C.
    University of Huddersfield, GBR.
    Temporal Discounting in Software Engineering: A Replication Study2019In: International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement, IEEE Computer Society , 2019Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Many decisions made in Software Engineering practices are intertemporal choices: trade-offs in time between closer options with potential short-term benefit and future options with potential long-term benefit. However, how software professionals make intertemporal decisions is not well understood. Aim: This paper investigates how shifting time frames influence preferences in software projects in relation to purposefully selected background factors. Method: We investigate temporal discounting by replicating a questionnaire-based observational study. The replication uses a changed-population and -experimenter design to increase the internal and external validity of the original results. Results: The results of this study confirm the occurrence of temporal discounting in samples of both professional and student participants from different countries and demonstrate strong variance in discounting between study participants. We found that professional experience influenced discounting. Participants with broader professional experience exhibited less discounting than those with narrower experience. Conclusions: The results provide strong empirical support for the relevance and importance of temporal discounting in SE and the urgency of targeted interdisciplinary research to explore the underlying mechanisms and their theoretical and practical implications. The results suggest that technical debt management could be improved by increasing the breadth of experience available for critical decisions with long-term impact. In addition, the present study provides a methodological basis for replicating temporal discounting studies in software engineering. © 2019 IEEE.

  • 3.
    Graziotin, Daniel
    et al.
    Universitat Stuttgart, DEU.
    Fagerholm, Fabian
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Wang, Xiaofeng
    Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, ITA.
    Abrahamsson, Pekka
    Jyvaskylan Yliopisto, FIN.
    What happens when software developers are (un)happy2018In: Journal of Systems and Software, ISSN 0164-1212, E-ISSN 1873-1228, Vol. 140, p. 32-47Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The growing literature on affect among software developers mostly reports on the linkage between happiness, software quality, and developer productivity. Understanding happiness and unhappiness in all its components – positive and negative emotions and moods – is an attractive and important endeavor. Scholars in industrial and organizational psychology have suggested that understanding happiness and unhappiness could lead to cost-effective ways of enhancing working conditions, job performance, and to limiting the occurrence of psychological disorders. Our comprehension of the consequences of (un)happiness among developers is still too shallow, being mainly expressed in terms of development productivity and software quality. In this paper, we study what happens when developers are happy and unhappy while developing software. Qualitative data analysis of responses given by 317 questionnaire participants identified 42 consequences of unhappiness and 32 of happiness. We found consequences of happiness and unhappiness that are beneficial and detrimental for developers’ mental well-being, the software development process, and the produced artifacts. Our classification scheme, available as open data enables new happiness research opportunities of cause-effect type, and it can act as a guideline for practitioners for identifying damaging effects of unhappiness and for fostering happiness on the job. © 2018

  • 4.
    Kettunen, Petri
    et al.
    University of Helsinki, FIN.
    Laanti, Maarit
    Nitor Delta, FIN.
    Fagerholm, Fabian
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Mikkonen, Tommi
    University of Helsinki, FIN.
    Agile in the Era of Digitalization: A Finnish Survey Study2019In: Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) / [ed] Franch X.,Mannisto T.,Martinez-Fernandez S., Springer , 2019, Vol. 11915, p. 383-398Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Agile software development has been applied since the early 2000s. It is now mainstream industrial practice in information and communication technology (ICT) companies and IT organizations. However, recently increasing and even disruptive digitalization has brought new drivers and needs for agility both in software organizations as well as in traditional companies, which are becoming more and more software-intensive. Following that line of developments, based on our recent survey conducted in Finland in 2018, in this paper we explore the current state of the affairs with respect to how different organizations currently address agility and agile development in both IT and non-software industrial sectors. The results show that operative goals (productivity, quality) are considered the most important ones to achieve by agile means. Scrum, Kanban and DevOps are the most frequently reported methods, and SAFe is the dominant scaling model. Lead time metrics are the most typically followed measurements. The operative goals as well as responsiveness are also the most highly ranked future aims. The impacts of digitalization are considered substantial but agile developments are seen to address them well. As a conclusion of this survey study, there is no “one agile way” for all. Different organizations seem to emphasize multiple aspects of agility when they develop, adapt and even transform themselves. Yet, also many commonalities were indicated. © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019.

  • 5.
    Kettunen, Petri
    et al.
    University of Helsinki, FIN.
    Laanti, Maarit
    Nitor Delta, FIN.
    Fagerholm, Fabian
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Mikkonen, Tommi
    University of Helsinki, FIN.
    Mannisto, Tomi
    University of Helsinki, FIN.
    Finnish Enterprise Agile Transformations: A Survey Study2019In: AGILE PROCESSES IN SOFTWARE ENGINEERING AND EXTREME PROGRAMMING - WORKSHOPS / [ed] Hoda, R, SPRINGER INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHING AG , 2019, p. 97-104Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Modern large software-intensive development organizations are nowadays more and more often believed to transform their structures and operations towards large-scale agility in search for higher performances. Based on a survey conducted in Finland in 2018, in this paper we explore the current state of the affairs with respect to how extensively organizations are actually transforming themselves, in what ways this takes place in practice and for what goals. Most of the respondents were in large organizations. The results show that the majority of the surveyed respondents indicated that their organizations have conducted agile transformations or are currently doing so. Different strategies and tactics have been used in the transformations, but markedly the respondents reported most that the company has had external consultants (subcontracting) to assist in the change. The most important goals aimed to be achieved with agile means were productivity and quality (operative) and responsiveness to customer/market changes (new features). Notably only very few respondents reported their organizations to be currently non-agile (do not use at all agile methods in software development).

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