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Stuck and Frustrated or In Flow and Happy: Sensing Developers' Emotions and Progress


Müller, Sebastian; Fritz, Thomas (2015). Stuck and Frustrated or In Flow and Happy: Sensing Developers' Emotions and Progress. In: 37th International Conference on Software Engineering, Florence, Italy, 20 May 2015 - 22 May 2015.

Abstract

Software developers working on change tasks commonly experience a broad range of emotions, ranging from happiness all the way to frustration and anger. Research, primarily in psychology, has shown that for certain kinds of tasks, emotions correlate with progress and that biometric measures, such as electro-dermal activity and electroencephalography data, might be used to distinguish between emotions. In our research, we are building on this work and investigate developers' emotions, progress and the use of biometric measures to classify them in the context of software change tasks. We conducted a lab study with 17 participants working on two change tasks each. Participants were wearing three biometric sensors and had to periodically assess their emotions and progress. The results show that the wide range of emotions experienced by developers is correlated with their progress on the change tasks. Our analysis also shows that we can build a classifier to distinguish between positive and negative emotions in 71.36% and between low and high progress in 67.70% of all cases. These results open up opportunities for improving a developer's productivity. For instance, one could use such a classifier for providing recommendations at opportune moments when a developer is stuck and making no progress.

Abstract

Software developers working on change tasks commonly experience a broad range of emotions, ranging from happiness all the way to frustration and anger. Research, primarily in psychology, has shown that for certain kinds of tasks, emotions correlate with progress and that biometric measures, such as electro-dermal activity and electroencephalography data, might be used to distinguish between emotions. In our research, we are building on this work and investigate developers' emotions, progress and the use of biometric measures to classify them in the context of software change tasks. We conducted a lab study with 17 participants working on two change tasks each. Participants were wearing three biometric sensors and had to periodically assess their emotions and progress. The results show that the wide range of emotions experienced by developers is correlated with their progress on the change tasks. Our analysis also shows that we can build a classifier to distinguish between positive and negative emotions in 71.36% and between low and high progress in 67.70% of all cases. These results open up opportunities for improving a developer's productivity. For instance, one could use such a classifier for providing recommendations at opportune moments when a developer is stuck and making no progress.

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5 citations in Web of Science®
24 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Informatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
Language:English
Event End Date:22 May 2015
Deposited On:05 Mar 2015 13:49
Last Modified:16 Aug 2017 06:02
Publisher:IEEE
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1109/ICSE.2015.334
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:11611

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