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Fitbit for Developers: Self-Monitoring at Work


Meyer, André; Fritz, Thomas; Zimmermann, Thomas (2019). Fitbit for Developers: Self-Monitoring at Work. In: Sadowski, Caitlin; Zimmermann, Thomas. Rethinking Productivity in Software Engineering. Berkeley: Springer, 261-270.

Abstract

Recently, we have seen an explosion in the number of devices and apps that we can use to track various aspects of our lives, such as the steps we walk, the quality of our sleep, or the calories we consume. People use devices such as the Fitbit activity tracker to increase and maintain their physical activity level by tracking their behavior, setting goals (e.g. 10'000 steps a day) and competing with friends. Many of these approaches have been shown to successfully encourage users to change their behaviors, often motivated through persuasive technologies, such as goal-setting, social encouragement and sharing mechanisms. We explored how we can map the tremendous success of these smart devices to the workplace, with the aim to increase software developers' self-awareness about productivity through self-monitoring. Yet, little is known about expectations of, the experience with, and the impact of self-monitoring in the workplace. From a mixed-methods approach we inferred design elements for building workplace self-monitoring tools, which we then implemented as a technology probe called WorkAnalytics. We field-tested these design elements during a three-week study with software development professionals. In the field study, we found that self-monitoring paired with experience sampling increases developers' awareness about work and motivates many to improve their behaviors, and that a wide variety of different metrics is needed to fulfill developers' expectations. Our work can serve as a starting point for researchers and practitioners to build self-monitoring tools for the workplace.

Abstract

Recently, we have seen an explosion in the number of devices and apps that we can use to track various aspects of our lives, such as the steps we walk, the quality of our sleep, or the calories we consume. People use devices such as the Fitbit activity tracker to increase and maintain their physical activity level by tracking their behavior, setting goals (e.g. 10'000 steps a day) and competing with friends. Many of these approaches have been shown to successfully encourage users to change their behaviors, often motivated through persuasive technologies, such as goal-setting, social encouragement and sharing mechanisms. We explored how we can map the tremendous success of these smart devices to the workplace, with the aim to increase software developers' self-awareness about productivity through self-monitoring. Yet, little is known about expectations of, the experience with, and the impact of self-monitoring in the workplace. From a mixed-methods approach we inferred design elements for building workplace self-monitoring tools, which we then implemented as a technology probe called WorkAnalytics. We field-tested these design elements during a three-week study with software development professionals. In the field study, we found that self-monitoring paired with experience sampling increases developers' awareness about work and motivates many to improve their behaviors, and that a wide variety of different metrics is needed to fulfill developers' expectations. Our work can serve as a starting point for researchers and practitioners to build self-monitoring tools for the workplace.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Informatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
Language:English
Date:2019
Deposited On:29 May 2019 11:53
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 10:46
Publisher:Springer
ISBN:978-1-4842-4221-6
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Official URL. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4842-4221-6
Official URL:https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F978-1-4842-4221-6
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:17816

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