Monthly Archives: August 2014

We are looking for a PhD researcher in Software Evolution Analysis

In the software evolution and architecture group (s.e.a.l.) at the University of Zurich (Chair: Harald Gall), we have a PhD researcher position available, starting October 2014. Are you interested in a PhD position in Software Evolution Analysis?

More information can be found here.


Cloud Development Survey

How has Software Development evolved in the Cloud? What are some challenges that software developers face on a regular basis when deploying on different cloud platforms?

That’s what we asked ourselves when we set out to conduct a Grounded Theory-based study that consists of the following phases of data collection:

  • Related Work Study and Brainstorming were used to derive initial topics of interest to our study and guide our semi-structured interviews
  • Semi-structured interviews with 16 software developers (from both larger Enterprise companies, as well as startup companies) on how they develop software for the cloud
  • Coding & Analysis of the transcribed interviews conducted by 3 researchers in order to extract common themes and codes. In a joint discussion we derived hypotheses on how software development has evolved in the cloud
  • Validation Survey in order to reduce bias from our coding and to either confirm or refute our hypotheses

If you work with or on cloud platforms, we would highly appreciate it if you fill out our following short survey:

The next step is to evaluate the answers of the survey and include the results in our overall study and form a research paper.

The purpose of the study is to better understand how software is built for the cloud to provide a basis for tooling helping software developers to work more efficiently.

A pre-print of “Software Developers’ Perceptions of Productivity” for FSE’14 is available!

We just published a pre-print of our paper “Software Developers’ Perceptions of Productivity” for FSE’14, the 22nd ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (FSE 2014). The paper was written by André N. Meyer, Thomas Fritz, Gail C. Murphy and Thomas Zimmermann.


The better the software development community becomes at creating software, the more software the world seems to demand. Although there is a large body of research about measuring and investigating productivity from an organizational point of view, there is a paucity of research about how software developers, those at the front-line of software construction, think about, assess and try to improve their productivity. To investigate software developers’ perceptions of software development productivity, we conducted two studies: a survey with 379 professional software developers to help elicit themes and an observational study with 11 professional software developers to investigate emergent themes in more detail. In both studies, we found that developers perceive their days as productive when they complete many or big tasks without significant interruptions or context switches. Yet, the observational data we collected shows our participants performed significant task and activity switching while still feeling productive. We analyze such apparent contradictions in our findings and use the analysis to propose ways to better support developers in a retrospection and improvement of their productivity through the development of new tools and a sharing of best practices.

(c) Meyer, Fritz, Murphy, Zimmermann


You may find the pre-print here.
You can find the survey and interview questions and the visualization of the observational data here. Please contact us if you have any questions.