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Software Engineers' Information Seeking Behavior in Change Impact Analysis - An Interview Study
RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden, ICT, SICS.
Blekinge tekniska högskola, Sweden.
Lund Univeristy, Sweden.
2017 (English)In: IEEE International Conference on Program Comprehension, 2017, 12-22 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Software engineers working in large projects must navigate complex information landscapes. Change Impact Analysis (CIA) is a task that relies on engineers' successful information seeking in databases storing, e.g., source code, requirements, design descriptions, and test case specifications. Several previous approaches to support information seeking are task-specific, thus understanding engineers' seeking behavior in specific tasks is fundamental. We present an industrial case study on how engineers seek information in CIA, with a particular focus on traceability and development artifacts that are not source code. We show that engineers have different information seeking behavior, and that some do not consider traceability particularly useful when conducting CIA. Furthermore, we observe a tendency for engineers to prefer less rigid types of support rather than formal approaches, i.e., engineers value support that allows flexibility in how to practically conduct CIA. Finally, due to diverse information seeking behavior, we argue that future CIA support should embrace individual preferences to identify change impact by empowering several seeking alternatives, including searching, browsing, and tracing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. 12-22 p.
Keyword [en]
case study, change impact analysis, information seeking, safety-critical systems, traceability, Computer programming, Information retrieval, Individual preference, Industrial case study, Information seeking behaviors, Safety critical systems, Test case specifications, Engineers
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-30866DOI: 10.1109/ICPC.2017.20Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85025149120ISBN: 9781538605356 OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-30866DiVA: diva2:1139375
Conference
25th IEEE International Conference on Program Comprehension, ICPC 2017, 22 May 2017 through 23 May 2017
Available from: 2017-09-07 Created: 2017-09-07 Last updated: 2017-09-07Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
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Output format
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