University of Hertfordshire

Arsonists or firefighters? Affectiveness in agile software development

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  • Marco Ortu
  • Giuseppe Destefanis
  • Steve Counsell
  • Stephen Swift
  • Roberto Tonelli
  • Michele Marchesi
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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAgile Processes in Software Engineering and Extreme Programming - 17th International Conference, XP 2016, Proceedings
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Pages144-155
Number of pages12
Volume251
ISBN (Print)9783319335148
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event17th International Conference on Agile Processes in Software Engineering and Extreme Programming, XP 2016 - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 24 May 201627 May 2016

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Business Information Processing
Volume251
ISSN (Print)1865-1348

Conference

Conference17th International Conference on Agile Processes in Software Engineering and Extreme Programming, XP 2016
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityEdinburgh
Period24/05/1627/05/16

Abstract

In this paper, we present an analysis of more than 500K comments from open-source repositories of software systems developed using agile methodologies. Our aim is to empirically determine how developers interact with each other under certain psychological conditions generated by politeness, sentiment and emotion expressed within developers’ comments. Developers involved in an open-source projects do not usually know each other; they mainly communicate through mailing lists, chat, and tools such as issue tracking systems. The way in which they communicate affects the development process and the productivity of the people involved in the project. We evaluated politeness, sentiment and emotions of comments posted by agile developers and studied the communication flow to understand how they interacted in the presence of impolite and negative comments (and vice versa). Our analysis shows that “firefighters” prevail. When in presence of impolite or negative comments, the probability of the next comment being impolite or negative is 13% and 25 %, respectively; ANGER however, has a probability of 40% of being followed by a further ANGER comment. The result could help managers take control the development phases of a system, since social aspects can seriously affect a developer’s productivity. In a distributed agile environment this may have a particular resonance.

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