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Characterizing the transfer of program comprehension in onboarding: an information-push perspective

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dc.contributor.author Yates, Rebecca Yolande
dc.contributor.author Power, Norah
dc.contributor.author Buckley, Jim
dc.date.accessioned 2021-03-02T12:49:46Z
dc.date.available 2021-03-02T12:49:46Z
dc.date.issued 2019
dc.identifier.citation Yates R.;Power N.;Buckley J. (2019) 'Characterizing the transfer of program comprehension in onboarding: an information-push perspective'. Empirical Software Engineering, . en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1382-3256
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10344/9834
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description Please see second file for correction to this item
dc.description.abstract Many software developers struggle to understand code written by others, leading to increased maintenance costs. Research on program comprehension to date has primarily focused on individual developers attempting to understand code. However, software developers also work together to share and transfer understanding of their codebases. This is common during the onboarding process, when a new developer has joined a project or a company. The work reported here uses a Grounded Theory approach to explore the different types of information passed from experts to newcomers during onboarding, and the perceived value of these types. The theory is grounded in field-study data collected during twelve in-situ onboarding sessions, across eight organizations, with a design based on two pilot studies that were carried out in advance. The field-study data was supplemented and validated with interviews and questionnaires. It provides a description of four views through which the experts represent their code to the newcomers, revealing several interesting aspects of expert-led program comprehension. In particular, it provides evidence that extends current thinking on the temporal aspect of code: where experts discuss changes that have been made to the code-base, changes that are currently being made to the code-base (including temporary fixes) and changes intended for the code-base in the future. In addition, a rationale-based view of the code-base is emphasized in the findings, making explicit the system’s functional/non-functional requirements, and their impact on the system’s design. This information was perceived as highly valued by the newcomers. Additionally, Structural and Algorithmic views, which have already been firmly established in program comprehension literature, were also noted in these onboarding sessions. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Springer en_US
dc.relation 03/CE2/I303_1 en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Empirical Software Engineering;25, pp. 940-955
dc.subject Grounded theory en_US
dc.subject In-situ onboarding en_US
dc.subject Information seeking en_US
dc.subject Program comprehension en_US
dc.title Characterizing the transfer of program comprehension in onboarding: an information-push perspective en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.date.updated 2021-03-02T12:35:26Z
dc.description.version PUBLISHED
dc.identifier.doi 10.1007/s10664-019-09741-6
dc.identifier.doi 10.1007/s10664-019-09741-6
dc.contributor.sponsor SFI en_US
dc.relation.projectid 03/CE2/I303_1 en_US
dc.relation.projectid 04/CE2/ I303_1 en_US
dc.relation.projectid 10/CE/I1855 en_US
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US
dc.internal.rssid 2922498
dc.internal.copyrightchecked Yes
dc.identifier.journaltitle Empirical Software Engineering
dc.description.status peer-reviewed


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