Social Media use in Software Development

On 4th May I presented two papers on the use of social media in software development at the Web2SE workshop as part of the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) 2010 in Cape Town. ICSE is the top international conference in my research area, so is the research highlight of the year for me and of course a great opportunity to meet up with old friends, meet some new friends and chat about what’s happening in software engineering these days :))

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The workshop was really interesting, I was a bit phased by having our two papers first up at 9.30am (I am definitely not at my best first thing in the morning!) but I needn’t have worried as they were well received by an interested and interesting audience. I really got the impression that we were all at the cutting edge in research terms, I don’t think most software engineering researchers realise yet what a big impact social media is having, and is going to have in the future. I heard from others that several heavyweight researchers at the conference think that social media is irrelevant to them. Hmm……we’ll see ;))

The results from the research that I did with the fabulous Joanne Jacobs, Rachel Harrison and Mark Baldwin were interesting and showed that social media is definitely proving very useful: 91% of our survey respondents said that using social media had improved their working life. The presentation and papers are posted below.

Cape Town was very interesting. Several people had told me how beautiful it is….and it really is beautiful 🙂 I had also been told to be careful because it can be dangerous, but I think like most cities, as long as you are streetwise, you will probably be OK.

Overall I found it absolutely amazing….the people we met were extremely friendly and good fun.There is such a vibrancy and energy there which permeates everything. But, at the same time visiting Cape Town made me very sad. There is obvious massive potential there, but also *so* many people living in poverty. I came away with extremely mixed feelings. Good Luck South Africa, I hope the world gets behind you to support you in moving towards a bright future.

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One comment

  1. So I guess that doesn’t really answer the question of whether use of social media actually, in real terms, improves software quality. It would be interesting to compare defect counts, for example, among teams against their use of social media as part of their work. But then you would have to eliminate many other factors, like their offline working practices. Similarly for other aspects of quality like maintainability, user experience/usability, performance, scalability, security etc etc. Or, at the very least, a comparison of social media use against project outcomes. Or perhaps these things are covered in your paper, but I just somehow missed it?

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