Insights into software development approaches: mining Q &A repositories

Article


Khan, Arif Ali, Khan, Javed Ali, Akbar, Muhammad Azeem, Zhou, Peng and Fahmideh, Mahdi. 2024. "Insights into software development approaches: mining Q &A repositories." Empirical Software Engineering: an international journal. 29 (1). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10664-023-10417-5
Article Title

Insights into software development approaches: mining Q &A repositories

ERA Journal ID17848
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsKhan, Arif Ali, Khan, Javed Ali, Akbar, Muhammad Azeem, Zhou, Peng and Fahmideh, Mahdi
Journal TitleEmpirical Software Engineering: an international journal
Journal Citation29 (1)
Article Number8
Number of Pages38
Year2024
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
Place of PublicationUnited States
ISSN1382-3256
1573-7616
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s10664-023-10417-5
Web Address (URL)https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10664-023-10417-5
Abstract

Context
Software practitioners adopt approaches like DevOps, Scrum, and Waterfall for high-quality software development. However, limited research has been conducted on exploring software development approaches concerning practitioners’ discussions on Q &A forums.

Objective
We conducted an empirical study to analyze developers’ discussions on Q &A forums to gain insights into software development approaches in practice.

Method
We analyzed 13,903 developers’ posts across Stack Overflow (SO), Software Engineering Stack Exchange (SESE), and Project Management Stack Exchange (PMSE) forums. A mixed method approach, consisting of the topic modeling technique (i.e., Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA)) and qualitative analysis, is used to identify frequently discussed topics of software development approaches, trends (popular, difficult topics), and the challenges faced by practitioners in adopting different software development approaches.

Findings
We identified 15 frequently mentioned software development approaches topics on Q &A sites and observed an increase in trends for the top-3 most difficult topics requiring more attention. Finally, our study identified 49 challenges faced by practitioners while deploying various software development approaches, and we subsequently created a thematic map to represent these findings.

Conclusions
The study findings serve as a useful resource for practitioners to overcome challenges, stay informed about current trends, and ultimately improve the quality of software products they develop.

KeywordsQ& A websites; Software development approaches; Software process improvement; Software repositories mining
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020460905. Information systems development methodologies and practice
Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Oulu, Finland
University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology, Finland
Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China
School of Business
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