The impact of social media on software engineering practices and tools

Margaret-Anne D. Storey, Christoph Treude, Arie van Deursen, Li-Te Cheng. The impact of social media on software engineering practices and tools. In Gruia-Catalin Roman, Kevin J. Sullivan, editors, Proceedings of the Workshop on Future of Software Engineering Research, FoSER 2010, at the 18th ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Foundations of Software Engineering, 2010, Santa Fe, NM, USA, November 7-11, 2010. pages 359-364, ACM, 2010. [doi]


Today’s generation of software developers frequently make use of social media, either as an adjunct or integrated into a wide range of tools ranging from code editors and issue trackers, to IDEs and web-based portals. The role of social media usage in software engineering is not well understood, and yet the use of these mechanisms influences software development practices. In this position paper, we advocate for research that strives to understand the benefits, risks and limitations of using social media in software development at the team, project and community levels. Guided by the implications of current tools and social media features, we propose a set of pertinent research questions around community involvement, project coordination and management, as well as individual software development activities. Answers to these questions will guide future software engineering tool innovations and software development team practices.