Motivation in Software Engineering:
A Systematic Review Update
A. César C. França, Tatiana B. Gouveia, Pedro C. F. Santos,...
Context
“Motivation”...
• …is believed to be a source of many benefits for projects in
general
– Performance, productivity...
Background
Motivation in Software Engineering: A Systematic Review
Beecham et al (2008)
From Beecham et al (2008)
1980 ......
Background
Motivation in Software Engineering: A Systematic Review
Beecham et al (2008)
Some conclusions...
• Motivation i...
Our Objectives
(1) update data available on motivation in software engineering;
(2) compare our results with the original ...
Review Method
Review Method
Automated Search: String
String Validation:
(1) All seven papers published in 2006 found in the
Original Stu...
Review Method
Automated Search: Data Sources
Added Sources ( )
4,723 papers 46 papers
 SD, CSX, COMP
 IEEE, GS, ISI
 AC...
Review Method
Manual Search
1811 papers 44 papers
Search strategies to increase coverage (Google Scholar):
(1) We snow-bal...
1. Search Results
6534 papers
2. Filtering based on Title and Abstract:
391 papers
3. Removing duplications
292 papers
4. ...
Quality Assessment
Review Method
Carried out by 2 researchers and
double checked by a third one
Clarifying itens...
+ +
Ex...
Review Method
Extraction & Synthesis
1. Syntactical data were extracted:
– title, authors, year, publisher, source type, s...
Results
Sources
Original Study Our Study
• ACM SIGMIS Computer Personnel Research Conference: 8 papers
• 15 distinct confe...
Results
Study Type
Original Study Our Study
1980 2006 2006 2010
Results
Temporal Distribution
Original Study Our Study
1980 2006 2006 2010
Results
Countries
Original Study Our Study
1980 2006 2006 2010
Results
RQ1: What are the characteristics of Software Engineers?
Observations:
• Sixteen papers provided answers to RQ1
• ...
Results
RQ2: What (de)motivates Software Engineers to be more
(less) productive?
Observations:
• Twenty five papers provid...
Results
RQ2: What (de)motivates Software Engineers to be more
(less) productive?
Observations:
• Only seven papers helped ...
Results
RQ3: What are the external signs or outcomes of (de)motivated
Software Engineers?
Observations:
• Eight papers pro...
Results
RQ4: What aspects of Software Engineering (de)motivate Software
Engineers?
Observations:
• Six papers provided ans...
Results
RQ5: What models of motivation exist in Software Engineering?
Observations:
• Sixteen papers provided answers to R...
Discussion
General Observations:
• The overall understanding of how software
engineers are actually motivated does not see...
Conclusion
Limitations
• Even though some adaptations were necessary
to use the Original Study protocol, we were as
carefu...
Motivation in Software Engineering:
A Systematic Review Update
A. César C. França, Tatiana B. Gouveia, Pedro C. F. Santos,...
Motivation in Software Engineering: A Systematic Review Update by A. César C. França,
Tatiana B. Gouveia, Pedro C. F. Sant...
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2011 EASE - Motivation in Software Engineering: A Systematic Review Update

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Motivation in Software Engineering: A Systematic Review Update
A. César C. França, Tatiana B. Gouveia, Pedro C. F. Santos, Celio A. Santana, Fabio Q. B. da Silva

Abstract-Background/Aim – Given the relevance and importance that the understanding of motivation has gained in the field of software engineering, this work was carried out in order to update the results of a literature review carried out in 2006 on motivation in software engineering. Method – Based on guidelines for this specific type of study, we replicated the original study protocol. Results – The combination of manual and automatic searches retrieved 6,534 papers, of which 53 relevant papers were selected for data extraction and analysis. Conclusions – Studies address motivation using several viewpoints and approaches and, even though the number of researches increased in this area, the overall understanding of what actually motivates software engineers does not seem to have significantly advanced in the last five years.

Paper presented at Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering, Durham, 2011.


http://www.haseresearch.com

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2011 EASE - Motivation in Software Engineering: A Systematic Review Update

  1. 1. Motivation in Software Engineering: A Systematic Review Update A. César C. França, Tatiana B. Gouveia, Pedro C. F. Santos, Celio A. Santana, Fabio Q. B. da Silva Center of Informatics Federal University of Pernambuco Recife, Brazil cesarfranca@gmail.com, {tbg2,pcfs, casj, fabio }@cin.ufpe.br
  2. 2. Context “Motivation”... • …is believed to be a source of many benefits for projects in general – Performance, productivity, retention, etc. • …has more than one hundred different theoretical definitions • ...has been studied in software engineering since the 80´s (Beecham, et al., 2008) ( Golembiewski, 2000) (Toledo & Unger, 1980
  3. 3. Background Motivation in Software Engineering: A Systematic Review Beecham et al (2008) From Beecham et al (2008) 1980 ... 2006 peer reviewed studies 92 Relevant Papers Based on the guidelines presented by Kitchenham (2004).
  4. 4. Background Motivation in Software Engineering: A Systematic Review Beecham et al (2008) Some conclusions... • Motivation is context dependent and varies from one engineer to another. • The most commonly cited motivator was the job itself – but they found fewer work on what it is about the job that Software Engineers find motivating. • Surveys often aimed at how Software Engineers feel about “the organization” – rather than “the profession‟. • There is no clear understanding of the Software Engineers´ job, – what motivates Software Engineers, – how they are motivated, or – what are the outcomes and benefits of motivated Software Engineers.
  5. 5. Our Objectives (1) update data available on motivation in software engineering; (2) compare our results with the original study. Pre-conditions: • Same research questions • Same data sources* • Same search string** • Same selection criteria • Same quality assessment form • Same extraction and synthesis procedure * We did not have access to 1 of the original data sources (Inspec). On the other hand, we added 4 alternative data sources. ** Our search string was based on the same keywords of the Original Study, although we did not compose specific strings to match each research question. Instead, we compose only one generic string Following the Original Study protocol, available at Beecham et al. (2006)
  6. 6. Review Method
  7. 7. Review Method Automated Search: String String Validation: (1) All seven papers published in 2006 found in the Original Study were retrieved; (2) We previously selected a set of five known papers, published after March 2006t, they were all retrieved; (3) we run our string again, with no time restrictions, and we looked into our results for a set of 45 randomly selected studies from the original study. All papers were retrieved. Our search string was based on the same keywords of the Original Study, although we did not compose specific strings to match each research question. Instead, we compose only one generic string
  8. 8. Review Method Automated Search: Data Sources Added Sources ( ) 4,723 papers 46 papers  SD, CSX, COMP  IEEE, GS, ISI  ACM, JSTOR, SL  SCP We did not have access to 1 of the original data sources (Inspec). On the other hand, we added 4 alternative data sources.
  9. 9. Review Method Manual Search 1811 papers 44 papers Search strategies to increase coverage (Google Scholar): (1) We snow-balled for all papers in which the Original Study is cited (SB OS) (2) We snow-balled for all the papers in which one or more of the 92 primary studies of the Original Study are cited (SB PS).  Manual Search
  10. 10. 1. Search Results 6534 papers 2. Filtering based on Title and Abstract: 391 papers 3. Removing duplications 292 papers 4. Inclusion/Exclusion criteria 53 papers Study Selection Same of the Original Study Review Method + + + Experienced in SLR Specialist in Motivation
  11. 11. Quality Assessment Review Method Carried out by 2 researchers and double checked by a third one Clarifying itens... + + Experienced in SLR Specialist in Motivation Same of the Original Study
  12. 12. Review Method Extraction & Synthesis 1. Syntactical data were extracted: – title, authors, year, publisher, source type, study type, keywords, geographical location of subjects, type of subjects 2. passages which answered each research question were transcribed 3. an open coding procedure 4. similar codes were condensed according to themes categories as in an axial coding procedure – We used the same categories of the Original Study whenever made sense 5. frequencies of citation for each category were accounted
  13. 13. Results Sources Original Study Our Study • ACM SIGMIS Computer Personnel Research Conference: 8 papers • 15 distinct conferences • 23 distinct Journals 1980 2006 2006 2010
  14. 14. Results Study Type Original Study Our Study 1980 2006 2006 2010
  15. 15. Results Temporal Distribution Original Study Our Study 1980 2006 2006 2010
  16. 16. Results Countries Original Study Our Study 1980 2006 2006 2010
  17. 17. Results RQ1: What are the characteristics of Software Engineers? Observations: • Sixteen papers provided answers to RQ1 • Three new characteristics were found in the present study – Ch. 17: Competent in Management – Ch. 18: Flexible/Team Worker – Ch. 19: Have fear of punishment • These characteristics do not consistently describe software engineers. – Several characteristics seem to be conflicting e.g. Introverted x Team Worker. – The Original Study reached similar results. • Two characteristics described in the original study do not appear in the present study – Ch.7: Need for involvement in personal goal setting – Ch. 13: Marketable
  18. 18. Results RQ2: What (de)motivates Software Engineers to be more (less) productive? Observations: • Twenty five papers provided some answer to RQ2 • Eight New motivators were found – M. 22: Team quality – M. 23: Creativity/Innovation – M. 24: Fun (playing) – M. 25: Professionalism (high professional environment) – M. 26: Having an Ideology – M. 27: Non-financial benefits (availability of perks) – M. 28: Penalty Policies – M. 29: Good relationship with users/customers • Two motivators described in the original study do not appear in the present study – M.19: Appropriate working conditions – M.21: Sufficient resources
  19. 19. Results RQ2: What (de)motivates Software Engineers to be more (less) productive? Observations: • Only seven papers helped on finding de- motivators. • The only new de-motivator that appeared in this study was D. 16 Task Complexity
  20. 20. Results RQ3: What are the external signs or outcomes of (de)motivated Software Engineers? Observations: • Eight papers provided answers to RQ3. • Papers about retention not always present it as an outcome of motivation. • Only two external signs were added to the original list. – Ext. 7: Organizational Commitment – Ext. 8: Benevolence • Four external signs described in the original study do not appear in the present study – Ext.2: Project Delivery Time – Ext.4: Budgets – Ext5.: Absenteeism – Ext.6: Project Success
  21. 21. Results RQ4: What aspects of Software Engineering (de)motivate Software Engineers? Observations: • Six papers provided answers to RQ4. • Only three (de)motivating aspects were added to the original list. – Asp. 10: Creativity – Asp.11: Relationship with users/customers – De-asp.2: Boredom (repetitive tasks) • Five motivating aspects described in the original study do not appear in the present study – Asp.3: Change – Asp.5: Benefit – Asp.6: Science – Asp.7: Experiment – Asp.9: Lifecycle
  22. 22. Results RQ5: What models of motivation exist in Software Engineering? Observations: • Sixteen papers provided answers to RQ5. • The MOCC model of motivation in software engineering (Sharp, et al., 2009), constructed based on the findings from the original study, has been cited twice.
  23. 23. Discussion General Observations: • The overall understanding of how software engineers are actually motivated does not seem to have significantly advanced in the last five years • There is no consensus about the characteristics of software engineers • Motivation may be a key for retaining people • Evidence about the actual effect of any motivator on the expected outcomes is generally weak. • High presence of studies on Open Source Software (OSS) projects, • Motivation x Agile Development (antecedent or consequence?) Lessons Learned • Researches in software engineering does not always seem to be careful with the “motivation” construct. • Having access to a complete and detailed review protocol is extremely important! • The quality assessment we carried out is focused on the quality of the report, rather than properly on the strength of the evidence . • The complexity of the human-technological setting of software engineering projects makes the construction of evidence indeed hard . • It is very important to project managers be aware of the specific characteristics of the individuals in their context.
  24. 24. Conclusion Limitations • Even though some adaptations were necessary to use the Original Study protocol, we were as careful as possible • The amount of published work on motivation in software engineering is still wispy, which may provide only a partial view of the sought potential answers • the USA still leads the amount of research carried out on motivation on software engineering Future Work • Future research should focus on a deeper analysis of the relationship between motivators and outcomes, in order to provide more reliable results • Qualitative research could also contribute to the development of a clear and grounded understanding of motivation in software engineering We are currently running a qualitative ethnographic study in three distinct organizations, in pursuit of answers to some of the same questions explored here.
  25. 25. Motivation in Software Engineering: A Systematic Review Update A. César C. França, Tatiana B. Gouveia, Pedro C. F. Santos, Celio A. Santana, Fabio Q. B. da Silva Center of Informatics Federal University of Pernambuco Recife, Brazil cesarfranca@gmail.com, {tbg2,pcfs, casj, fabio }@cin.ufpe.br
  26. 26. Motivation in Software Engineering: A Systematic Review Update by A. César C. França, Tatiana B. Gouveia, Pedro C. F. Santos, Celio A. Santana, Fabio Q. B. da Silva is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering, Durham, 2011. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.haseresearch.com

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