Westley Weimer and Yu Huang
University of Michigan and Vanderbilt University
Verbal Data in Software Engineering: Challenges and Opportunities

Human studies are critical for many aspects of software engineering research, but verbally-acquired data is often perceived to be more difficult to use than fixed-form information (e.g., performance data, Likert-scale questions, etc.). In this talk we summarize some of our recent software engineering research with verbal data components, focusing on lessons learned and hints for future researchers. First, we describe the use of retrospective recollection in medical imaging experiments, highlighting how verbal data can reveal mistaken participant perceptions. Second, we touch on the use of semi-structured interviews of Open Source for Social Good developers, showing how they complement more standard surveys to reveal population information. Third, we discuss the acquisition and analysis of verbal information for vulnerable populations, such as software developers using cannabis in a country where it is not legal or students reporting on climate issues while fearing retaliation. We conclude with best practices (from experimental design to coding responses) and recommendations for new researchers.

List of Accepted Papers

All accepted workshop papers will be published together with the SANER 2022 proceedings.

Bonita Sharif and Niloofar Mansoor. Humans in Empirical Software Engineering Studies: An Experience Report

Lisa Grabinger, Florian Hauser and Jürgen Mottok. Accessing the Presentation of Causal Graphs and an Application of Gestalt Principles with Eye Tracking

Lynn Kurnatowski, Annika Meinecke and Adriana Rieger. Towards using focus groups to identify software developer’s interests regarding their development process

Sristy Sumana Nath and Banani Roy. Exploring Relevant Artifacts of Release Notes: The Practitioners’ Perspective