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Contribution Details

Type Journal Article
Scope Discipline-based scholarship
Title Enabling Good Work Habits in Software Developers through Reflective Goal-Setting
Organization Unit
  • André Meyer
  • Gail C Murphy
  • Thomas Zimmermann
  • Thomas Fritz
Item Subtype Original Work
Refereed Yes
Status Published in final form
  • English
Journal Title IEEE transactions on software engineering
Publisher Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Geographical Reach international
ISSN 0098-5589
Volume 47
Number 9
Page Range 1872 - 1885
Date 2021
Abstract Text Software developers are generally interested in developing better habits to increase their workplace productivity and well-being, but have difficulties identifying concrete goals and actionable strategies to do so. In several areas of life, such as the physical activity and health domain, self-reflection has been shown to be successful at increasing people's awareness about a problematic behavior, motivating them to define a self-improvement goal, and fostering goal-achievement. We therefore designed a reflective goal-setting study to learn more about developers' goals and strategies to improve or maintain good habits at work. In our study, 52 professional software developers self-reflected about their work on a daily basis during two to three weeks, which resulted in a rich set of work habit goals and actionable strategies that developers pursue at work. We also found that purposeful, continuous self-reflection not only increases developers' awareness about productive and unproductive work habits (84.5%), but also leads to positive self-improvements that increase developer productivity and well-being (79.6%). We discuss how tools could support developers with a better trade-off between the cost and value of workplace self-reflection and increase long-term engagement.
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TSE.2019.2938525
Other Identification Number merlin-id:18210
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