PPIG 2006 - 18th Annual Workshop
Empirically Refining a Model of Programmers’ Information-Seeking Behavior during Software Maintenance
Jim Buckley, Michael P. O’Brien, Norah Power
Abstract: Several authors have proposed information seeking as an appropriate perspective for studying software maintenance activities. However, there is little research in the literature describing holistic information-seeking models in this context. Additionally, in the one instance where an information-seeking model has been proposed, the empirical evidence presented in support of that model is extremely limited. This paper presents a small quasi-experiment that serves to further evaluate and refine this preliminary information-seeking model. Talkaloud data, generated by two professional programmers, engaged in real software maintenance activities, was captured and then coded. This evaluation largely validated the model but also suggested several important refinements. The study, its results and its impact on the information-seeking model are discussed in this paper.