A Coding Scheme Development Methodology Using Grounded Theory for Qualitative Analysis of Pair Programming
Stephan Salinger, Laura Plonka, Lutz Prechelt
Abstract: Since a number of quantitative studies of pair programming (the practice of two programmers working together using just one computer) have produced somewhat conflicting results, a number of researchers have started to study pair programming qualitatively. While most such studies use coding schemes that are fully or partially predefined, we have decided to go the long way and use Grounded Theory (GT) to ground each and every statement we make directly in observations.
The first intermediate goal, which we talk about here, was to produce a coding scheme that would allow the objective conceptual description of specific pair programming sessions independent of a particular research goal.
The present article explains how our initial attempts at using the method of Grounded Theory failed and which practices we developed to avoid these difficulties: predetermined perspective on the data, concept naming rules, analysis results metamodel, and pair coding.We expect these practices be helpful in all GT situations, in particular those involving very rich data such as video data.
We illustrate the operation and usefulness of these practices by real examples derived from our coding work and also present a few preliminary hypotheses regarding pair programming that we have stumbled across.