PPIG 2022 - 33rd Annual Workshop
A Grounded Theory of Cognitive Load Drivers in Novice Agile Software Development Teams
Daniel Helgesson, Daniel Appelquist, Per Runeson
Abstract: Objective: The purpose of this paper is to identify the largest cognitive challenges faced by novices, developing software in teams, using distributed cognition as an observational filter.
Paradigm: Design science
Epistemology: Pragmatist
Methodology: Case study
Method: Using grounded theory, ethnography and multi method data collection, we conducted an observational study for two months following four 10-person novice agile teams, consisting of computer science students, tasked with developing software systems.
Result: This paper identifies version control and merge operations as the largest challenge faced by the novices, and provides a substantive theory generated from our empirical data explaining the observed phenomena. The literature studies reveal that little research appears to have been carried out in the area of version control from a user perspective.
Limitations: A qualitative study on students is not applicable in all contexts, but the result is credible and grounded in data and substantiated by extant literature.
Conclusion: We conclude that our findings motivate further research on cognitive perspectives to guide improvement of software engineering and its tools.