A software process engineering approach to understanding software productivity and team personality characteristics: an empirical investigation
Yilmaz, Murat (2013) A software process engineering approach to understanding software productivity and team personality characteristics: an empirical investigation. PhD thesis, Dublin City University.
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Despite the significant effort in managing the complexities of software development by using several engineering analogies, there is still no comprehensive approach that recognizes software development as a social activity and software productivity in form of an intangible asset gained and maintained by social relations. This study proposes a model in which software productivity improvement is investigated as a function of the factors affecting productivity, whereas team productivity is considered as a compatibility problem of distinct personality traits that should be situated in an efficient social configuration. The fundamental assumption is that the productivity is a latent construct measurable by a set of indicators and improvable by relating personality traits and team configurations.
The two main contribution of this thesis is to develop an understanding of the factors affecting software productivity by empirical investigation and to build a personality-profiling test based on a psychometric scale specific to software practitioners. To assess the validity of our approach, we conducted a two- step empirical study in an industrial setting: (i) a psychometric survey on 216 software practitioners for measuring the correlations among the factors affecting productivity, and (ii) a domain specific game-based personality test on 63 participants for investigating the implications of personality types over the effective team configurations. Our findings indicate that software productivity is positively associated with social productivity and social capital, and can be measured by 21 different indicators identified from the literature. In addition, social aspects such as team size and individual’s characteristics have a significant affect on productive team formations. A strong negative association is observed between social capital and the time practitioners spend in a software company. Evidence suggests that individuals in software teams become more extroverted while the effective configurations are still achieved with teams populated by balanced personality traits.
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