Background: Noise, defined as an unwanted sound, is one of the commonest factors that could affect people's performance in their daily work activities. The software engineering research community has marginally investigated the effects of noise on software engineers' performance. Aims: We studied if noise affects software engineers' performance in: (i) comprehending functional requirements and (ii) fixing faults in source code. Method: We conducted two experiments with final-year undergraduate students in Computer Science. In the first experiment, we asked 55 students to comprehend functional requirements exposing them or not to noise, while in the second experiment 42 students were asked to fix faults in Java code. Results: The participants in the second experiment, when exposed to noise, had significantly worse performance in fixing faults in source code. On the other hand, we did not observe any statistically significant difference in the first experiment. Conclusions: Fixing faults in source code seems to be more vulnerable to noise than comprehending functional requirements.

The effect of noise on software engineers' performance

Romano S.;Scanniello G.;
2018

Abstract

Background: Noise, defined as an unwanted sound, is one of the commonest factors that could affect people's performance in their daily work activities. The software engineering research community has marginally investigated the effects of noise on software engineers' performance. Aims: We studied if noise affects software engineers' performance in: (i) comprehending functional requirements and (ii) fixing faults in source code. Method: We conducted two experiments with final-year undergraduate students in Computer Science. In the first experiment, we asked 55 students to comprehend functional requirements exposing them or not to noise, while in the second experiment 42 students were asked to fix faults in Java code. Results: The participants in the second experiment, when exposed to noise, had significantly worse performance in fixing faults in source code. On the other hand, we did not observe any statistically significant difference in the first experiment. Conclusions: Fixing faults in source code seems to be more vulnerable to noise than comprehending functional requirements.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/4779818
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