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Eliciting requirements for technical debt tools

Technical debt (TD) refers to non-optimal decisions that are made during software development (e.g., create a workaround for a problem) [1]. While managing existing TD is paramount to mitigate the effects of TD accumulation, performing TD activities can be time-consuming and demands for better tool support [2]. To provide better solutions on TD management automation, it is paramount to understand what are the requirements posed by practitioners when it comes to the usage of automation tools. For instance, it is still necessary to better understand what information should be provided and which channels should be used [3].

The goal of this project is to elicit the requirements for automated TD management solutions. Specifically, such requirements will be collected from different sources that may contain discussions about TD management, such as mailing lists, academic surveys with practitioners, stack exchange platforms, among others. The student can expect to work with grounded theory [4] and inferential statistics (e.g., ANOVA). Thus, this project involves collecting and analyzing data using different tools and frameworks (e.g., Jupyter Notebooks, R Studio, and others), as well as qualitative analysis (e.g., coding).


[1] Avgeriou, P., Kruchten, P., Ozkaya, I., & Seaman, C. (2016). Managing Technical Debt in Software Engineering (Dagstuhl Seminar 16162). Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum Fuer Informatik GmbH, Wadern/Saarbruecken, Germany.

[2] Biazotto, J. P., Feitosa, D., Avgeriou, P., & Nakagawa, E. Y. (2023). Technical debt management automation: State of the art and future perspectives. In Information and Software Technology (p. 107375). Elsevier BV.

[3] Li, Y., Soliman, M., Avgeriou, P., & Somers, L. (2023). Self-Admitted Technical Debt in the Embedded Systems Industry: An Exploratory Case Study. In IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering (Vol. 49, Issue 4, pp. 2545–2565). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

[4] Strauss, A., and Corbin, J. Basics of Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory Procedures and Techniques. Sage Publications, 1990


SEARCH Group • University of Groningen • 2023
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