CSSE Seminar Series

Themes in Instant Messaging Communication of Software Developers


Camila Costa Silva


University of Canterbury

Time & Place

Mon, 21 Sep 2020 15:00:00 NZST in E16 (Engineering Core)


Software developers use instant messaging to discuss problems and solutions. Such discussions may accumulate knowledge which is potentially relevant to other developers. In this study, we investigated software engineering themes discussed in instant messaging communication of developers. Our goal was to understand the characteristics of the knowledge shared in this type of communication. Thus, we used thematic analysis to manually identify 49 software engineering themes in 87 chat rooms of Gitter, an instant messaging tool for software developers. To test the transferability of themes, we checked whether they would also occur in 184 public chat rooms of Slack, another instant messaging tool. Our results indicate that instant messaging communication can be a useful source for knowledge related to software development technologies and practices, but may be limited regarding insights on development processes.


Camila Costa Silva is a PhD student working under the supervision of Matthias Galster and Fabian Gilson.