Journal

Conference

  • – B. Perez, C. Castellanos, D. Correal, N. Rios, S. Freire, R.O. Spínola, and C. Seaman. What are the Practices used by Software Practitioners on Technical Debt Payment? Results From an International Family of Surveys. In: International Conference on Technical Debt, 2020, Seoul.
  • – V. Mandic, N. Tausan, and R. Ramac. The Prevalence of the Technical Debt Concept in Serbian IT Industry: Results of a National-Wide Survey. In: International Conference on Technical Debt, 2020, Seoul.
  • – S. Freire, N. Rios, M. Mendonça, D. Falessi, C. Seaman, C. Izurieta, and R.O. Spínola. Actions and Impediments for Technical Debt Prevention: Results from a Global Family of Industrial Surveys. In: The 35th ACM/SIGAPP Symposium On Applied Computing, 2020, Brno.
  • – N. Rios, L. Mendes, C. Cerdeiral, A.P.F. Magalhães, B. Perez, D. Correal, H. Astudillo, C. Seaman, C. Izurieta, G.S. Souza, and R.O. Spínola. Hearing the Voice of Software Practitioners on Causes, Effects, and Practices to Deal with Documentation Debt. In: The 26th International Working Conference on Requirements Engineering: Foundation for Software Quality, 2020, Pisa.
  • – S. Freire, N. Rios, B. Perez, D. Correal, M. Mendonça, C. Izurieta, C. Seaman, and R.O. Spínola. Surveying Software Practitioners on Technical Debt Payment Practices and Reasons for not Paying off Debt Items. In: The International Conference on Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering, 2020.
  • – R. Ramac, V. Mandic, N. Tausan, N. Rios, M. Mendonça, C. Seaman, and R.O. Spínola. Common Causes and Effects of Technical Debt in Serbian IT: InsighTD Survey Replication. In: The Euromicro Conference Series on Software Engineering and Advanced Applications (SEAA), 2020, Portoroz.
  • – N. Rios, R.O. Spínola, M. Mendonça, and C. Seaman. Supporting Analysis of Technical Debt Causes and Effects with Cross-Company Probabilistic Cause-Effect Diagrams. In: International Conference on Technical Debt, 2019, Montreal.
  • – N. Rios, M. Mendonça, C. Seaman, and R.O. Spínola. Causes and Effects of the Presence of Technical Debt in Agile Software Projects. In: The Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS), 2019, Cancun.
  • – B. Perez, H. Astudillo, D. Correal, J.P.B. Carvajal, N. Rios, M. Mendonça, R.O. Spínola, and C. Seaman. Familiarity, Causes and Reactions of Software Practitioners to the Presence of Technical Debt: A Replicated Study in the Chilean Software Industry. In: 38th International Conference of the Chilean Computer Science Society, 2019, Concepción
  • – N. Rios, R.O. Spínola, M. Mendonça, and C. Seaman. The Most Common Causes and Effects of Technical Debt: First Results from a Global Family of Industrial Surveys. In: 12th International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement, 2018, Oulu.

The InsighTD Publication Map

The InsighTD Project is a family of globally distributed industrial surveys on TD causes, effects, and management. The project was built up around six main areas of investigation:
– TD Concept: intending to investigate the level of dissemination of the TD metaphor as well as what characterizes it in the practice;
– TD Causes: seeking to map the main causes and the most likely to lead to the presence of TD;
– TD Effects: seeking to map the main effects and the impactful ones;
– TD Prevention: intending to investigate the extension to which TD would be preventable;
TD Monitoring: intending to investigate if TD has been monitored in the software industry, the applied monitoring practices, and the impediments that curb the monitoring of TD items;
– TD Payment: intending to investigate if TD has been paid in the software industry, the used payment practices, and the impediments that curb the payment of TD items.

The last three items (prevention, monitoring, and payment) compose the areas of the TD management we consider in the InsighTD Project.

In addition to the six main areas of investigation, the InsighTD questionnaire has a set of eight characterization questions, which allows the analysis of the collected data under different perspectives (practitioner level of experience, practitioner role, organization size, team size, system size, system age, and process model). For example, while we can investigate the causes of TD in general, we can also be more specific and identify if the causes that lead to the occurrence of TD are the same in both small and large organizations. Moreover, we can go deeper and investigate, for example, if there is a co-occurrence between effects and the decision to pay debt items off. Lastly, as InsighTD has been globally replicated, as we get more data, we also improve the confidence in its results.

Since 2017, when we started the project, a set of results have already been disseminated [P1 – P11]. Some of them we categorize as base report [P1, P5, P6], meaning that that publication presents the initial results of one of the six InsighTD base areas. The others are publications that go deeper into the analysis and/or present new results under a new perspective.

Figure 1 presents the InsighTD publication map, which organizes the information considering its areas of concentration (TD concept, causes, effects, prevention, monitoring, payment), year of publication, and the relationship between publications using the blue arrows. This relationship indicates that the papers are directly connected in terms of content, deriving one publication through another. Each rectangle represents a publication containing:
– Publication type: conference or journal;
– Focus: indicate if, in that paper, we analyze the data under a general view or a specific one, for example, by type of debt or practitioner role or process model and so on;
– Topics covered: summarizes the main topics investigated;
– Replication teams: represents the replication teams that had their data involved in the study.

Lastly, the gray rectangles represent the base reports.

Figure 1. The InsighTD publication map

As we can observe, there is already a clear concentration of results disseminated on causes, effects, and the familiarity of practitioners with the TD metaphor (eight articles). Half of the disseminated results concerning TD concept, causes, and effects (P1, P4, P10, and P11) presents the initial results of the InsighTD replications in Brazil, Chile, and Serbia. P1 is the seminal paper of the project, presenting the idea of the project and the very initial results about the top 10 cited causes and effects from the Brazilian replication. While P10 and P11 are just reports on Serbian replication (the results are somehow comparable to the ones reported in P1), P4 analyze data from Chilean replication under the specific perspective of software architects, developers, and project managers.

The work P2 is a specialization of P1, considering the specific context of agile methodologies. The work P3 uses the information organized in P1 to propose the use of probabilistic cause and effect diagrams of TD. Next, P8 makes a detailed presentation of the design of the InsighTD project and describes an in-depth analysis of the results of the Brazilian replication based on P1 and P4. Finally, P7 is the first result of InsighTD considering the synthesis of data from different replication teams (Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and the United States). Although we have several replication teams involved here, we also have a very specific topic under discussion: causes and effects for documentation/requirement debt.

Despite the several results disseminated so far concerning causes and effects of TD, much still remains to be explored. For example, we still don’t know what are the main combinations of causes and effects that occur in software projects (we believe that rather than isolated, causes and effects occur in combination). We also don’t know if contexts applying different process models face the effects of TD and manage TD differently.

Concerning TD management (prevention, repayment, and monitoring), we observe in Figure 1 that there is still a long way to go. Until now, we have two base reports presenting the initial results for TD repayment (P5) and prevention (P6). A second publication, based on P5, on TD payment relating payment practices with TD causes and TD types has already been reported too (P9).

The following is a brief description of the papers that make up this map of InsighTD publications:

P1: The Most Common Causes and Effects of Technical Debt: First Results from a Global Family of Industrial Surveys
– Venue (conference): Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement (ESEM)
– Link to the paper: https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/3239235.3268917.
– Base report: Yes
– Topics covered: Top 10 causes and effects, Familiarity with TD concept
– Dataset: 107 participants (Brazil)
– Based on: – .

P2: Causes and Effects of the Presence of Technical Debt in Agile Software Projects
– Venue (conference): Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS)
– Link to the paper:           https://aisel.aisnet.org/amcis2019/systems_analysis_design/systems_analysis_design/1/
– Base report: No
– Topics covered: Causes and effects of TD on agile methodologies
– Dataset: 51 participants (Brazil)
– Based on: P1.

P3: Supporting Analysis of Technical Debt Causes and Effects with Cross-Company Probabilistic Cause-Effect Diagrams
– Venue (conference): International Conference on Technical Debt
Link to the paper: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8785063
– Base report: No
– Topics covered: Probabilistic cause and effects diagrams of TD
– Dataset: 107 participants (Brazil)
– Based on: P1.

P4: Familiarity, Causes and Reactions of Software Practitioners to the Presence of Technical Debt: A Replicated Study in the Chilean Software Industry
– Venue (conference): 38th International Conference of the Chilean Computer Science Society
– Link to the paper: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/8966424/
– Base report: No
– Topics covered: Familiarity with TD concept, Top 10 causes, TD management on software architects, developers, and project managers’ points of view.
– Dataset: 92 participants (Chile).
– Based on: – .

P5: SurveyingSoftware Practitioners on Technical Debt Payment Practices and Reasons for not Paying off Debt Items
– Venue (conference): Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering (EASE)
– Link to the paper: https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/3383219.3383241
– Base report: Yes
– Topics covered: TD payment practices, Impediments for the payment of debt items
– Dataset: 432 participants (Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and the United States)
– Based on: – .

P6: Actions and Impediments for Technical Debt Prevention: Results from a Global Family of Industrial Surveys
– Venue (conference): ACM/SIGAPP Symposium on Applied Computing
– Link to the paper: https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/3341105.3373912
– Base report: Yes
– Topics covered: TD preventive actions, Impediments for TD prevention
– Dataset: 207 participants (Brazil and the United States)
– Based on: – .

P7: Hearing the Voice of Software Practitioners on Causes, Effects, and Practices to Deal with Documentation Debt
– Venue (conference): International Working Conference on Requirements Engineering (REFSQ 2020)
– Link to the paper: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-44429-7_4
– Base report: No
– Topics covered: Causes, effects, triangulation with other study on requirement and documentation debt.
– Dataset: 39 participants (Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and the United States).
– Based on: – .

P8: The Practitioners Point of View on the Concept of Technical Debt and its Causes and Consequences: A Design for a Global Family of Industrial Surveys and its First Results from Brazil
– Venue (jounal): Empirical Software Engineering (EMSE)
– Link to the paper: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10664-020-09832-9
– Base report: No
– Topics covered: InsighTD design, causes and effects, TD concept, familiarity with TD concept
– Dataset: 107 participants (Brazil)
– Based on: P1 and P3.

P9: What are the Practices used by Software Practitioners on Technical Debt Payment? Results from an International Family of Surveys
– Venue (conference): International Conference on Technical Debt (TechDebt)
– Link to the paper: https://2020.techdebtconf.org/details/TechDebt-2020-papers/4/What-are-the-Practices-used-by-Software-Practitioners-on-Technical-Debt-Payment-Resu
– Base report: No
– Topics covered: TD payment practice x causes, TD payment practices x TD types
– Dataset: 432 participants (Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and the United States)
– Based on: P5.

P10: Common Causes and Effects of Technical Debt in Serbian IT: InsighTD Survey Replication
– Venue (conference): Euromicro Conference on Software Engineering and Advanced Applications (SEAA)
– Link to the paper:  to appear.
– Base report: No
– Topics covered: Causes, effects, and Serbian industry.
– Dataset: 93 participants (Serbia)
– Based on: – .

P11: The Prevalence of the Technical Debt Concept in Serbian IT Industry: Results of a National-Wide Survey
– Venue (conference): International Conference on Technical Debt (TechDebt)
– Link to the paper: https://2020.techdebtconf.org/details/TechDebt-2020-papers/3/The-Prevalence-of-the-Technical-Debt-Concept-in-Serbian-IT-Industry-Results-of-a-Nat
– Base report: No
– Topics covered: Familiarity with TD concept, TD concept and TD type.
– Dataset: 93 participants (Serbia)
– Based on: – .