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Gamification for enforcing coding conventions

: Prause, Christian; Jarke, Matthias


Association for Computing Machinery -ACM-; Association for Computing Machinery -ACM-, Special Interest Group on Software Engineering -SIGSOFT-:
ESEC/FSE 2015, 10th Joint Meeting of the European Software Engineering Conference and the ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering. Proceedings : Bergamo, Italy, August 30 – September 4, 2015
New York: ACM, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4503-3675-8
Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (FSE) <2015, Bergamo>
Joint Meeting of the European Software Engineering Conference (ESEC) <10, 2015, Bergamo>
Fraunhofer FIT ()

Software is a knowledge intensive product, which can only evolve if there is effective and efficient information exchange between developers. Complying to coding conventions improves information exchange by improving the readability of source code. However, without some form of enforcement, compliance to coding conventions is limited. We look at the problem of information exchange in code and propose gamification as a way to motivate developers to invest in compliance. Our concept consists of a technical prototype and its integration into a Scrum environment. By means of two experiments with agile software teams and subsequent surveys, we show that gamification can effectively improve adherence to coding conventions.