The (R)evolution of social media in software engineering

Margaret Anne Storey, Leif Singer, Brendan Cleary, Fernando Figueira Filho, Alexey Zagalsky

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Software developers rely on media to communicate, learn, collaborate, and coordinate with others. Recently, social media has dramatically changed the landscape of software engineering, challenging some old assumptions about how developers learn and work with one another. We see the rise of the social programmer who actively participates in online communities and openly contributes to the creation of a large body of crowd sourced socio-technical content. In this paper, we examine the past, present, and future roles of social media in software engineering. We provide a review of research that examines the use of different media channels in software engineering from 1968 to the present day. We also provide preliminary results from a large survey with developers that actively use social media to understand how they communicate and collaborate, and to gain insights into the challenges they face. We find that while this particular population values social media, traditional channels, such as face-to-face communication, are still considered crucial. We synthesize findings from our historical review and survey to propose a roadmap for future research on this topic. Finally, we discuss implications for research methods as we argue that social media is poised to bring about a paradigm shift in software engineering research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFuture of Software Engineering, FOSE 2014 - Proceedings
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781450328654
StatePublished - 31 May 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventFuture of Software Engineering Conference, FOSE 2014 - Hyderabad, India
Duration: 31 May 20147 Jun 2014

Publication series

NameFuture of Software Engineering, FOSE 2014 - Proceedings


ConferenceFuture of Software Engineering Conference, FOSE 2014


  • Collaboration
  • Social Media
  • Software Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'The (R)evolution of social media in software engineering'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this