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Expertise Location Approaches and Systems in Software Engineering

  • Author(s): Wang, Zhendong
  • Advisor(s): Redmiles, David F
  • et al.
Abstract

Successful software engineering activities require qualified software developers with proper expertise. Although expertise has been studied for many years and various expertise location approaches have been postulated, new approaches and opportunities are emerging today because of the rise of code hosting and knowledge sharing sites. As a step towards understanding the past work and the present opportunities in the context of today's software engineering practice, we perform a systematic literature survey. In analyzing the literature, we identify two broad categories of expertise research: 1) identifying the characteristics of experts, and 2) locating experts. The studies in the latter category can be further classified into three subcategories, which are: i) locating expertise by leveraging the organizational setting; ii) by mining historical artifacts; and iii) by knowledge sharing. Our analysis also identifies the major limitations of existing work, including a disconnect between early expertise studies and current location approaches; an over reliance on the experience-based model to measure expertise; a neglect on the constraints for coordination; and a lack of empirical evaluation in the real-world context, among others. Finally, we highlight research trends and promising directions for future research.

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