Interaction Design and Activity Theory: designing for social code review
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Type of Work78 leaves
DepartmentUniversity of Baltimore. School of Information Arts and Technologies
ProgramUniversity of Baltimore. Master of Science in Information Design and Information Architecture
RightsThis item may be protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. It is made available by the University of Baltimore for non-commercial research and educational purposes.
user interface design
Interactive computer systems
This thesis applies activity theory to interaction design of a code review tool. The purpose of this project was two-fold: To understand the practice of code review, and to gain insight into the value of activity theory as a framework for interaction design. Decades of research have shown that code reviews are a valuable software engineering tool. But recent studies suggest that many software development organizations do not use code reviews to their full potential. While code review is often acknowledged as a social practice, few studies address the social, cultural, and historical context surrounding programmers as they conduct reviews. This paper uses activity theory to analyze these contextual factors within a department in a commercial software development organization. Code review practice is found to be informal, highly situated, and multi-motivated. Based on these findings, interaction design concepts are proposed for a Web-based tool that supports collaborative construction, execution, and resolution of code reviews.