* ICSE 2018 *
Sun 27 May - Sun 3 June 2018 Gothenburg, Sweden
Thu 31 May 2018 14:20 - 14:40 at H2 room - Studying Software Engineers I Chair(s): Andrew J. Ko

Debugging is an inevitable activity in most software projects, often difficult and more time-consuming than expected, giving it the nick- name the “dirty little secret of computer science.” Surprisingly, we have little knowledge on how software engineers debug software problems in the real world, whether they use dedicated debugging tools, and how knowledgeable they are about debugging. This study aims to shed light on these aspects by following a mixed-methods research approach. We conduct an online survey capturing how 176 developers reflect on debugging. We augment this subjective survey data with objective observations on how 458 developers use the debugger included in their integrated development environments (IDEs) by instrumenting the popular ECLIPSE and INTELLIJ IDEs with the purpose-built plugin WATCHDOG 2.0. To clarify the in- sights and discrepancies observed in the previous steps, we followed up by conducting interviews with debugging experts and regular de- bugging users. Our results indicate that IDE-provided debuggers are not used as often as expected, as “printf debugging” remains a fea- sible choice for many programmers. Furthermore, both knowledge and use of advanced debugging features are low. These results call to strengthen hands-on debugging experience in computer science curricula and have already refined the implementation of modern IDE debuggers.

Thu 31 May

14:00 - 15:30: Technical Papers - Studying Software Engineers I at H2 room
Chair(s): Andrew J. KoUniversity of Washington
icse-2018-Technical-Papers152776800000014:00 - 14:20
Anand Ashok Sawant, Mauricio AnicheDelft University of Technology, Netherlands, Arie van DeursenDelft University of Technology, Alberto BacchelliUniversity of Zurich
icse-2018-Technical-Papers152776920000014:20 - 14:40
Moritz Beller Delft University of Technology, Niels Spruit, Diomidis SpinellisAthens University of Economics and Business, Andy ZaidmanTU Delft
icse-2018-Journal-first-papers152777040000014:40 - 15:00
Xin XiaMonash University, Lingfeng Bao , David LoSingapore Management University, Zhenchang XingAustralia National University, Ahmed E. HassanQueen's University, Shanping Li
icse-2018-Journal-first-papers152777160000015:00 - 15:20
Miryung KimUniversity of California at Los Angeles, USA, Thomas ZimmermannMicrosoft Research, Robert Deline, Andrew BegelMicrosoft Research
Link to publication DOI Authorizer link Pre-print
icse-2018-Technical-Papers152777280000015:20 - 15:30