Abnormal working hours : effect of rapid releases and implications to work content
Claes, Maëlick; Mäntylä, Mika; Kuutila, Miikka; Adams, Bram (2017-07-03)
M. Claes, M. Mäntylä, M. Kuutila and B. Adams, "Abnormal Working Hours: Effect of Rapid Releases and Implications to Work Content," 2017 IEEE/ACM 14th International Conference on Mining Software Repositories (MSR), Buenos Aires, 2017, pp. 243-247. doi: 10.1109/MSR.2017.3
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During the past years, overload at work leading to psychological diseases, such as burnouts, have drawn more public attention. This paper is a preliminary step toward an analysis of the work patterns and possible indicators of overload and time pressure on software developers with mining software repositories approach. We explore the working pattern of developers in the context of Mozilla Firefox, a large and long-lived open source project. To that end we investigate the impact of the move from traditional to rapid release cycle on work pattern. Moreover we compare Mozilla Firefox work pattern with another Mozilla product, Firefox OS, which has a different release cycle than Firefox. We find that both projects exhibit healthy working patterns, i.e. lower activity during the weekends and outside of office hours. Firefox experiences proportionally more activity on weekends than Firefox OS (Cohen’s d = 0.94). We find that switching to rapid releases has reduced weekend work (Cohen’s d = 1.43) and working during the night (Cohen’s d = 0.45). This result holds even when we limit the analyzes on the hired resources, i.e. considering only individuals with Mozilla foundation email address, although, the effect sizes are smaller for weekends (Cohen’s d = 0.64) and nights (Cohen’s d = 0.23). Moreover, we use dissimilarity word clouds and find that work during the weekend is more technical while work during the week expresses more positive sentiment with words like "good" and "nice". Our results suggest that moving to rapid releases have positive impact on the work health and work-life-balance of software engineers. However, caution is needed as our results are based on a limited set of quantitative data from a single organization.
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