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Developer Dashboards: The Need for Qualitative Analytics

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3 Author(s)

Prominent technology companies including IBM, Microsoft, and Google have embraced an analytics-driven culture to help improve their decision making. Analytics aim to help practitioners answer questions critical to their projects, such as "Are we on track to deliver the next release on schedule?" and "Of the recent features added, which are the most prone to defects?" by providing fact-based views about projects. Analytic results are often quantitative in nature, presenting data as graphical dashboards with reports and charts. Although current dashboards are often geared toward project managers, they aren't well suited to help individual developers. Mozilla developer interviews show that developers face challenges maintaining a global understanding of the tasks they're working on and that they desire improved support for situational awareness, a form of qualitative analytics that's difficult to achieve with current quantitative tools. This article motivates the need for qualitative dashboards designed to improve developers' situational awareness by providing task tracking and prioritizing capabilities, presenting insights on the workloads of others, listing individual actions, and providing custom views to help manage workload while performing day-to-day development tasks.

Published in:

Software, IEEE  (Volume:30 ,  Issue: 4 )