Flow, Intrinsic Motivation, and Developer Experience in Software Engineering

Software developers are both users of development tools but also designers of new software systems. This dual role makes developers special users of work-related software. To increase the understanding of developers as users and to evaluate the ability of common measurement scales to address developer experience, we conducted a survey measuring developers’ flow state, intrinsic motivation and user experience. Scales used were the Short Dispositional Flow Scale, items from the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory, the Short AttrakDiff-2, and our own DEXI scale. 57 developers from 25 countries responded and results indicate that intrinsic motivation and autotelic experience are significant predictors of developers’ UX whereas hedonic, pragmatic, and general quality are not. In addition, developers’ needs are characterized by efficiency, informativeness, intuitiveness, and flexibility of the tool.

Kati Kuusinen (Tampere University of Technology), Helen Petrie (University of York), Fabian Fagerholm (University of Helsinki), Tommi Mikkonen (Tampere University of Technology): Flow, Intrinsic Motivation, and Developer Experience in Software Engineering

Presented at the 17th International Conference, XP 2016, Edinburgh, UK, May 24-27, 2016.