AuthorsM. Jørgensen and D. I. K. Sjøberg
TitleImpact of Experience on Maintenance Skills
AfilliationSoftware Engineering, Software Engineering
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
JournalJournal of Software Maintenance and Evolution: Research and Practice
Date PublishedMarch

This study reports results from an empirical study of 54 software maintainers in the software maintenance department of a Norwegian company. The study addresses the relationship between amount of experience and maintenance skills. The findings were, amongst others: (1) While there may have been a reduction in the frequency of major unexpected problems from tasks solved by very inexperienced to medium experienced maintainers, additional years of general software maintenance experience did not lead to further reduction. More application specific experience, however, further reduced the frequency of major unexpected problems. (2) The most experienced maintainers did not predict maintenance problems better than maintainers with little or medium experience. (3) A simple one-variable model outperformed the maintainers' predictions of maintenance problems, i.e., the average prediction performance of the maintainers seems poor. An important reason for the weak correlation between length of experience and ability to predict maintenance problems may be the lack of meaningful feedback on the predictions.

Citation KeySE.4.Joergensen.2002.a