I am giving a short talk at FSE 2016, and also a longer talk at CASCON 2016 on “Disrupting Developer Productivity One Bot at a Time”.
Thanks to Alexey Zagalsky and Carlene Lebeuf for their contributions to this talk! We also published a Visions paper at FSE 2016.
Conversational bots have become a popular addition to many mainstream platforms and software engineering has adopted them at an almost dizzying pace across every phase of the development life cycle. Bots reportedly help developers become more productive by automating tedious tasks, by bringing awareness of important project or community activities, and by reducing interruptions. Developers “talk to” and “listen to” these bots in the same conversational channels they use to collaborate with and monitor each other. However, the actual impact these bots have on developer productivity and project quality is still unclear. In this talk, I will give an overview of how bots play a prominent role in software development and discuss the benefits and challenges that can arise from relying on these “new virtual team members”. I will also explore how bots may influence other knowledge work domains and propose a number of future directions for practitioners and researchers to consider.