Sketches and Diagrams in Practice



Sketches and diagrams play an important role in the daily work of software developers. In our paper "Sketches and Diagrams in Practice" we present the results of our research on the usage of sketches and diagrams in software engineering practice. We focused especially on their relation to the core elements of a software project, the source code artifacts. Furthermore, we wanted to assess how helpful sketches are for understanding the related source code. We intended to find out if, how, and why sketches and diagrams are archived and are thereby available for future use. Software is created with and for a wide range of stakeholders. Since sketches are often a means for communicating between these stakeholders, we were not only interested in sketches and diagrams created by software developers, but by all software practitioners, including testers, architects, project managers, as well as researchers and consultants. Our study complements a number of existing studies on the use of sketches and diagrams in software development, which analyzed the above aspects only in parts and often focused on an academic environment, a single company, open source projects, or were limited to a small group of participants.

Online Survey

Our research included an online survey with 394 participants (the questionnaire was online from August 28, 2013 until December 31, 2013). Further information on our research design and research questions can be found in the paper. A link to the questionnaire we used for the survey can be found below. To enable other researchers to explore the data collected during this survey, we make it publicly available as a CSV file. We also provide a basic R script that can be used as a starting point for validating and exploring the data. Our data was reviewed and accepted by the Artifact Evaluation Committee of FSE 2014. Since we assured our participants that their data is handled confidentially, only the quantitative data is directly available here. If you are also interested in the qualitative data from our survey, don't hesitate to contact us.


Sebastian Baltes and Stephan Diehl: Sketches and Diagrams in Practice. In: Proceedings of the 22nd ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Foundations of Software Engineering (FSE'14).

Talks and Posters

Sebastian Baltes and Stephan Diehl: Sketches and Diagrams in Practice (Poster). 6th International Workshop on Social Software Engineering (SSE'14).

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