Department of Informatics
Date 14 January 2011
Time 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Location 6011 Donald Bren Hall
Contact Suzie Barrows [Email this contact]
ate: January 14, 2011
Talk: 3:00 pm
Refreshments: 4:00 pm
Location: 6011 Donald Bren Hall

Rob DeLine
Microsoft Research

TITLE: The Next IDE: *Informative* Development Environments


Field studies have repeatedly shown that developers spend a large fraction (perhaps a third) of their time seeking information in order to get their work done. When a developer gets stuck because of missing information, the typical reaction is to walk up and down the hall, interrupting colleagues to ask questions. When the necessary colleagues are away, the developer must put the task away for later. In short, this constant need for missing information leads to frequent communication, interruptions and multitasking, which development environments are only beginning to support. In this talk, we'll look at field studies of developers' information seeking. I'll show prototypes being developed at Microsoft Research to better make information seeking a first-class development activity, by mining information from team archives, by making distant colleagues better available, and by re-thinking the user experience of development environments.


Rob DeLine is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, working at the intersection of software engineering and human-computer interaction. His research group designs development tools in a user-centered fashion: they conduct studies of development teams to understand their work practice and prototype tools to improve that practice. Rob has a background in both HCI and software engineering. His master's thesis was the first version of the Alice programming environment (University of Virginia, 1993), and his PhD was in software architecture (Carnegie Mellon University, 1999).