Towards the Understanding and Classification of the Personality Traits of Software Development Practitioners: Situational Context Cards Approach

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Yilmaz M., O'Connor R. V.

38th EUROMICRO Conference on Software Engineering and Advanced Applications (SEAA) / 15th EUROMICRO Digital Systems Design (DSD), Cesme, Turkey, 5 - 08 September 2012, pp.400-405 identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Doi Number: 10.1109/seaa.2012.62
  • City: Cesme
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.400-405


This study explores the personality traits of software development practitioners by using a classification schema based on the personality traits extended on the Myers-Briggs type indicator (MBTI). To extract the information necessary for understanding and classification of software development personnel, we developed a card game playable with either single or multiple participants. The game consists of seventy cards, which have a keyword and a picture on one side and a hypothetical situation typically encountered in software development landscapes with two different selectable options on the other side. The game master (GM) reads a situation by showing the pictures to participants and elicits the most suitable answer in between two selections. Ultimately, the outcome of the game reveals the personality traits of individuals on a compatible scale with the MBTI. To evaluate our game-based personality identification method, we conduct a case study with sixteen individuals at a university environment in seven group sessions. In light of the experience gained, secondly we refine the questions and test the game on sixty software development personnel selected from a set of team based pairings at a middle size software company. Our preliminary results indicate that there are more individuals in software teams, who may perceive to be extroverted not only in a classroom environment but also in an industrial setting. Moreover, the initial results suggest that our method can be a viable to the classical paper based MBTI tests particularly for managing the workforce in software development projects.