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Factors affecting productivity of software development teams and individual developers : a systematic literature review

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Title: Factors affecting productivity of software development teams and individual developers : a systematic literature review
Author(s): Tilander, Vivianna
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science
Degree program: Master's Programme in Computer Science
Specialisation: Software
Language: English
Acceptance year: 2023
Context: An abundance of research on the productivity of software development teams and developers exists identifying many factors and their effects in different contexts and concerning different aspects of productivity. Objective: This thesis aims to collect and analyse existing recent research results of factors that are related to or directly influence the productivity of teams or developers, how they influence it in different contexts and briefly summarise the metrics used in recent studies to measure productivity. Method: The method selected to reach for these aims was to conduct a systematic literature review on relevant studies published between 2017 and 2022. Altogether, 48 studies were selected and analysed during the review. Results: The metrics used by the reviewed studies for measuring productivity range from time used for completing a task to self-evaluated productivity to the amount of commits contributed. Some of these are used by multiple studies and many by only one or a few and measure productivity from different angles. Various factors were found and these range from team size to experienced emotion to working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The relationships found between these factors and some aspects of the productivity of developers and teams range from positive to negative and sometimes both depending on the context and the productivity metric in question. Conclusions: While many relationships were found between various factors and the productivity of software developers and development teams in this review, these do not cover all possible factors, relationships or measurable productivity aspects in all possible contexts. Additionally, one should keep in mind that most of the found relationships do not imply causality.
Keyword(s): productivity software development influential factors software development team software developer

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