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A Case Study on Gamifying DevOps Practices in Industry


A Case Study on Gamifying DevOps Practices in Industry

Ayoup, Patrick ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2412-0491 (2021) A Case Study on Gamifying DevOps Practices in Industry. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Gamification is the use of game elements such as points, leaderboards, and badges in a non-game context to encourage a desired behavior from individuals interacting with an environment. Recently, gamification has found its way into software engineering contexts as a means to promote certain activities to practitioners. Previous studies investigated the use of gamification to promote the adoption of a variety of tools and practices, however, these studies were either performed in an educational environment or in small teams of developers in the industry.

In this thesis, we performed a large-scale mixed-methods study on the effects of badge based gamification in promoting the adoption of DevOps practices in a very large company and evaluated how practice adoption is associated with changes in key delivery, quality, and throughput metrics of 333 software projects. Our results indicate that gamification accelerated the adoption of some DevOps practices by at least 60%, with increased adoption rates up to 6x. We found mixed results when associating badge adoption and metric changes: teams that earned testing badges showed an increase in bug fixing commits but output fewer commits and pull requests; teams that earned code review and quality tooling badges exhibited faster delivery metrics. Finally, our empirical study was supplemented by a survey with 45 developers where 73% of respondents found badges to be helpful for learning about and adopting new standardized practices. Our results contribute to the rich knowledge on gamification with a unique and important perspective from real industry practitioners.

Divisions:Concordia University > Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science > Computer Science and Software Engineering
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Ayoup, Patrick
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A. Sc.
Program:Software Engineering
Date:24 September 2021
Thesis Supervisor(s):Shihab, Emad
Keywords:Software Engineering, DevOps, Gamification
ID Code:989100
Deposited On:16 Jun 2022 14:26
Last Modified:16 Jun 2022 14:26
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