Software companies, such as Microsoft, create documentation for millions of topics concerning its APIs, services, and software platforms. Creating this documentation comes at a considerable cost and effort. Now, developers are flipping this process by creating their own sources of documentation via blog posts and Stack Overflow questions and answers. For Android, not only can more examples be found on Stack Overflow than the official documentation guide, developers may be getting as much as 50% of their documentation from Stack Overflow. How might the crowd find other ways of flipping the processes of software development?
Chris Parnin is an Assistant Professor at North Carolina State University. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology. His research spans the study of software engineering from empirical, HCI, and cognitive neuroscience perspectives. Two recent research topics include A) using fMRI and EMG to actually study the brain activity of developers and B) understanding how crowds of developers come together on sites such as Stack Overflow and Github to contribute software knowledge. He has worked in Human Interactions in Programming groups at Microsoft Research, performed field studies with ABB Research, and has over a decade of professional programming experience in the defense industry. Chris's research has been recognized by the SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Award at ICSE 2009, Best Paper Nominee at CHI 2010, Best Paper Award at ICPC 2012, IBM HVC Most Influential Paper Award 2013, featured in Game Developer's Magazine, Hacker Monthly, and frequently discussed on Hacker News, Reddit, and Slashdot.