A Study of Visual Studio Usage in Practice

by Sven Amann, Sebastian Proksch, Sarah Nadi, and Mira Mezini


Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) provide a convenient standalone solution that supports developers during various phases of software development. In order to provide better support for developers within such IDEs, we need to understand how much time developers spend using various parts of a given IDE and how often they use available assistance tools. To infer useful conclusions, such information should be gathered for different types of IDEs for different languages. In this paper, we instrument the previously unexplored Visual Studio IDE and track the interactions of developers at an industry partner’s software-development department. As a result, we capture interactions for more than 6300 hours of work time, from between 27 and 84 professional C# developers. Our work reports how much time professional developers spend on activities such as code editing and execution or navigation, as well as how often they use assistance tools provided by the IDE. We compare our findings to those of prior studies involving other IDEs and discuss the implications of the commonalities and differences for research on (integrated) developer-assistance tools.



@inproceedings {APNM16,
  title = {{A Study of Visual Studio Usage in Practice}},
  author = {Amann, Sven and Proksch, Sebastian and Nadi, Sarah and Mezini, Mira},
  booktitle = {{Proceedings of the 23rd IEEE International Conference on Software Analysis, Evolution, and Reengineering}},
  series = {SANER 2016},
  year = {2016},
  doi = {10.1109/SANER.2016.39},
  url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/SANER.2016.39},