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Does personality impact requirements engineering Activities?

by   Dulaji Hidellaarachchi, et al.

Context: Requirements engineering (RE) is an important part of Software Engineering (SE), consisting of various human-centric activities that require frequent collaboration of a variety of roles. Prior research has shown that personality is one such human aspect that has a huge impact on the success of a software project. However, a limited number of empirical studies exist focusing on the impact of personality on RE activities. Objective: The objective of this study is to explore and identify the impact of personality on RE activities, provide a better understanding of these impacts, and to provide guidance on how to better handle these impacts in RE. Method: We used a mixed-methods approach, including a personality test-based survey (50 participants) and an in-depth interview study (15 participants) with software practitioners from around the world involved in RE activities. Results: Through personality profiles, we found a majority of the practitioners scored as statistically significant (high-scored) on agreeableness and conscientiousness traits and average on extraversion and neuroticism traits. Through analysis of the interviews, we found a range of impacts related to the personality traits of software practitioners, their team members, and external stakeholders. These impacts can be positive or negative, depending on the RE activities, the overall software development process, and the people involved in these activities. Moreover, we found a set of strategies that can be applied to mitigate the negative impact of personality on RE activities. Conclusion: Our identified impacts of personality on RE activities and mitigation strategies serve to provide guidance to software practitioners on handling such possible personality impacts on RE activities and for researchers to investigate these impacts in greater depth in future.


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