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End-User Programmers and their Communities: An Artifact-based Analysis (ESEM 11)

End-user programmers outnumber professionals programmers, write software that matters to an increasingly large number of users, and face software engineering challenges that are similar to their professionals counterparts. Yet, we know little about how these end-user programmers create and share artifacts as part of a community. To gain a better understanding of these issues, we perform an artifact-based community analysis of 32,000 mashups from the the Yahoo! Pipes repository. We observed that, like with other online communities, there is great deal of attrition but authors that persevere tend to improve over time, creating pipes that are more configurable, diverse, complex, and popular. We also discovered, however, that enduser programmers employ the repository in different ways than professionals, do not effectively reuse existing programs, and in most cases do not have an awareness of the community. We discuss the implications of these findings.

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