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Questionnaire on the Use of Sketches and Diagrams in Software Development

The goal of this short survey (5-10 minutes) is to evaluate how software developers and other people involved in the development of software use sketches and diagrams in their daily work. By the terms sketches and diagrams, we mean visual artifacts created by hand (e.g. hand-drawn sketches on scrap paper or whiteboards) as well as the ones created using computer programs (e.g. automatically generated UML diagrams).

The information collected in this survey is handled confidentially; only anonymized results will be published. If you like to, you can send us some of your sketches and diagrams. For further information, please read the instructions shown after submitting the questionnaire.

To answer the following questions, please think of the last sketch or diagram that you created for your professional work and that is related to a software project.
1. When did you create your last sketch/diagram?
2. Has the sketch/diagram been revised after its initial creation?
3. How much effective work time went into the creation and revision of the sketch/diagram up to now (if several persons were involved, add up the individual work times of all contributors)?
4. How many persons contributed to the sketch/diagram up to now (including yourself)?
5. What medium did you use to create the sketch/diagram?

6. Please try to estimate the lifespan of the sketch/diagram (how long did/will you use it)?
7. Has the sketch/diagram been archived or will it be archived?
8. If the sketch has been archived or will be archived, why do you want to keep it?
9. If the sketch has not been archived and won't be archived, why do you not want to keep it?
10. Formality is the degree to which a sketch/diagram follows a pre-defined visual language (e.g. the Unified Modeling Language (UML)). Please try to specify the formality of your sketch/diagram.
Very informal Very formal I don't know:
11. To which degree does the sketch/diagram contain UML elements?
No UML elements Only UML elements I don't know:
12. The sketch/diagram helped me to ... (multiple answers are possible)
Understand source code Understand an issue
Design a new architecture Design new GUI components
Design new features Review source code
Refactor source code Debug source code
Explain source code to someone else Explain an issue to someone else
Analyze requirements Support managing the project
Other task(s):
(separate with commas)
13. Please select the software artifact(s) to which the content of the sketch/diagram is related? (multiple answers are possible)
Single statement or expression Multiple statements or expressions
Single attribute, parameter, property, or variable Multiple attributes, parameters, properties, or variables
Single method, function, or procedure Multiple methods, functions, or procedures
Single class, object, or prototype Multiple classes, objects, or prototypes
Single package, namespace, module, unit, or folder Multiple packages, namespaces, modules, units, or folders
Single project Multiple projects
Other artifacts(s):
(separate with commas)
14. Do you think that the sketch/diagram could help you in the future to understand the related source code artifact(s)?
It will definitely not help It will definitely help I don't know:
15. Do you think that the sketch/diagram could help other software developers in the future to understand the related source code artifact(s)?
It will definitely not help It will definitely help I don't know:
The following questions refer to the software project for which the sketch/diagram was created.
16. What is the main application area of the project?

17. How many persons work on this project?
18. Does the project team employ model-driven software engineering?
Always Never I don't know:
19. To which degree does the team employ agile software development methods?
Only using agile methods
(e.g. adopted SCRUM completely)
Only using other methods
(e.g. waterfall model)
I don't know:
To answer the following question, please think of the last sketch or diagram you used (looked at, modified, extended) but did not create yourself.
20. When did you use the last sketch/diagram?
21. Your gender:
22. Your age:
23. Your professional work experience in software development (please round up to full years):
24. How much of your work time is dedicated to software development (enter a value between 0 and 100%)?
25. Your current occupation:

26. What type of organization do you work in?

27. Which country do you work in?
28. If you like to, you can write additional remarks regarding the sketches/diagrams you used to answer the above questions, the questionnaire as a whole, or your general usage of sketches and diagrams in software development:
Software Engineering Group - FB IV/Computer Science - University of Trier - 54286 Trier/Germany
Contact: Sebastian Baltes (s.baltes@uni-trier.de)