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Context Factors Perceived Important when Looking for Similar Experiences in Decision–Making for Software Components – An Interview Study


Efi Papatheocharous , Claes Wohlin , Deepika Badampudi , Jan Carlson, Krzysztof Wnuk

Publication Type:

Journal article


Journal of Software: Evolution and Process



During software evolution, decisions related to components' origin or source significantly impact the quality properties of the product as well as development metrics such as cost, time-to-market, ease of maintenance, and further evolution. Thus, such decisions should ideally be supported by evidence, i.e., using previous experiences and information from different sources, even own previous experiences. A hindering factor to such reuse of previous experiences is that these decisions are highly context-dependent and it is difficult to identify when previous experiences come from sufficiently similar contexts to be useful in a current setting. Conversely, when documenting a decision (as a decision experience), it is difficult to know which context factors will be most beneficial when reusing the experience in the future. An interview study is performed to identify a list of context factors that are perceived to be most important by practitioners when using experiences to support decision-making for component sourcing, using a specific scenario with alternative sources of experiences. We observed that further away (from a company or an interviewee) the experience evidence is, as is the case for online experiences, the more context factors are perceived as important by practitioners to make use of the experience. Furthermore, we discuss and identify further research to make this type of decision-making more evidence-based.


author = {Efi Papatheocharous and Claes Wohlin and Deepika Badampudi and Jan Carlson and Krzysztof Wnuk},
title = {Context Factors Perceived Important when Looking for Similar Experiences in Decision–Making for Software Components – An Interview Study},
month = {April},
year = {2024},
journal = {Journal of Software: Evolution and Process},
url = {}