Web Usage Patterns of Developers – Chris Corley

The main research question of this paper is:

Does web usage lead to interruptions that can impair developer’s performance?

Chris tried to find out using Codealike (a sort of fitbit for the IDE)


This is Chris’s day: hard to find focus during the day, get in the zone at night.

Codealike also tracks how you spend your time on the web:


Chris manually coded them into 27 categories, of which substantial time was spent in 18.


By combining this info with the focus, Chris addressed the following:

1) Do highly focused developers use the web differently?

Chris divided the users in 4 groups, based on their level of focus.

About a quarter of users manage to get “in the zone” 2 hours or more a day (wow, how are those people?)


The question is: Do they use the web differently?

Turns out, the low focus developers go on social media lots more (it is a bit hard to see on the picture below, but the graphs in the fourth group is a lot darker)


2) Does web usage affect coding sessions?

Chris tried lots of things, but could not rally come to a conclusion on this one.

I am especially interested in that the focused people work 9-5, but that might be my personal bias 🙂

Paper is here: http://christop.club/publications/pdfs/Corley-etal_2015b.pdf