An Empirical Study of Practitioners’ Perspectives on Green Software Engineering

Irene Manotas
Christian Bird
Rui Zhang
David Shepherd
Lori Pollock
James Clause
International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway(2016) (to appear)
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The energy consumption of software is an increasing concern as the use of mobile applications, embedded systems, and data center-based services expands. While research in green software engineering is correspondingly increasing, little is known about the current practices and perspectives of software engineers in the field. This paper describes the first empirical study of how practitioners think about energy when they write requirements, design, construct, test, and maintain their software. We report findings from a quantitative, targeted survey of 464 practitioners from ABB, Google, IBM, and Microsoft, which was motivated by and supported with qualitative data from 18 in-depth interviews with Microsoft employees. The major findings and implications from the collected data contextualize existing green software engineering research and suggest directions for researchers aiming to develop strategies and tools to help practitioners improve the energy usage of their applications.

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