Today I had the possibility to read a book a bit outside of what I do today. I used to read a lot of leadership books when I gave my old course in Start-ups. Well, enough of the history. So, I’ve read the book, and it was really nice.
It is a book about modern leadership style from Netflix. It’s written from a perspective of the manager of Netflix (Reed Hastings), but it is commented by a business school professor Erin Mayer (https://erinmeyer.com). It’s a very interesting reading as it provides an account of how leadership of Netflix has evolved over time to what it is today.
Empowerment and flat leadership structure are at the core of this style, but they evolved continuously over years. Candor was the first new leadership style that was introduced and it’s something that all organizations would use. Even universities.
A lot of software engineering research studies use open source data and mine software repositories. It’s a common practice since it allows to test our hypotheses before asking for previous resources from our collaborating companies. By mining open source data we can also learn whether our study makes sense; we can see it as a pilot study of some sorts.
Mining software repositories has evolved into a popular activity since we got access to repositories like Github. There are even guidelines for assessing this kind of studies, e.g., https://sigsoft.org/EmpiricalStandards/docs/ and we have regulations of what we can do with the open source data – these can be in the form of a license, law (like GDPR or the CCPA) or the need for asking an ethical board for an approval. However, there is also a common sense – not everything that is legal is appropriate or ethical. We always need to ensure that no individual can be a subject to any harm as a result of our actions.
In the article that I want to bring up today, the authors discuss the ethical frameworks for ethical software engineering studies based on open source repositories. We need to make sure that:
We respect the persons, which stresses the need for approval and consent.
Beneficence, which means that we need to minimize the harm, but maximize the benefit.
Justice, which means that we need to consider each individual equally.
Respect for law and public interest, which entails conducting due diligence on which data we can use and in which way.
The most interesting part of this article is the analysis of different cases of mining software repositories. For example, the case of analyzing the code, reviews, commit messages and other types of data in the repositories.
I recommend this article for everyone who considers working with mining software repositories.