Supporting governance of mobile application developers from mining and analyzing technical questions in stack overflow


  • Awdren Fontão Federal University of Amazonas
  • Bruno Ábia Federal University of Amazonas
  • Igor Wiese Federal University of Technology - Paraná
  • Bernardo Estácio Independent Researcher
  • Marcelo Quinta Federal University of Goiás
  • Rodrigo Pereira dos Santos Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro
  • Arilo Claudio Dias-Neto Federal University of Amazonas


Software ecosystems, Mobile application development, Mining software repository, Stack overflow


There is a need to improve the direct communication between large organizations that maintain mobile platforms (e.g. Apple, Google, and Microsoft) and third-party developers to solve technical questions that emerge during the project and development of developers’ contributions in a Mobile Software Ecosystem (MSECO). In this context, those organizations may not know how to define and evolve strategies to govern their developers towards achieving their organizational goals. Such organizations use an infrastructure to support developers, for example, questions and answers (Q&A) portals such as Stack Overflow. Interactions among developers in these portals feed a Q&A repository that can serve as a mechanism to understand and define strategies to support developers. In this paper, we mined 1,568,377 technical questions from Stack Overflow related to Android, iOS, and Windows Phone platforms. Next, we performed comparisons among those MSECO regarding: (i) developers’ activity intensity, (ii) hot-topics (using Latent Dirichlet allocation algorithm) from all and more commented/viewed questions, (iii) “What” and “How to” questions, (iv) hot-topics from more viewed unanswered questions, and (v) relationship among questions and official developer events. From the results, we identified four key insights: recruiting, educating, and monitoring strategies; barrier reduction; management of technology insertion; and fostering of relationships. The relevance of the four key insights to support developer governance was evaluated by practitioners through a survey. Finally, for each key insight we associated a total of 10 strategies to support developer governance activities. Such strategies were extracted from 65 studies identified through a systematic mapping of the literature.


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How to Cite

Fontão, A., Ábia, B., Wiese, I., Estácio, B., Quinta, M., Santos, R. P. dos, & Dias-Neto, A. C. (2018). Supporting governance of mobile application developers from mining and analyzing technical questions in stack overflow. Journal of Software Engineering Research and Development, 6, 8:1 – 8:34. Retrieved from



Research Article