Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Computer Science


Computer Science


College of Engineering


Bruno da Silva

Advisor Department

Computer Science

Advisor College

College of Engineering


he software engineering community has advanced the field in the past few decades towards making the software development life cycle more efficient, robust, and streamlined. Advances such as better integrated development environments and agile workflows have made the process more efficient as well as more flexible. Despite these many achievements software engineers still spend a great deal of time writing, reading and reviewing code. These tasks require a lot of attention from the engineer with many different variables affecting the performance of the tasks. In recent years many researchers have come to investigate how emotion and the way we think about code affect our ability to write and understand another’s code. In this work we look at how developers’ emotions affect their ability to solve software engineering tasks such as code writing and review. We also investigate how and to what extent emotions differ with the software engineering experience of the subject. The methodologies we employed utilize the Emotiv Epoc+ to take readings of subjects’ brain patterns while they perform code reviews as well as write basic code. We then examine how the electrical signals and patterns in the participants differ with experience in the field, as well as their efficiency and correctness in solving the software engineering tasks. We found in our study that senior students had much smaller distribution of emotions than novices with a few different emotion groups emerging. The novices, while able to be grouped, had a much wider dispersion of the emotion aspects recorded.