Don't Disturb Me: Challenges of Interacting with Software Bots on Open Source Software Projects

Mairieli Wessel, Igor Wiese, Igor Steinmacher, Marco Aurelio Gerosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Software bots are used to streamline tasks in Open Source Software (OSS) projects' pull requests, saving development cost, time, and effort. However, their presence can be disruptive to the community. We identified several challenges caused by bots in pull request interactions by interviewing 21 practitioners, including project maintainers, contributors, and bot developers. In particular, our findings indicate noise as a recurrent and central problem. Noise affects both human communication and development workflow by overwhelming and distracting developers. Our main contribution is a theory of how human developers perceive annoying bot behaviors as noise on social coding platforms. This contribution may help practitioners understand the effects of adopting a bot, and researchers and tool designers may leverage our results to better support human-bot interaction on social coding platforms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number301
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Issue numberCSCW2
StatePublished - Oct 18 2021


  • collaborative development
  • github bots
  • human-bot interaction
  • open source software
  • software bots
  • software engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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