DevOps Gamification Workshop at JTEL Summer School

At early July 2015, the 11th Joint European Summer School on Technology Enhanced Learning took place on the island of Ischia in Italy. The summer school was attended by PhD students in Technology Enhanced Learning mainly from Europe. Learning Layers was represented by multiple participants and several workshops. One of the workshops was about Gamification for DevOps, hold by RWTH Aachen members.

DevOps Gamification teams

Both DevOps and Gamification are hot topics currently. The term DevOps became very popular in recent years to describe an improvement in the collaboration structure between developers and operators, leading to increased communication and better coordination when evolving and rolling out new versions of software. DevOpsUse is a logical continuation of this paradigm and stands for the involvement of users in the loop. Gamification on the other hand is a paradigm that brings in concepts known from games into real-world use cases. A famous example is Foursquare’s app called Swarm that allows checking in to places such as cafés and shops. Swarm users are rewarded with badges and virtual mayorships.

Motivated by real-life strategies in the Layers project, we started by presenting the DevOpsUse life cycle model that we developed for embedding innovative end users in the software development process. Requirements Bazaar is a Web based application developed at RWTH that adresses the needs of DevOpsUse communities. It allows developers and end users to talk about new ideas and bugs. The software was developed earlier in the ROLE project and then underwent a redevelopment within the Layers project to account for the project’s focus on mobile frontends and generally, faster development cycles. After presenting Requirements Bazaar in the workshop, we introduced the participants to the basics of gamification.

DevOps Gamification group

In the last part of the workshop, participants formed three groups to discuss and then present possible gamification elements for the Requirements Bazaar. The workshop itself was gamified, letting users spend virtual money to vote for their favorite gamifications. The teams’ solutions turned out to be very creative; the team “Game Overs” raised $32 for their idea of introducing badges for users. Also, users should get points for likes, requirements and comments. A profile page should then show an overview of the achievements. The second ranked group’s “Mediterraneans” idea raised $19 for introducing badges for achievements like being online every day. Certain challenges could further motivate users to participate in the race to get more points and badges. The third group, “M.E.D” finally raised $16 for the idea of game money that could be earned when entering requirements that are later realized. Additionally, the virtual currency could be used to underline the need for the realization of certain ideas.

After the workshop, the ideas developed in the workshop have been analyzed and entered into the Requirements Bazaar as new requirements.

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