Sebastian Baltes

Dr Sebastian Baltes

Lecturer

School of Computer Science

Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD (as Co-Supervisor) - email supervisor to discuss availability.


Sebastian Baltes is a Lecturer in the School of Computer Science at the University of Adelaide, Australia. He received his PhD degree in Computer Science from the University of Trier, Germany. In his research, he empirically analyses software developers' work habits to identify requirements for new tools and point to possible tool and process improvements. For him, thoroughly analysing and understanding the state-of-practice is an essential first step towards improving how software is being developed. Too often, decisions are still rather opinion-based than data-informed. His long-term goal is to bridge the gap between empirical research and practice, both by studying relevant phenomena and by communicating the results back to practitioners.

In my research, I empirically analyse software developers' work habits to identify requirements for new tools and point to possible tool and process improvements. For me, thoroughly analysing and understanding the state-of-practice is an essential first step towards improving how software is being developed. Too often, decisions are still rather opinion-based than data-informed. My long-term goal is to bridge the gap between empirical research and practice, both by studying relevant phenomena and by communicating the results back to practitioners. Some of my research projects already led to recommendations for researchers and practitioners, others to the development of novel tool prototypes.

Most empirical studies I conduct follow a mixed methods design, combining qualitative and quantitative research methods. I am especially interested in interdisciplinary research, involving theories and methods from the social sciences (e.g., grounded theory, social constructionism) and psychology (e.g., theories on expertise development). Moreover, with an increasing number of software companies maintaining open source projects, legal aspects of software development gain importance. One legal question I studied is the license status of code snippets on Stack Overflow and developers’ awareness of its implications.

To complement qualitative results derived from interviews, observational studies, or open-ended survey questions, I apply data-mining techniques to open source software projects or other data sets. I further maintain the open dataset SOTorrent that other researchers can use to study the origin, evolution, and usage of Stack Overflow content. That dataset was selected as the official mining challenge of MSR 2019. I am also interested in information visualisation and visual analytics, exploring how interactive visualisations can support humans in analysing data. I regularly develop custom visualisation that we have been using in different research projects to explore data or to derive patterns. I support open science and open data practices: I try to publish data, software, analysis scripts, and paper preprints whenever possible. Moreover, I argue for an active discussion about research methodology and ethical issues in the software engineering research community.

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2020 Senior Software Engineer QAware GmbH
    2020 - 2021 Adjunct Lecturer University of Adelaide
    2019 - 2020 Lecturer University of Adelaide
    2019 - 2019 Postdoctoral researcher University of Trier
    2013 - 2019 Doctoral researcher University of Trier
    2012 - 2012 Software Developer JAM Software GmbH
  • Language Competencies

    Language Competency
    English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
    German Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2013 - 2019 University of Trier Germany PhD
    2012 - 2013 Linnaeus University Sweden Exchange Semester
    2010 - 2013 University of Trier Germany MSc
    2007 - 2010 University of Trier Germany BSc
  • Research Interests

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  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2019 Baltes, S., & Diehl, S. (2019). Usage and Attribution of Stack Overflow Code Snippets in GitHub Projects. Empirical Software Engineering, 24(3), 1259-1295.
    DOI
    2019 Baltes, S., Dumani, L., Treude, C., & Diehl, S. (2019). The Evolution of Stack Overflow Posts: Reconstruction and Analysis. arXiv.
    Baltes, S., Treude, C., & Robillard, M. P. (n.d.). Contextual Documentation Referencing on Stack Overflow.
    Kula, R. G., Treude, C., Hata, H., Baltes, S., Steinmacher, I., Gerosa, M. A., & Amini, W. K. (n.d.). Untapped potential for software engineering in an emerging society: The
    case of Papua New Guinea.
    Baltes, S., & Treude, C. (n.d.). Code Duplication on Stack Overflow.
    DOI
    Baltes, S., & Ralph, P. (n.d.). Sampling in Software Engineering Research: A Critical Review and
    Guidelines.
    Baltes, S., Park, G., & Serebrenik, A. (n.d.). Is 40 the new 60? How popular media portrays the employability of older
    software developers.
    Baltes, S., & Wagner, M. (n.d.). An Annotated Dataset of Stack Overflow Post Edits.
    Ralph, P., Baltes, S., Adisaputri, G., Torkar, R., Kovalenko, V., Kalinowski, M., . . . Alkadhi, R. (n.d.). Pandemic Programming: How COVID-19 affects software developers and how
    their organizations can help.
  • Conference Papers

    Year Citation
    2019 Baltes, S., & Diehl, S. (2019). Towards a theory of software development expertise. In Lecture Notes in Informatics (LNI), Proceedings - Series of the Gesellschaft fur Informatik (GI) Vol. P-292 (pp. 83-84).
    DOI
    2019 Baltes, S., Treude, C., & Diehl, S. (2019). SOTorrent: Studying the origin, evolution, and usage of stack overflow code snippets. In IEEE International Working Conference on Mining Software Repositories Vol. 2019-May (pp. 191-194). Online: IEEE.
    DOI Scopus17
    2018 Stors, N., & Baltes, S. (2018). Constructing Urban Tourism Space Digitally: A Study of Airbnb Listings in Two Berlin Neighborhoods. In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human-Computer Interaction Vol. 2 (pp. 1-29). online: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).
    DOI Scopus3
    2018 Baltes, S., Dumani, L., Treude, C., & Diehl, S. (2018). SOTorrent: Reconstructing and analyzing the evolution of stack overflow posts. In Proceedings - International Conference on Software Engineering (pp. 319-330). online: ACM.
    DOI Scopus14 WoS3
    2018 Baltes, S., & Diehl, S. (2018). Towards a Theory of Software Development Expertise. In G. Leavens, A. Garcia, & C. Pasareanu (Eds.), 26th ACM Joint European Software Engineering Conference and Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (ESEC/FSE 2018) (pp. 187-200). online: ACM.
    DOI Scopus9 WoS7
    2018 Baltes, S., Knack, J., Anastasiou, D., Tymann, R., & Diehl, S. (2018). (No) influence of continuous integration on the commit activity in GitHub projects. In O. Baysal, & T. Menzies (Eds.), Proceedings of the 4th ACM SIGSOFT International Workshop on Software Analytics (SWAN 2018) (pp. 1-7). online: Association for Computing Machinery.
    DOI WoS2
    2018 Baltes, S., Treude, C., Diehl, S., & Dumani, L. (2018). SOTorrent: Studying the Origin, Evolution, and Usage of Stack Overflow Code Snippets. In M. -A. Storey, B. Adams, & S. Haiduc (Eds.), 15th International Conference on Mining Software Repositories (MSR 2018) (pp. 319-330). Online: IEEE.
    DOI
    2017 Baltes, S., Hollerich, F., & Diehl, S. (2017). Round-Trip Sketches: Supporting the Lifecycle of Software Development Sketches from Analog to Digital and Back. In K. Zhang, I. Beschastnikh, & A. Mocci (Eds.), 2017 IEEE Working Conference on Software Visualization (VISSOFT 2017) Vol. 2017-October (pp. 94-98). Online: IEEE.
    DOI
    2017 Baltes, S., Kiefer, R., & Diehl, S. (2017). Attribution required: Stack overflow code snippets in GitHub projects. In S. Uchitel, A. Orso, & M. P. Robillard (Eds.), 39th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2017), Companion Volume (pp. 161-163). Online: IEEE Computer Society.
    DOI Scopus9 WoS2
    2016 Baltes, S., & Diehl, S. (2016). Worse Than Spam: Issues In Sampling Software Developers. In M. Genero, A. Jedlitschka, & M. Jorgensen (Eds.), 10th International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement (ESEM 2016) Vol. 08-09-September-2016 (pp. 52:1-52:6). Online: ACM.
    DOI Scopus2
    2016 Blascheck, T., Beck, F., Baltes, S., Ertl, T., & Weiskopf, D. (2016). Visual analysis and coding of data-rich user behavior. In G. L. Andrienko, S. Liu, & J. T. Stasko (Eds.), 2016 IEEE Conference on Visual Analytics Science and Technology (VAST 2016) (pp. 141-150). online: IEEE.
    DOI Scopus5 WoS5
    2015 Baltes, S., Moseler, O., Beck, F., & Diehl, S. (2015). Navigate, Understand, Communicate: How Developers Locate Performance Bugs. In Q. Wang, G. Ruhe, J. Carver, & O. Dieste (Eds.), 9th International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement (ESEM 2015) Vol. 2015-November (pp. 225-234). Beijing, China: IEEE.
    DOI Scopus9
    2015 Biegel, B., Baltes, S., Scarpellini, I., & Diehl, S. (2015). Code Basket: Making Developers’ Mental Model Visible and Explorable. In K. Blincoe, D. E. Damian, G. Valetto, & J. D. Herbsleb (Eds.), 2nd IEEE/ACM International Workshop on Context for Software Development (CSD 2015) (pp. 20-24). Online: IEEE Computer Society.
    DOI Scopus4 WoS3
    2015 Biegel, B., Baltes, S., Prevos, B., & Diehl, S. (2015). VisualCues: Visually explaining source code in computer science education. In Z. Li, C. Ermel, & S. D. Fleming (Eds.), 2015 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC 2015) Vol. 2015-December (pp. 89-93). online: IEEE Computer Society.
    DOI Scopus1
    2014 Beck, F., Gulan, S., Biegel, B., Baltes, S., & Weiskopf, D. (2014). RegViz: Visual debugging of regular expressions. In P. Jalote, L. C. Briand, & A. van der Hoek (Eds.), 36th International Conference on Software Engineering Companion (ICSE 2014) (pp. 504-507). Online: ACM.
    DOI Scopus14 WoS12
    2014 Baltes, S., Schmitz, P., & Diehl, S. (2014). Linking sketches and diagrams to source code artifacts. In S. -C. Cheung, A. Orso, & M. -A. D. Storey (Eds.), 22nd ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Foundations of Software Engineering (FSE 2014) Vol. 16-21-November-2014 (pp. 743-746). Hong Kong, China: ACM.
    DOI Scopus11 WoS5
    2014 Baltes, S., & Diehl, S. (2014). Sketches and diagrams in practice. In S. -C. Cheung, A. Orso, & M. -A. D. Storey (Eds.), 22nd ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Foundations of Software Engineering (FSE 2014) Vol. 16-21-November-2014 (pp. 530-541). Hong Kong, China: ACM.
    DOI Scopus34 WoS15
  • Conference Items

    Year Citation
    2016 Baltes, S., & Wagner, S. (2016). Effects of Sketching on Program Comprehension (Research Plan). Poster session presented at the meeting of Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Agile Processes in Software Engineering and Extreme Programming (XP 2016). Edinburgh, UK: Springer.
    DOI

Semester 2, 2019:

  • COMP SCI 1106: Introduction to Software Engineering
  • COMP SCI 3304: Engineering Software as Services II
  • COMP SCI 3006: Software Engineering & Project

A full list of my previous teaching activities at the University of Trier in Germany can be found on my personal website.

  • Position: Lecturer
  • Phone: 83131183
  • Email: sebastian.baltes@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Ingkarni Wardli, floor 4
  • Room: 4 37
  • Org Unit: School of Computer Science

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