Bots for Pull Requests: The Good, the Bad, and the Promising

Mairieli Wessel, Ahmad Abdellatif, Igor Scaliante Wiese, Tayana Conte, Emad Shihab, Marco Aurélio Gerosa, Igor Steinmacher

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
273 Downloads (Pure)


Software bots automate tasks within Open Source Software (OSS) projects’ pull requests and save reviewing time and effort (“the good”). However, their interactions can be disruptive and noisy and lead to information overload (“the bad”). To identify strategies to overcome such problems, we applied Design Fiction as a participatory method with 32 practitioners. We elicited 22 design strategies for a bot mediator or the pull request user interface (“the promising”). Participants envisioned a separate place in the pull request interface for bot interactions and a bot mediator that can summarize and customize other bots’ actions to mitigate noise. We also collected participants’ perceptions about a prototype implementing the envisioned strategies. Our design strategies can guide the development of future bots and social coding platforms.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICSE '22
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 44th International Conference on Software Engineering
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computer Machinery
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781450392211
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-9221-1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Software Bots
  • GitHub Bots
  • Human-bot Interaction
  • Open Source Software
  • Automation
  • Collaborative Development
  • Design Fiction


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