An empirical investigation of code completion usage by professional software developers


Code completion is a widely used feature of modern integrated development environments. This study examines the ways in which code completion is used by professional software developers, as well as their actions when code completion doesn’t offer the expected results. We observe that code completion is used with the intention of writing code faster and more correctly, that a large fraction of the code completions are not accepted by the users and that users often used code completion as a debugging tool: when the suggestions are not useful or not expected they are seen as a indicator that there is an error in the program.

In Psychology of Programming Interest Group Annual Conference 2015 (PPIG 2015).