Inclusion of individuals with autism spectrum disorder in Software Engineering

Gastón Márquez, Michelle Pacheco, Hernán Astudillo, Carla Taramasco, Esteban Calvo

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Context: Software Engineering is dedicated to the systematic and efficient development of software, which necessitates the active participation of all team members and a recognition of their unique skills and abilities, including those with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The inclusion of individuals with ASD presents new perspectives, yet there is a lack of systematic evidence regarding the primary obstacles and potential benefits associated with their inclusion. Objective: This paper aims to identify, characterize, and describe barriers, facilitators, and methodological proposals described by the community to include individuals with ASD in the discipline of Software Engineering. Methods: We conducted a comprehensive systematic multivocal mapping study to evaluate the existing evidence on the inclusion of individuals with ASD in Software Engineering. Results: We obtained 34 primary studies from which we identified the main facilitators of motivation to learn new skills, attention to detail, and the ability to report and visualize patterns. In contrast, the main barriers detected were communication, a lack of neurodivergent computational thinking, and sensory integration. Additionally, we identified and classified four categories of proposals that allowed the inclusion of individuals with ASD: (i) using virtual reality, (ii) creating more inclusive workspaces, (iii) encouraging neurodivergent computational thinking, and (iv) improving social skills. Conclusions: This study identifies the principal elements that ought to be taken into consideration when allocating tasks and roles to individuals with ASD in software development.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículo107434
PublicaciónInformation and Software Technology
EstadoPublicada - jun. 2024
Publicado de forma externa

Áreas temáticas de ASJC Scopus

  • Software
  • Sistemas de información
  • Informática aplicada


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