Find, Understand, and Extend Development Screencasts on YouTube


A software development screencast is a video that captures the screen of a developer working on a particular task and explaining implementation details. Due to the increased popularity of development screencasts e.g., on YouTube, we study how and to what extent they can be used as additional source of knowledge to answer developers’ questions, for example about the use of a specific API. We first study the difference between development screencasts and other types of screencasts using video frame analysis. When comparing frames with the Cosine algorithm, developers can expect ten development screencasts in the top 20 out of 100 different YouTube videos. We then extracted popular development topics. These were: database operations, system set-up, plug-in development, game development, and testing. We also identified six recurring tasks performed in development screencasts, such as object usage and UI operations. Finally, we conducted a similarity analysis of the screencast transcripts and the Javadoc of the corresponding screencasts.

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