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Using developer activity data to enhance awareness during collaborative software development

Omoronyia, I. and Ferguson, J. and Roper, M. and Wood, M. (2009) Using developer activity data to enhance awareness during collaborative software development. Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 18 (5-6). pp. 509-558. ISSN 0925-9724

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Abstract

Software development is a global activity unconstrained by the bounds of time and space. A major effect of this increasing scale and distribution is that the shared understanding that developers previously acquired by formal and informal face-to-face meetings is difficult to obtain. This paper proposes a shared awareness model that uses information gathered automatically from developer IDE interactions to make explicit orderings of tasks, artefacts and developers that are relevant to particular work contexts in collaborative, and potentially distributed, software development projects. The research findings suggest that such a model can be used to: identify entities (developers, tasks, artefacts) most associated with a particular work context in a software development project; identify relevance relationships amongst tasks, developers and artefacts e.g. which developers and artefacts are currently most relevant to a task or which developers have contributed to a task over time; and, can be used to identify potential bottlenecks in a project through a 'social network' view. Furthermore, this awareness information is captured and provided as developers work in different locations and at different times.