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How tagging helps bridge the gap between social and technical aspects in software development

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2 Author(s)
Treude, C. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Univ. of Victoria, Victoria, BC ; Storey, M.

Empirical research on collaborative software development practices indicates that technical and social aspects of software development are often intertwined. The processes followed are tacit and constantly evolving, thus not all of them are amenable to formal tool support. In this paper, we explore how ldquotaggingrdquo, a lightweight social computing mechanism, is used to bridge the gap between technical and social aspects of managing work items. We present the results from an empirical study on how tagging has been adopted and adapted over the past two years of a large project with 175 developers. Our research shows that the tagging mechanism was eagerly adopted by the team, and that it has become a significant part of many informal processes. Our findings indicate that lightweight informal tool support, prevalent in the social computing domain, may play an important role in improving team-based software development practices.

Published in:

Software Engineering, 2009. ICSE 2009. IEEE 31st International Conference on

Date of Conference:

16-24 May 2009