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As part of a research project dedicated to the social organizational and cultural aspects of global software development, the author has chosen to focus on collaborative work practices and knowledge management aspects of collaborative work. More precisely, the focus is on how the global distribution of software development affects collaborative work. The current paper is a first attempt to unveil, through a concrete situation observed in a distributed software development environment, the complex ways in which people use technology to establish collaborative work practices. By using ethnographically-informed methods, the author presents a bottom-up study of actual work practices, meant to contribute to a better understanding of collaborative work and knowledge management processes in distributed software development.