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Issue No. 01 - Jan.-Feb. (2013 vol. 30)
ISSN: 0740-7459
pp: 37-43
James Herbsleb , Carnegie Mellon University
Jason Tsay , Carnegie Mellon University
Colleen Stuart , Carnegie Mellon University
Laura Dabbish , Carnegie Mellon University
ABSTRACT
A new generation of development environments takes a radical approach to communication and coordination by fusing social networking functionality with flexible, distributed version control. Through these transparent work environments, people, repositories, development activities, and their histories are immediately and easily visible to all users. Developers quickly acquire the skill to interpret this rich information to find useful resources, connect with people, solve technical problems, and enhance their learning opportunities. This article presents the results of a qualitative study of users of one such environment, GitHub. It describes how transparency helps developers on GitHub manage their projects, handle dependencies more effectively, reduce communication needs, and figure out what requires their attention. Although transparency is not a silver bullet, the approach shows great promise for enhancing collaboration and coordination. The Web extra at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpGA2fmAHvM is a video of Joel Spolsky discussing the structure, software, technology, and culture of Stack Exchange.
INDEX TERMS
Social network services, Software engineering, Collaboration, Organizational aspects, User interfaces, Information technology, Software management, information technology and systems, software engineering tools and techniques, software engineering, organizational management, coordination, group interfaces, organization interfaces, information interfaces and representation, HCI
CITATION
James Herbsleb, Jason Tsay, Colleen Stuart, Laura Dabbish, "Leveraging Transparency", IEEE Software, vol. 30, no. , pp. 37-43, Jan.-Feb. 2013, doi:10.1109/MS.2012.172
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