Supporting Collaborative Software Development through the Visualization of Socio-Technical Dependencies

Author(s): Cleidson R. de Souza, Stephen Quirk, Erik Trainer and David F. Redmiles
Venue: Proceedings of the 2007 international ACM conference on Supporting group work
Date: 2007



Software development creates dependencies that requires continuous communication and coordination among developers. This paper provides empirical evidence that suggests technical dependencies among software components also create social dependencies among their respective software developers.

The paper analyzes Ariadne, a plug-in for Eclipse, whose goal is to translate technical dependencies in a software project into social dependencies among the developers. The authors discover 4 problems with awareness: manager's lack awareness of evolving social dependencies; developer's lack awareness of evolving code dependencies; developer's finding the "right" developer; developer's finding "similar" developers.

Ariadne uses visualization to show social dependencies after analyzing source code for technical dependencies, and has different views to solve each of the scenarios described above.