Software Development Cultures and Cooperation Problems: A Field Study of the Early Stages of Development of Software for a Scientific Community
- 335 Downloads
In earlier work, I identified a particular class of end-user developers, who include scientists and whom I term ‘professional end-user developers’, as being of especial interest. Here, I extend this work by articulating a culture of professional end-user development, and illustrating by means of a field-study how the influence of this culture causes cooperation problems in an inter-disciplinary team developing a software system for a scientific community. My analysis of the field study data is informed by some recent literature on multi-national work cultures. Whilst acknowledging that viewing a scientific development through a lens of software development culture does not give a full picture, I argue that it nonetheless provides deep insights.
Keywordscommunity software development cooperation field study scientific software development software development culture professional end-user developers
I should like to express my heartfelt gratitude to those people who participated in this field study. For reasons of confidentiality I cannot name them, but they know who they are. In addition, I should like to thank my colleagues in the Empirical Studies of Software Development Group in the Centre for Research in Computing at the Open University, Marian Petre, Hugh Robinson and Helen Sharp, for their unwavering support of my work. I should also like to thank the anonymous reviewers of an earlier version of this paper for their suggestions and references.
- Brown, J. S., & Duguid, P. (2000). The social life of information. Boston: Harvard Business School.Google Scholar
- Carver, J. C., Kendall, R. P., Squires, S. E., Post, D. E. (2007). Software development environments for scientific and engineering software: A series of case studies. Proc. ICSE 2007Google Scholar
- Hofstede, G. (1994). Cultures and organisations: Intercultural cooperation and its importance for survival. HarperCollins.Google Scholar
- Knorr Cetina, K. (1999). Epistemic cultures: How the sciences make knowledge. Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Letondal, C. (2005). Participatory programming: developing programmable bioinformatic tools for end-users. In H. Lieberman, F. Paterno, V. Wulf (Eds.), End user development (pp. 207–242). Springer.Google Scholar
- Segal, J. (2001). Organisational learning and software process improvement: A case study. In K.-D. Althoff, R.L. Feldmann, W. Muller (Eds.). Advances in learning software organizations, lecture notes in computer science (Vol. 2176, pp. 68–82). Springer.Google Scholar
- Segal, J. (2008a). ‘Models of scientific software development. SECSE 08, workshop on software engineering in computational science and engineering, workshop co-located with ICSE 08, Leipzig, Germany. http://www.cse.msstate.edu/~SECSE08/Papers/Segal.pdf.
- Segal, J. (2008b). Scientists and software engineers: A tale of two cultures. To appear in the 20th Psychology of Programming Interest Group Workshop.Google Scholar