Knowledge Acquisition Activity in Software Development

  • Olivier GendreauEmail author
  • Pierre N. Robillard
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 206)


Data from four field studies are analyzed to find the patterns of knowledge acquisition activity in software development projects with respect to other cognitive activities such as documentation, coding and V&V. The data are obtained from self-recorded activity time slips approach. Data are codified based on an information source model, which is related to Nonaka and Takeuchi’s knowledge creation model. It shows that knowledge acquisition activities account for almost 15% of the total effort. We also find out that this effort, in most cases, cannot be restricted to the first phase of the project during requirement and architectural design, which is expected from waterfall or disciplined processes. About half of the learning is done during the code implementation even within a disciplined process. This finding is in line with one value of the Agile philosophy that promotes team interactions and users involvement for the whole project duration.


Knowledge acquisition software development cognitive activities knowledge flow cognitive factors empirical studies field studies 


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer and Software EngineeringPolytechnique MontréalMontréalCanada

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