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The Role of Visualization in the Naturalization of Remote Software Immigrants

Azam Khan, Justin Matejka, Steve Easterbrook

Invited Paper
Software Engineering, Human Computer Interaction and Visualization Workshop
2009

Abstract

Software development is commonly becoming a globally distributed task, often due to mergers and acquisitions, globalization, cross-divisional efforts, outsourcing, or even telecommuting. Individuals -and entire teams- are suddenly faced with new challenges when they must move from the traditional synchronous co-located paradigm to the newer asynchronous distributed paradigm. While previous work has examined collocated software immigrants, we investigate remote immigrants who may be working synchronously or asynchronously, and report on the naturalization process. Specifically, we focus on the role of visualization in helping with this process. The case study presented is exploratory in nature with data collected via pilot interviews. We found a number of issues impeding normal workflow, as perceived by participants who recently became remote software immigrants, and we discuss how visualization tools were developed to help them to understand the process.

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