The concept of awareness plays a pivotal role in research in Computer-Supported Cooperative Work. Recently, Software Engineering researchers interested in the collaborative nature of software development have explored the implications of this concept in the design of software development tools. A critical aspect of awareness is the associated coordinative work practices of displaying and monitoring actions.
This aspect concerns how colleagues monitor one another’s actions to understand how these actions impact their own work and how they display their actions in such a way that others can easily monitor them while doing their own work. In this paper, we focus on an additional aspect of awareness: the identification of the social actors who should be monitored and the actors to whom their actions should be displayed.
We address this aspect by presenting software developers’ work practices based on ethnographic data from three different software development teams. In addition, we illustrate how these work practices are influenced by different factors, including the organizational setting, the age of the project, and the software architecture. We discuss how our results are relevant for both CSCW and Software Engineering researchers.
Ehrlich explains that “an expertise locator provides a valuable tool for individuals to develop awareness of ‘who knows what’ and to reach out to people across the organization.”
Expertise networks are intended to cover organizational timeframes. Expertise networks cover careers and multiple projects. Expertise networks focus on general abilities. Expertise networks are enterprise wide. Expertise networks reflect the developing and maintaining of an information repository. Expertise networks require eliciting tacit knowledge and transcribing explicit information. Expertise networks prescribe new contacts or remaking old contacts.
Awareness is “an understanding of the activities of others, which provides a context for your own activity.” In the introduction to this present paper, we described an awareness network to be “the network of actors whose actions need to be monitored by an actor and those to whom this actor needs to make his or her own actions visible.” Awareness networks reflect the carrying out of a specific task. Awareness networks require displaying and monitoring one’s activities. Awareness networks emerge by observing coworkers’ Activities. Awareness networks exist in task and project timeframes. Awareness networks cover members in a team and one or a few projects. Awareness networks focus on specific activities. Awareness networks are team sized.
- Task Assignment
- Identifying Who to Contact
- PR Work
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