Communication in software engineering teams




Nguyen, Thanh H. D.

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Communication is an important activity within software engineering teams as within any other type of organization. In distributed setting, distance has been reported to introduce significant delay in communication. However, new processes and tools have been specifically introduced to alleviate the effect of distance on distributed development. In order to examine if the new processes and tools have indeed made a different on distributed development, we conduct an empirical study in communication of a large globally distributed software engineering team. The goals of our study are to a) investigate the effects of distance on communication speed and b) examine the structure of communication network of this team. We found that distribution does not affect communication speed as reported in previous studies. We also found that this team was able to maintain a project wide communication network with a large core of contributors from across different sites. We conjectured that this structure of communication network helps teams to overcome the challenges of distribution. Finally, we explain the implications of our findings to practitioners and suggest directions for future studies.



Communication, Software enginering, Social network