What might it mean for your organization to participate on my research on how professional software developers collaborate “in the wild”?

It would mean that your organization and the people that I am studying would allow me, or members of my research team, to:

  • Come on site to do “deep hanging out” observing the software developers in order to better understand the social and organizational context.
  • Take photos of the work environment and artifacts (where permissible).
  • Take videos of the software developers collaborating and otherwise doing the work (where permissible).
  • Take this data off-site for analysis (the data you allowed to be taken; access tightly restricted).

The amount of time I would be on site is negotiable. Ideally, it would include a few days of deep hanging out,  followed by three “iterations” worth of the video.  For example, if your team’s process has one-week iterations, I would collect three weeks worth of video. With multiple video cameras.

More details are available in the Consent Form that participants sign if they wish to participate in the research. The details of how we interact with people and whether we do post-session surveys or discussions is negotiable. For instance, with one organization, I spent almost no time talking with developers because of the organization’s concern about productivity.

In addition, I will be creating an online corpus of such data that would be available to a larger body of researchers beyond just my research team (they will need to agree to the similar conditions of use as my research team agrees to). This substantially increases the value of this data, by multiplying the number of different ways in which the data will be analyzed.

Different organizations might choose different levels of dissemination of their data: 1) to my research team, only, or 2) to my research team and into the corpus. And they may choose to contribute to the corpus only a subset of the data we collect.

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