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ICSE
1999
IEEE-ACM

Splitting the Organization and Integrating the Code: Conway's Law Revisited

8 years 11 months ago
Splitting the Organization and Integrating the Code: Conway's Law Revisited
It is widely acknowledged that coordination of large scale software development is an extremely difficult and persistent problem. Since the structure of the code mirrors the structure of the organization, one might expect that splitting the organization across time zones, cultures, and (natural) languages would make it difficult to assemble the components. This paper presents a case study of what indeed turned out to be the most difficult part of a geographically distributed software project, i.e., integration. Coordination problems were greatly exaggerated across sites, largely because of the breakdown of informal communication channels. The results imply that multi-site development can benefit to some extent from stable plans, processes, and specifications. The inherently unpredictable aspects of projects, however, require communication channels that can be invoked spontaneously, by developers, as needed. These results shed light on the problems and mechanisms underlying the coordin...
James D. Herbsleb, Rebecca E. Grinter
Added 04 Aug 2010
Updated 04 Aug 2010
Type Conference
Year 1999
Where ICSE
Authors James D. Herbsleb, Rebecca E. Grinter
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