Evaluating awareness information in distributed collaborative editing by software-engineers
2012 First International Workshop on User Evaluation for Software Engineering Researchers (USER)
In co-located collaborative software development activities like pair programming, side-by-side programming, code reviews or code walkthroughs, the individuals automatically gain a fine granular mutual understanding of where in the shared workspace the other participants are, what they are doing and what their levels of interest are. These points of so called awareness information are critical for an efficient and smooth collaboration but cannot be obtained via the natural mechanisms in virtual
... teams. Application sharing and groupware for collaborative editing are widely used for collaborative tasks in distributed software development but considered from the awareness and flexibility aspect they are far off the co-located setting. To better support virtual team collaboration by improving tools for distributed software development it is neccesary to evaluate awareness and its impacts to certain collaborative situations. Awareness itself is an invisible phenomenon and due to its intangible nature cannot be easily observed or measured. Thus we recorded virtual teams using Saros, a groupware for distributed collaborative party programming, respectively VNC and now analyse these videos using the grounded theory methodology. This approach for evaluating awareness leads to various problems concerning the recording setup and time exposure for analysis.