Effective communication of software development knowledge through community portals
Proceedings of the 19th ACM SIGSOFT symposium and the 13th European conference on Foundations of software engineering - SIGSOFT/FSE '11
Knowledge management plays an important role in many software organizations. Knowledge can be captured and distributed using a variety of media, including traditional help files and manuals, videos, technical articles, wikis, and blogs. In recent years, web-based community portals have emerged as an important mechanism for combining various communication channels. However, there is little advice on how they can be effectively deployed in a software project. In this paper, we present a first
... present a first study of a community portal used by a closed source software project. Using grounded theory, we develop a model that characterizes documentation artifacts along several dimensions, such as content type, intended audience, feedback options, and review mechanisms. Our findings lead to actionable advice for industry by articulating the benefits and possible shortcomings of the various communication channels in a knowledge-sharing portal. We conclude by suggesting future research on the increasing adoption of community portals in software engineering projects.