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Shared Mental Models Among Open Source Software Developers

Barbara Scozzi
Politecnico de Bari, Italy
Kevin Crowston
Syracuse University, USA
U. Yeliz Eseryel
Syracuse University, USA
Qing Li
Syracuse University, USA


Abstract
Shared understandings are important for software development as they guide to effective individual contributions to, and coordination of, the software development process. In this paper, we present the results of a preliminary analysis on shared mental models within Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) development teams. Based on structuration theory and by adopting cognitive mapping and process analysis, we represented and compared the mental models of some developers of the Lucene Java project. Our analysis suggests that there is a high-level of sharing among core developers but the sharing is not complete, with some differences related to tenure in the project.

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Reference:Scozzi, B., Crowston, K., Eseryel, U.Y., Li, Q. (2008). "Shared Mental Models Among Open Source Software Developers," Syracuse University, USA . Sprouts: Working Papers on Information Systems, 8(10). http://sprouts.aisnet.org/8-10
Keywords:open source software, shared mental models, software development, coordination
Item Type:Article - Volume 8 Article 10 (2008)
Language:English
Email: Kevin Crowston (crowston@syr.edu)
U. Yeliz Eseryel (uyeserye@syr.edu)
Qing Li (qli03@syr.edu)

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