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[Colloquium] Coordination in Distributed Software Development

November 5, 2010

Watch Colloquium: 

M4V file (874 MB)


  • Date: Friday, November 5, 2010 
  • Time: 12noon — 12:50 pm 
  • Place: Centennial Engineering Center, Room 1041

Anita Sarma 
Assistant Professor, Computer Science and Engineering Department University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Coordination is inherent in any group work and software development is no exception. In this talk, I will trace the evolution of support for coordination for software development by introducing the different coordination paradigms that have emerged. I will then discuss my experiences in building two coordination tools, Tesseract and PalantC-r. Tesseract is an interactive environment that enables developers to explore and understand various relationships that exist among different project entities and such as artifacts, developers, bugs, and communications in a software project. PalantC-r augments existing configuration management systems with workspace awareness to inform developers of ongoing changes and their effects so as to prompt users to self-coordinate. Lessons from both these tools will be framed in the broader context of coordination needs in software development.

Bio: Anita Sarma is an Assistant Professor at the Computer Science and Engineering Department the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. She received her PhD from Department of Informatics in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. Her advisor was Professor Dr. Andre van der Hoek. She then completed a two year post doc at Carnegie Mellon University, School of Computer Science with Dr. James Herbsleb. Her research interests lie primarily in the intersection of software engineering and computer-supported cooperative work, focusing on understanding and supporting coordination as an interplay of people and technology. Her research is driven by a strong desire to offer practical solutions to real-world problems through the construction of novel software tools and environments.