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Experiments in Distributed Side-By-Side Software Development

Prasun Dewan, Puneet Agrawal, Gautam Shroff, and Rajesh Hegde


In distributed side-by-side software development, a pair of distributed team members are assigned a single task and allowed to (a) work concurrently on two different computers and (b) see each others' displays. They can control when they communicate with each other, view each others' actions, and input concurrently. To understand how this control is exerted in practice, we have performed experiments at two different organizations, Microsoft Research and Tata Consultancy Services, which involved about forty six person hours of distributed side-by-side development. The experimental tasks were typical of the kind carried out at these organizations. A mix of qualitative, quantitative, and visualization analysis shows shows that (a) distribution and conflicting changes are not an issue; (b) developers use the unique capabilities provided by distributed side-by-side software development; and (c) the exact usage depends on several factors such as the collaboration task, developers, and software-development abstraction and environment.


Publication typeProceedings
Published inCollaborateCom 2009. 5th International Conference on Collaborative Computing: Networking, Applications and Worksharing
PublisherIEEE Computer Society

Previous versions

Rajesh Hegde and Prasun Dewan. Connecting Development Environments to Support Ad-Hoc Collaboration, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc., 18 September 2008.

Prasun Dewan, Puneet Agarwal, Gautam Shroff, and Rajesh Hegde. Distributed Side-by-Side Programming, IEEE, 18 May 2009.

Prasun Dewan and Rajesh Hegde. Semi-Synchronous Conflict Detection and Resolution in Asynchronous Software Development, Springer Verlag, 25 September 2007.

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