NC State University

Department of Computer Science Colloquia 1999-2000

Date: Tuesday, April 11, 2000
Time: 3: 30 PM (talk)
Place: Withers 402A, NCSU Historical Campus (click for courtesy parking request)

Speaker: Laurie Williams, Computer Science, University of Utah

The Collaborative Software Process

Abstract: Anecdotal and qualitative evidence from industry indicates that two programmers working side-by-side at one computer, collaborating on the same design, algorithm, code, or test, perform substantially better than the two working alone. Statistical evidence has shown that programmers perform better when following a defined, repeatable process such as the Personal Software Process (PSP). Bringing these two ideas together, the Collaborative Software Process (CSP) has been developed. The CSP is a defined, repeatable process for two programmers working collaboratively. The CSP is an extension of the PSP, and it relies upon the foundation of the PSP. This talk will present empirical evidence that demonstrates that software developers working collaboratively using the CSP produce products with higher quality more quickly than those working individually using the PSP.

An experiment was run in 1999 with approximately 40 senior Computer Science students at the University of Utah. All students learned both the CSP and the PSP. Two-thirds of the students worked in two-person collaborative teams using the CSP to develop their programming assignments. The other students worked independently using the PSP to develop the same assignments. The productivity, cycle time, and quality of the two groups have been compared. Empirical results point in favor of the collaborative teams using the CSP.

Short Bio:  Laurie Williams is a Ph.D. student in Computer Science at the University of Utah.  She received a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University and an MBA from Duke University.  Ms. Williams also worked for IBM for nine years in Raleigh, NC before returning to academia. In her last position, she was a manager of Software Verification Test.  Ms. Williams' interest is in software development techniques that predictably produce high quality, maintainable software products.  These techniques span software process, software testing, object orientation, architecture, design, patterns, and software reliability engineering.  Because of her engineering background, Ms. Williams is especially intrigued with applying these techniques to software components in order for the industry to increasingly and effectively produce "interchangeable parts".

Host: Annie Anton, Computer Science, NCSU

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