Seminars & Colloquia

Anita Sarma

Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University

"Coordination in Software Engineering by Bridging Formal and Informal Practices "

Friday February 13, 2009 09:30 AM
Location: 3211, EB2 NCSU Centennial Campus
(Visitor parking instructions)


Abstract: My research focuses on understanding how coordination in software development takes place and can be better supported as an interplay of people and technology. Towards this goal, I have designed, implemented, and evaluated different coordination tools. In this talk, I will discuss my experiences in building two of these tools, Palantír and Tesseract. Palantír 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. Results from user experiments demonstrate that, as compared to not using Palantír, the use of Palantír: (1) leads to both early detection and early resolution of a larger number of conflicts, (2) leaves fewer conflicts unresolved in the code base that was ultimately checked in, and (3) involves reasonable overhead. 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. Formative evaluations of Tesseract have shown that users can very quickly understand the use of cross-linked displays and found the tool to be useful in learning about a new project.
Short Bio: Anita Sarma is a Post Doctoral Fellow in the Institute for Software Research in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. She holds a joint B.S. and M.S. degree in Management Studies from the Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences, Pilani, India, and a Ph.D. degree in Information and Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine. 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. At the same time, her research is framed by a pursuit of novel theoretical contributions that derive from deep understandings of the field.

Host: Laurie Williams, Computer Science

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