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PhD Final Examination – Seyed Soroush Ghorashi


Friday, June 9, 2017 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Evaluating the impact of live programming on collaborative software development
Collaboration is tricky, but often beneficial in the context of numerous software related activities, from learning core concepts, to the design and implementation of large software products. The growth of online classes, from small structured seminars to massive open online courses (MOOCs), and the isolation and impoverished learning experience some students report in these, points to an urgent need for tools that support remote pair programming in a distributed educational setting. In “the real world” software developers and designers work together to solve common problems, and meaningful and effective designer-developer collaboration improves the user experience. Supporting these with todays’ often distributed work model presents important challenges.

Two key techniques which are believed to be effective in promoting better coordination and collaboration are collaborative coding and live programming. Collaborative coding allows all the team members to get involved in the development process, and live programming enables them to see what they are building effortlessly and in real time.

In this work, we first describe Jimbo, an integrated development environment (IDE) based on collaborative and live programming techniques, and a set of user studies aimed at evaluating whether these techniques are effective in promoting better coordination and collaboration in two different settings; distance learning and design-focused software development. Our results show that these techniques can improve the learning experience through pair programming and a tights code-artifact feedback loop. We will show how collaborative coding and live programming can help designers and developers bridge their knowledge and language gaps and develop mutual understanding, allowing designers to join the development process as first-class citizens – not dependent on the coders to compile and share output – or being forced to become coders.

Major Advisor: Carlos Jensen
Committee: Cindy Grimm
Committee: Ron Metoyer
Committee: Alex Groce
GCR: A. Morrie Craig

Location: KEC 1114


Calvin Hughes
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