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Users in the context of software product development and testing

John Rooksby, David Martin, Mark Rouncefield
This abstract examines how software developers discuss their users and how such discussions are intrinsic to the negotiation and settling of technical decisions in the development and testing of a software product. Through use of ethnographic data we show how the user features in conversations, not as a topic, but as context. Our work concerns use of the method Extreme Programming for software product development. This is a sensible method for software product development in many respects, but its strengths in extensive user participation are curtailed. By understanding the user as a contextual or scenic feature in developers cooperative work we make the first step in an ethnographic program of research we claim necessary to fully appreciated risk in the use of Extreme Programming for software product development.
The 10th European Conference on Computer Supported Co-operative Work, Limerick, Ireland, September 24-28, 2007.
2007
2007/013