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Making Software by Greg Wilson, Andy Oram

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From Research to Practice

The previous sections discussed what we have learned in the past decade or so in terms of managing dependencies in GSD. We now turn our attention to the practical implications of such research results.

Leveraging the Data in Software Repositories

A large portion of the research studies that have examined how technical and work dependencies can lead to coordination breakdowns, and consequently reduce productivity and quality, used data collected from software repositories. Examples of such repositories are version control systems, defect and task tracking systems, wikis, and obviously the source code itself. Certainly, such lines of research highlight the potentially enormous value of building and maintaining software repositories to assess a wide range of factors that affect software development projects. Since such repositories are quite pervasive in today’s software development organizations, why not use the rich data stored in those repositories to improve software development practice? This section discusses several examples of how to go about this.

Possibly one of the simplest but most beneficial steps that a software development organization can take is to connect the data between the version control system and the defect or task tracking systems. The end result is a clear link between a development task or a defect representation and the set of changes in the source code (or other artifacts) committed to a version control system. Two chapters in this ...

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