Shared mental models among open source software developers

Publication Type:

Conference Proceedings


Proceedings of the 41st Hawai'i International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), Big Island, Hawai'i, 7-10 January (2008)


Shared understandings are important for software development as they guide to effective individual contributions to, and coordination of, the software development process. In this paper, we present the results of a preliminary analysis on shared mental models within Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) development teams. Based on structuration theory and by adopting cognitive mapping and process analysis, we represented and com-pared the mental models of some developers of the Lucene Java project. Our analysis suggests that there is a high-level of sharing among core developers but the shar-ing is not complete, with some differences related to ten-ure in the project.


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