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Case Study - “Can You See Me?”: Writing toward Clarity in a Software Development Life Cycle

Case Study - “Can You See Me?”: Writing toward Clarity in a Software Development Life Cycle
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Author(s): Anne DiPardo (University of Colorado, USA) and Mike DiPardo (Chezelle Group, USA)
Copyright: 2012
Pages: 12
Source title: Computer Engineering: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Information Resources Management Association (USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-456-7.ch401

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Abstract

This chapter presents a case study detailing how geographically dispersed software developers employ writing in the process of creating and troubleshooting products for use in the healthcare industry. It focuses particularly on their efforts to arrive at language that unambiguously reflects functional requirements and optimal design principles. After a brief history of the company and the evolution of its national and international virtual collaboration practices, the authors turn to the role of text across particular task cycles, exploring the uses of writing in generating, designing, and refining plans and products. Focusing on a series of three composing sequences, the authors highlight the incremental process by which the team moves toward a shared sense of understanding and linguistic precision. They argue that in contrast to common conceptions of texts as simple containers for preformed ideas, these episodes provide a more nuanced picture, as writing comes to play a central role in constituting and fine-tuning meaning and in maintaining strong working relationships throughout the processes of developing and refining products. They close with implications for preparing diverse virtual teams for participation in tasks that demand exacting uses of the written word.

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