Creator of Knowledge
Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Social Capital and Knowledge Networks of Software Developers: A Case Study

Social Capital and Knowledge Networks of Software Developers: A Case Study
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Author(s): VenuGopal Balijepally (Oakland University, Rochester, USA)and Sridhar Nerur (University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, USA)
Copyright: 2022
Pages: 45
Source title: Research Anthology on Agile Software, Software Development, and Testing
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Information Resources Management Association (USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-3702-5.ch064


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Software development is a problem-solving activity, where ideas are combined in complex ways to create a software product that embodies new knowledge. In this endeavor, software developers constantly look for actionable knowledge to help solve the problem at hand. While knowledge management efforts in the software development domain traditionally involved technical initiatives such as knowledge repositories, experience factories, and lessons-to-learn databases, there is a growing appreciation in the software community of the role of developers' personal knowledge networks in software development. However, research is scarce on the nature of these networks, the knowledge resources accessed from these networks, and the differences, if any, between developers of different experience levels. This research seeks to fill this void. Based on a case study in a software development organization, this research explores the nature of knowledge networks of developers from a social capital perspective. Specifically, it examines the structural and relational dimensions of developers' knowledge networks, identifies the specific actionable knowledge resources accessed from these networks, and explores how entry-level and more experienced developers differ along these dimensions. The findings from the qualitative analysis, backed by limited quantitative analysis of the case study data underpin the discussion, implications for practice and future research directions.

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