Analyzing Distributed Cognition in software Teams
N.V Flor and E.L. Hutchins

Sep 29, 1999


Discussion

This paper presents a twist on the ethnographic approach to the study of programmers' behavior. By taking two programmers at once, the authors argue that the knowledge structures are materialized in the real world, as opposed to single programmer studies, where the knowledge structures are kept inside the programmer's mind. Based on this external representation, the study of the programmer's mental stages is facilitated. However, I think that this approach is in reality very similar to other observational approaches, and that techniques of coupling users have been proposed elsewhere. But on the positive side, I liked about this paper that it notices the usefulness of situated gestures and situated messages as communication mechanisms.