Parallel changes in large scale software
development: an observational case study;
Proc. 20th International Conf. Software Engineering,
19-25 April 1998;
Abstract: An essential characteristic of large scale software
development is parallel development by teams of developers. How
this parallel development is structured and supported has a
profound effect on both the quality and timeliness of the product.
We conduct an observational case study in which we collect and
analyze the change and configuration management history of a
legacy system to delineate the boundaries of, and to understand
the nature of, the problems encountered in parallel development.
The results of our studies are l) that the degree of parallelism
is very high-higher than considered by tool builders; 2) there are
multiple levels of parallelism and the data for some important
aspects are uniform and consistent for all levels; and 3) the
tails of the distributions are long, indicating the tail, rather
than the mean, must receive serious attention in providing
solutions for these problems.