The Small World Network Effect in Software Project Teams

TitleThe Small World Network Effect in Software Project Teams
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsPeterson, Kevin

Team cohesion and the dynamics of team formation are important parts of any project, with software projects being no exception. An interesting aspect of team building is the relationships formed between the team members. Because of these relationships, representing software team members as a graph may be a natural way to explore team dynamics. As team members move between projects, these graphs be- come more and more connected as team members col- laborate and form new relationships. We show that this connectivity, known as the “small world effect,” has a positive impact on team performance when the connectivity levels are moderate. Performance de- grades, however, at both very high and very low lev- els of connectivity. This aligns with similar research findings of non-software teams.


"This data was collected
using the freely available FLOSSmole[14]
datasets of free and open source projects. Two
datasets were analyzed – data from from the popular
open source project site Freecode,
1 and another
from the open source software repository SourceForge.
2 The Freecode dataset contained data up
to September 2013, while the SourceForge dataset
was slightly older with data gathered up to June
2009. "

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