Enhancing Productivity in Distributed Software Development Teams

HS image - 600x218 - productivity through software visualization


At our World Summit QtWS23, Rainer Koschke gave a speech on how software visualization can enhance productivity in distributed software development teams. Koschke asserts that software development is a collaborative process involving people-to-people communication. In the geographically dispersed team settings, we have used more remote team tools, but usually, only one person controls the content and visuals being shared on the screen. Other team members can only offer different angles for viewing if seeking permission from the presenter. Moreover, the video titles showing participants' faces are entirely disconnected from the content presented. Koschke's research team aims to overcome this challenge with software visualization, a future visionary approach that responds to ongoing trends and needs in software engineering.

Software visualization for communication complex software projects

Software visualization involves creating visual representations of software to understand better and communicate complex software projects. According to Koschke, software visualization responds to the challenge of evaluating software quality. Software quality is a multifactor concept where one cannot have one single metric to provide all the answers. You would have to look at many variables, and zooming in too closely to the details may make you lose sight of the big picture.

Koschke's vision of overcoming these challenges materializes in a research project where they create virtual rooms for distributed team members to examine their software and its quality. Based on the popular code-city metaphor, the project visualizes the architecture and implementation at an abstraction level suitable for stakeholders from different domains. In this setting, the participants are also parts of the scenery as avatars, and they can interact and look from different angles of the visualization and interact with other participants. Software visualization is not limited to a distributed context but can also be used for participants in the same room, with visualizations presented on a monitor screen.

Benefits of software visualization

In his talk, Koschke outlined several benefits of software visualization:

  1. Software visualization can help team members better understand the structure and dependencies of complex software systems, making it easier to identify potential issues and ensure that the final product meets quality standards.
  2. Visual representations of software can improve communication and collaboration among team members. Team members can more easily discuss and share ideas, leading to increased productivity and better quality assurance.
  3. Software visualization can verify software architecture, follow the evolution of systems, identify code duplication, and check if any components do not match the namespace.


You can click here to learn more about software visualization and listen to Koschke's entire speech.


Blog Topics: