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  • Titill er á ensku User-Driven Development for Bespoke Software
  • Doktors
  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    Software engineering as a discipline has for the last few decades tried to tackle the problem of software project failures. A software engineer's arsenal consists of various methods and techniques applicable to the plethora of different software projects. Initially the field focused on a rigid methodology where the methods follow a similar work-flow and focus on delivering a product based on the customer's requirements. This methodology, what can be called classic software development, is to a large extent based on academic research and observations.
    Lately another methodology, agile software development, has has garnered much traction. Agile software development, which is a collection of methods and techniques used in practice by experienced developers, puts more emphasis on individuals and delivering constantly changing software. Free and open source software has received a lot of attention in the recent years and is usually developed using a method that strongly resembles those of the agile software development methodology. However, unlike both agile and classic software development where the motivation for the development is extrinsic, free and open source development has traditionally been based on an intrinsic motivation of the developers themselves.
    The need to solve a personal problem is usually what sparks off development of free and open source software. The software and its development is opened up to others who can use it as a base to solve their own problems. This leads to general software that solves the needs of many. Usually user solve their problems by hiring contractors to develop bespoke software. This opens the question of whether open source software can benefit users who do not possess any development skills. The ideological foundation of open source software is free software. Therefore, when we look at it more closely, the question revolves around the four freedoms of free software. The research question of this dissertation is therefore: How can the four freedoms of free software benefit bespoke software development?
    In order to try and answer this research question, we conduct an ethnographic study where we look at three different groups: free and open source software developers, software developers in general, and users for whom the software is developed. Knowledge and understanding of these groups reveal to us that free and open source software development is in fact fundamentally different to both classic software development and agile software development. The main difference between these development approaches is how information flows between all stakeholders in the software project. From this observation we define a new methodology, User Driven Development, where the user becomes the project leader over the software development.

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  • 17.1.2013

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Athugsemd: en This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit