Activity Theory applied to Global Software Engineering: Theoretical Foundations and Implications for Tool Builders

Paolo Tell, Muhammad Ali Babar

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Although a plethora of tools are available for Global Software Engineering (GSE) teams, it is being realized increasingly that the most prevalent desktop metaphor underpinning the majority of tools have several inherent limitations. We have proposed that Activity-Based Computing (ABC) can be a promising alternative to build tools for GSE.
However, significant effort is required to introduce a new paradigm; there is a need of sound theoretical foundation based on activity theory to address challenges faced by tools in GSE.
This paper reports our effort aimed at building theoretical foundations for applying activity theory to GSE. We analyze and explain the fundamental concepts of activity theory, and how they can be applied by using examples of software architecture design and evaluation processes. We describe the kind of data model and architectural support required for applying activity theory in building supporting infrastructure for GSE, and describe a proof of concept prototype.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Software Engineering (ICGSE), 2012 IEEE Seventh International Conference on
Number of pages10
PublisherIEEE Computer Society Press
Publication date2012
ISBN (Print) 978-1-4673-2357-4
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventInternational Conference on Global Software Engineering -, Porto Alegre, Brazil
Duration: 27 Aug 201230 Aug 2012
Conference number: 7th


ConferenceInternational Conference on Global Software Engineering
CityPorto Alegre
Internet address


  • Global Software Engineering
  • Activity Theory


Dive into the research topics of 'Activity Theory applied to Global Software Engineering: Theoretical Foundations and Implications for Tool Builders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this