The Work of Software Development as an Assemblage of Computational Practice

Susan Sim, Marisa Cohn, Kavita Philip

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


Science and technology studies (STS) is a discipline concerned with examining how social and technological worlds shape each other. In this paper, we argue that STS can be used to study the work of software development as a complex, interacting system of people, organizations, culture, practices, and technology, or in STS terms, an assemblage. We illustrate the application of these ideas to the work of software development, where STS theory directs us towards examining at human-human relations, human-machine relations, and machine-machine relations. We conclude by discussing some of the challenges of applying STS in empirical software engineering.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the ICSE Workshop on Cooperative and Human Aspects of Software Engineering : CHASE
Place of PublicationVancouver, BC
Publication date2009
ISBN (Print)978-1-4244-3712-2
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • programming
  • sociotechnical systems
  • software engineering
  • sociology
  • interactive systems
  • STS
  • Software development
  • computational practice


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