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  • ozchi20-68-CR

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Software project work in an African context: myths, maps and messes

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Publication date31/12/2020
Host publicationOzCHI'2020 Proceedings: 32nd Australian Conference on Human-Computer-Interaction
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781450389754
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Research in HCI and CSCW has consistently shown how software design approaches are an abstract idealisation of work practices, raising questions regarding the appropriateness and applicability of what might be considered as ‘best practice’ or ‘doable practice’ in project work. Such issues have magnified the fundamental need for examining exactly how conventional (and generally Western) constructs, approaches and methods, widely adopted in the process of producing and deploying technologies, actually work. The paper reports findings from a study that seeks to understand the implications for adopting ‘well-known’ practices for framing, undertaking, and analysis distributed and collaborative software project in the context of Nigeria. Findings show that documenting and analysing what is often considered as ‘best practice’, supposedly prescriptive maps and scripts for accomplishing work, necessitates considering how they get adopted, interpreted, and extended as ‘orderly’ and occasionally ‘messy’ alternatives, offering some sensitivities for understanding the translocal features and transitional meaning of agile project work.