Awareness Support in Distributed Software Development: A Systematic Review and Mapping of the Literature

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The developers’ physical dispersion in Distributed Software Development (DSD) imposes challenges related to awareness support during collaboration in such scenario. In this paper, we present a systematic literature review and mapping that gathered, analyzed, and classified studies that improve awareness support in DSD, providing an overview of the area. Our initial search returned 1967 papers, of which 91 were identified as reporting some awareness support to DSD. These papers were then analyzed, and classified according to the 3 C collaboration model and to the Gutwin et al. Awareness Framework. Our findings suggest that awareness in DSD is gaining increasingly attention, 71 out of 91 papers were published from 2006 to 2010. Most part of the papers presented tools with some awareness support. The classification showed that the coordination is by far the most supported dimension of the 3C model, while communication is the less explored. It also showed that workspace awareness elements play a central role on DSD collaboration.