Among the agilists: Participant observation in a rapidly evolving workplace

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



© 2016 ACM. In this paper, we describe the practical considerations and challenges of studying an agile, co-located software development community by assimilating among them over many months. We have adopted a fully immersive ethnographic approach using semistructured and unstructured interviews. In many ways, the design choices in our study mirrored those faced by the development team, as we adjusted our methods on the y to accommodate our richer knowledge of the work environment and adapted to changes on the ground. We share our process of determining and adjusting an operating procedure for the ethnographic observation and we reect on the challenges faced in choosing subjects to study, getting them on board, planning questions and conducting interviews without disrupting the regular process of software development.

Publication Title

Proceedings - 9th International Workshop on Cooperative and Human Aspects of Software Engineering, CHASE 2016