Date of Award:

2014

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

English

Advisor/Chair:

David E. Hailey

Abstract

My dissertation defines how software developers have abandoned traditional documentation practices for other kinds of media that work better in their workplace practices. Ultimately, even though other media like white boards, sticky notes, and “oral communication” are vastly different than traditional, written software documentation, they match the fast paced, decision-making situations of contemporary developer communities. I focus particularly on oral communication because it is the most unacceptable means to “document,” according to traditional standards. I use North American Genre Theory to describe those decision-making situations contemporary developers and note how the theory does not account for all the documentation I expect to find. Via several projects and interviews I confirm that oral communication is a new means of “documentation” and reconciles North American Genre Theory.

Included in

Communication Commons

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