IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Software Development: A View from the Outside

Listed author(s):
  • Eischen, Kyle
Registered author(s):

    From the outside looking in, software development debates seem to be thriving. Both software engineering and craft-based method advocates appear no closer to a consensus now than thirty years ago. Considering the debate from a social and economic viewpoint helps reframe the issue, moving towards a clearer understanding of software and software development. There is much that is unique in software, but also much that, especially conceptually, is and has been debated, discussed and learned before. This places software development debates within historical and current perspective. Bringing software into non-technical frameworks involves translating software issues into equivalent social and economic problem domains. The very act of translating and viewing software through social science domains raises questions - What is software? Why is it hard to make? Why do we care? - that normally are assumed by insiders as obvious and well understood. However, such assumptions are often the central issue at stake that prevents solutions from forming. While there is general agreement on the goal of producing high-quality, low cost software, underlying assumptions concerning the rationalization of software, managing communication and the role of domain-knowledge remain at the heart of development debates. Developing new analogies outside of the current dichotomy of craft and engineering can help highlight these central issues. This also enables software development to learn from existing research on innovation, intellectual work, and information industries to bring new tools to an old debate. Placing domain-knowledge and design at the center of software discussions, opens up a series of issues that can guide software development questions in the short and long-term future.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:;origin=repeccitec
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz in its series Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series with number qt1pd2q6np.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 01 May 2002
    Handle: RePEc:cdl:glinre:qt1pd2q6np
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cdl:glinre:qt1pd2q6np. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lisa Schiff)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.