Communication plays a vital role in software devel- opment projects. Globally distributed teams use a mix of dif- ferent communication channels to get the work done. In this paper, we report on an empirical study of a team distributed across Denmark and India. This paper explores the integration of formal documentation, bug-tracking systems and email with informal communication on Instant Messaging (IM), screen sharing, and audio conversations. Whenever overlap times occur, informal communication can take place at the same time in different sites, and it can effectively complement formal documentation. Our analysis provides an indication that IM can play a special role in such socio-technical communication systems: IM acts as a real time glue between different chan- nels. The communication through IM also provides a means to build trust and social relationships with co-workers.
Global Software Engineering (icgse), 2011 6th Ieee International Conference on, 2011, p. 103-112