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In the Virtual Extension

By CACM Staff

Communications of the ACM, Vol. 53 No. 6, Page 8

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Sergio de Cesare, Mark Lycett, Robert D. Macredie, Chaitali Patel, and Ray Paul

Agility is a facet of software development attracting increasing interest. The authors investigate the value of agility in practice and its effects on traditional plan-based approaches. Data collected from senior development/project managers in 62 organizations is used to investigate perceptions related to agile development. Specifically, the perceptions tested relate to the belief in agile values and principles, and the value of agile principles within current development/organization practice. These perceptions are examined in the context of current practice in order to test perceptions against behavior and understand the valued aspects of agile practice implicit in development today. The broad outcome indicates an interesting marriage between agile and plan-based approaches. This marriage seeks to allow flexibility of method while retaining control.

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Barriers to Systematic Model Transformation Testing

Benoit Baudry, Sudipto Ghosh, Franck Fleurey, Robert France, Yves Le Traon, and Jean-Marie Mottu

Model Driven Engineering (MDE) techniques support extensive use of models in order to manage the increasing complexity of software systems. Automatic model transformations play a critical role in MDE since they automate complex, tedious, error-prone, and recurrent software development tasks. For example, Airbus uses automatic code synthesis from SCADE models to generate the code for embedded controllers in the Airbus A380. Model transformations that automate critical software development tasks must be validated. The authors identify characteristics of model transformation approaches that contribute to the difficulty of systematically testing transformations as well as present promising solutions and propose possible ways to overcome these barriers.

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Factors that Influence Software Piracy: A View from Germany

Alexander Nill, John Schibrowsky, James W. Peltier, and Irvin L. Young

Software piracy has wide-ranging negative economic consequences for manufacturers and distributors striving to compete in a competitive global market. Indeed, software piracy is jeopardizing the future growth and development of the IT industry, which in turn disproportionately impacts countries with the highest piracy rates. This article details an exploratory study that investigated the relationship between a comprehensive set of factors and software piracy in Germany. The authors gleaned some valuable security measures from the results of the study that can be used as a starting point for industry and governments to develop programs to deter piracy.

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The Requisite Variety of Skills for IT Professionals

Kevin P. Gallagher, Kate M. Kaiser, Judith C. Simon, Cynthia M. Beath, and Tim Goles

IT professionals today are beset by ongoing changes in technology and business practices. To thrive in such a dynamic environment requires competency in a broad range of skills, both technical and nontechnical. The authors contend the Law of Requisite Varietyadapting to change requires a varied enough solution set to match the complexity of the environmentcan help explain the need for greater and broader skills among IT professionals. The article outlines a framework containing six skill categories critically important for the career development of IT professionals.

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Panopticon Revisited

Jan Kietzmann and Ian Angell

Many claims have been made regarding the safety benefits of computer-supported surveillance technologies. However, like many technologies the advantageous door swings both ways. The authors compare how current computer and communication technologies are shaping today's "panopticons," pulling heavily from the 1787 prison architectural design by social theorist Jeremy Bentham that allowed prison officials and observers to keep an eye on prisoners without the imprisoned able to tell they are being watched.

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The Social Influence Model of Technology Adoption

Sandra A. Vannoy and Prashant Palvia

While social computing has fast become an industry buzzword encompassing networking, human innovation, and communications technologies, few studies have investigated technology adoption targeting the individual at the level of society, community, or lifestyle experience. The authors address this gap by developing social constructs and providing a theoretically grounded model for technology adoption in the context of social computing. Their model suggests that social computing action, cooperation, consensus, and authority are antecedents to social influence. And social influence, they contend, leads to technology adoption.

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I, Myself and e-Myself

Cheul Rhee, G. Lawrence Sanders, and Natalie C. Simpson

The human ego, developed from birth, is central to one's conscious self, according to experts. This article examines the concept of the virtual ego (one that begins with the creation of an online identity and functions only online) and the notion of an online persona as overarching concepts providing a new rationale for understanding and explaining online behavior. The authors posit that an Internet user's virtual ego is distinguishable from his or her real ego and argue that understanding the differences between the two is essential for advancing the dynamics of Web-based social networks.

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Beyond Connection: Situated Wireless Communities

Jun Sun and Marshall Scott Poole

Compared to traditional Internet-based virtual communities, situated wireless communities (SWCs) go beyond just connecting people together. In fact, SWCs enable people to share their common physical and/or social context with each other. With the availability of these cues, the social interaction among members within a community is significantly enhanced. The authors detail four general types of SWCs as well as give examples of the strengths and weaknesses of each.

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DOI: http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1743546.1743550

©2010 ACM  0001-0782/10/0600  $10.00

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