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Challenge of Distributed Teams and Outsourced Development

The overhead in communicating has been a known challenge for most software projects. Developer's need to discuss the pieces of code relevant to what they are doing. As teams get larger, the number of code modules that they need to interact with gets larger - raising the communication overhead. In The Mythical Man-Month Fred Brooks pointed out that as more developers are added to a project this communication overhead does not necessarily lead to higher productivity.

Effective Discussion over Geograpical and Temporal Distance

Project teams routinely perform feature development, testing, and releases in multiple locations. With development split even among the same team, face-to-face discussion becomes harder and raises the challenges of remote team collaboration. Convenient support is needed for a common reference point for effective discussions about code highlights, logic details, and higher level architecture is often needed.

When teams in different time zones, either for resource optimizations, costs management, or around-the-clock development, the constraints of limited real-time conversations can cause a high communication overhead for teams. Teams often are driven to textual and e-mail based discussions and therefore have an increasing need for good documentation.

Having effective documentation means having short descriptions of all the important parts of the code. Maintaining such documentation is always a significant overhead for remote and asynchronous collaboration.

Security, Auditing and Compliance Challenges

Beyond the constraints of space and time, teams also face challenges when doing out-sourced and offshore development:

  • Security: Project teams need to ensure their code and documentation is safe on secure servers and only made available to team members with appropriate priviliges.
  • Auditing and Compliance: Team leads need to be able to trace the source of any modifications and updates by team members to code and documentation.

Easy and Effective Collaboration Solution with Architexa

With the collaboration challenges faced by project teams, Architexa has developed features to provide a platform for easy and effective communication among developers.

Dramatically Improve in Distributed Discussion Effectiveness

Good documentation of your code is important to ensure the effectiveness of remote discussions. Architexa provides an easy way to document your code succinctly by creating intuitive diagrams of your code and sharing them with the rest of team members.

Architexa provides features to improve the performance of distributed discussion:

  • Diagrams can be easily shared by a single click on the tool bar integrated in Eclipse. Diagrams then become available 24/7 and accessible from anywhere.
  • Real time analysis makes sure all diagrams created can be kept up-to-date easily, which saves time in documenting code.
  • Diagrams can be created specifically for code changes. This enables distributed team members in doing easier reviews of changes and modifications.
  • Annotation can be added easily to diagrams shared by team members or the public according to the type (private/public) they are declared. Discussion among team members can be facilitated via annotation.
  • Automatically finding related diagrams helps developers quickly gather information about a particular part of the code. This allows a more complete understanding of code for informed discussions when working with remote members.

Secured and Manageable Working Environment

Architexa provides a Sophisticated Security Mechanism: You don't have to worry about information leakage as a sophisticated security system has been implemented. You can share diagrams on the server safely as though they were private to you.

In order to make Auditing Process more effective, Architexa provides the feature of "Track Changes". This allows tracking of the people who are responsible for any changes so that modification of the codebase can always be managed. Furthermore, previous versions can be easily recalled when needed.

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