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What are the biggest challenges to distributed software collaboration?

In this article, the need for collaborative software development is highlighted. You are asked to consider the challenges that arise from this.
© The University of Manchester

Welcome to Collaborative Coding in Git, a course from the University of Manchester introducing the popular Git version control tool. We’re going to jump right in by discussing the challenges software developers face when they need to work together on a code base.

In the early days of computing, it was common for a single developer to plan, write and test an entire project on their own.

As the scale and complexity of software projects has increased, it has become ever more difficult for one person to take on an entire project by themselves. Modern software development is almost universally driven by teamwork. A team may involve just a few members or, in the case of larger projects, hundreds.

Due to their nature, open-source projects often boast the largest number of unique contributors. The machine learning framework “Tensorflow” boasts over 11,000 unique contributors according to a 2020 Github report.

Working on a project with team members offers many advantages. A diverse team can bring together many specialities, backgrounds and points of view to develop a successful project which a single person could never hope to achieve. However, by allowing many contributors to all work simultaneously on the same project we also introduce several challenges and difficulties.

What do you believe are some of the challenges and difficulties that we encounter when working together on the same project? Have you encountered any of these yourself?

© The University of Manchester
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