HP Labs Technical Reports



Twinkling Lights and Nested Loops: Distributed Problem Solving and Spreadsheet Development

Nardi, Bonnie A.; Miller, James R.

HPL-90-12

Keyword(s):

Abstract: In contrast to the common view of spreadsheets as "single-user" programs, we have found that spreadsheets offer surprisingly strong support for cooperative development of a wide variety of applications. Ethnographic interviews with spreadsheet users showed that nearly all of the spreadsheets used in the work environments studied were the result of collaborative work by people with different levels of programming and domain expertise. Cooperation among spreadsheet users was spontaneous and casual; users activated existing informal social networks to initiate collaboration.

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