Software Engineer Perceptions of Learning Facilitated by Four Asynchronous Web 2.0 Interaction Technologies in a Software Development Environment Open Access
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Web 2.0 has transformed the way people interact in their personal and, more recently, professional lives. As professionals who create a wide variety of contemporary social media applications, software engineers (or software developers, as they are professionally known) are also early adopters and frequent users of Web 2.0 tools throughout their regular software development work. However, there is insufficient empirical or practical literature available that explores learning that is facilitated by software engineer asynchronous interactions via Web 2.0-supported social media technologies. The purpose of this exploratory quantitative study was to investigate perceived learning by individual software engineers who interact with their colleagues using blogs, microblogs, question-and-answer (Q&A;) websites, or tagging applications. The researcher used Bandura's social cognitive theory (1986) as a theoretical lens through which potential software engineer learning was investigated in the software development environment. Study findings indicated that learning is facilitated by each of the asynchronous interaction technologies that were explored in this research. Bandura's social cognitive theory was supported in that learning is a process that occurs in environments far beyond the traditional formal classroom setting. Learning results from the interactions of individuals, wherever their dynamic and reoccurring exchanges are transpired. Analysis of software engineer survey responses confirmed that workplace Web 2.0 communications transform the way people interact and learn over the course of their professional lives.