Title: Individual learning: the role of mental models in the learning of software developers

Authors: Letícia Rodrigues Da Fonseca; Marcelo Ribeiro Silva; Sheldon William Silva; Guilherme Marques Pereira

Addresses: Faculty of Business Administration, University of Vale do Rio Verde (UNINCOR), Brazil ' Business and Administration School (ESAN), Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul (UFMS), Brazil ' Faculty of Business Administration, Federal University of Lavras (UFLA), Brazil ' School of Language Science, University Vale do Sapucaí (UNIVÁS), Brazil

Abstract: This study aims to understand the role of individual mental models in the learning of software developers. Qualitative research of a multiple case study was conducted in four software development organisations (SDOs) applying semi-structured interviews. The subjects interviewed were involved in the software development process. The analyses were performed by the qualitative data analysis software Weft_QDA, which allowed the identification and analysis of speeches related to the theoretical concept of this study. It was identified that the previous knowledge of software experts, the complexity of projects, the rotation of tasks, and the information and communication technologies employed in the work environment enhance individual mental models from their internal images-worldviews, leading to an efficient process of software development in SDOs. The results show that individual mental models manage the acquisition, retention, use, and elimination of information and experiences during the learning process of developers.

Keywords: individual mental model; software development organisations; SDOs; individual learning.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIL.2021.10042500

International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 2021 Vol.30 No.4, pp.503 - 520

Received: 26 May 2020
Accepted: 26 Oct 2020

Published online: 04 Nov 2021 *

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