Individuals who have Asperger's Syndrome/High-Functioning Autism, as a group, are chronically underemployed and underutilized. Many in this group have abilities that are well suited for various roles within the practice of software development. Multiple studies have shown that certain organizational and management changes in the software development process often result in improved productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness that often increases the likelihood of software project development success. Coincidentally, these changes also parallel many of the work accommodations that can provide an environment that allows individuals with Asperger's Syndrome/High-Functioning Autism to be productive and successful in a work environment. Yet, software development projects continue to fail at a higher rate than other engineering endeavors, while software professionals on the spectrum continue to be underemployed and underutilized. Three men and one women diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, and one man self-identifying with behaviors consistent with the syndrome were interviewed to understand their lived experiences on software development projects. Overall, the work environment emerged as the most significant theme. The participant's stories suggest that an accommodating work environment for Aspies is also an accommodating work environment for software development.
|Adviser||Richard A. Livingood|
|Subjects||Management; Information technology; Occupational psychology|
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