Don't miss an insight. Subscribe to Techopedia for free.


Distributed Development

What Does Distributed Development Mean?

Distributed development is a software development model in which IT teams spread across geographical lines collaborate on applications or various software. These teams are often separated by mini-projects that are brought together for a final software buildout.


Distributed development is a familiar IT approach, but source code control and other issues make it less than ideal. However, modern and advanced Web-based tools and collaborative techniques allow teams to work effectively in a distributed fashion.

Techopedia Explains Distributed Development

Teams work remotely, collaboratively and in a distributed development fashion for a number of reasons, as follows:

  • Although team members may share similar project ideas, they may reside or work in separate locations, making in-house collaboration impossible.
  • Startups may use this approach to save upfront or capital costs, like facilities and hardware for team members.
  • Team members may want or need to work from home, or relocation may not be an option.
  • Globalization and hiring IT staff in third-world countries cuts overhead costs.

Distributed development has potential downsides. For example, a large team made up of multiple micro-teams may fail at intercommunication, delaying or extending developmental processes and timelines.


Related Terms