Some of the material in is restricted to members of the community. By logging in, you may be able to gain additional access to certain collections or items. If you have questions about access or logging in, please use the form on the Contact Page.
Research concerning optimization of reuse of software assets developed and consumed within large software enterprises is prevalent within academia and industry. Comparatively few research efforts have been devoted to exploring asset reuse among small-scale developers who work in relative isolation, such as students, hobbyists, or consultants. The goal of this thesis is to identify factors affecting successful systematic software among the small-scale developer demographic, specifically focusing on the feasibility of introducing a reuse support tool into a personal software process. After a review of the state of the theory and practice of software reuse, a functional prototype was developed incorporating seven key features deemed necessary for an effective support tool. Resulting observations of the tool's ability to browse, search, and categorize assets in ways not capable in an ad hoc approach using hierarchical file systems such as NTFS lend credibility to the potential for a tool incorporating these features to optimize the reuse process of small-scale developers. The prototype's conceptual usage and feature set was evaluated in an exploratory study conducted with student and professional software developers. The results of the study revealed that these developers reused personally developed software assets regularly, but typically did so in an ad hoc fashion by browsing the files containing the results they needed. After performing a series of tasks typically associated with reuse such as browsing and searching in both NTFS and the prototype, developers offered positive feedback about the tool's potential to organize and streamline the asset storage and retrieval process. A majority expressed an interest in using such a tool to support their reuse process in the future. The unique combination of features in the prototype demonstrates that an affordable, low-overhead solution for software asset storage and retrieval is possible. Positive feedback from developers reveals that the use of such a tool to manage the reuse of personal assets is feasible. Comparisons with an ad hoc approach to reuse using NTFS reveal that the features in the prototype lead to a more comprehensive and efficient organization of personal software assets. Most importantly, the prototype offers the potential for future studies to be conducted evaluating the effects of using such a tool to manage assets for a prolonged period of time.