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Between the software factory and the digital platform: the work of software programmers in the context of platformization and agile methodologies

Grant number: 23/04254-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2023
Effective date (End): August 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Sociology - Other specific Sociologies
Principal Investigator:Henrique José Domiciano Amorim
Grantee:Guilherme Henrique Guilherme
Supervisor: Alessandro Delfanti
Host Institution: Escola de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (EFLCH). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Guarulhos. Guarulhos , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Toronto (U of T), Canada  
Associated to the scholarship:20/15078-9 - Between the software factory and the digital platform: the working conditions of software developers, BP.DR

Abstract

This research develops a study about the work of software programmers, comparing those who work inside "traditional" software producing companies and those who program from digital platforms. From this perspective, we are analyzing the forms of exploitation, control, and monitoring of digital labor and software programmers today. On the one hand, we discuss how toyotism-based forms of organization operate within software companies and what are the possibilities of subordination of this workforce through these methodologies. On the other hand, we are analyzing digital platforms, questioning this new way of organizing and managing labor that also represents the advance of capital valorization to new frontiers. We debate to what extent the work of programming and software development can be managed through these platforms and what the tendencies of this work are, trying to answer the following questions: 1) is it possible that this informational work, at first sight creative, has its characteristics appropriated by the management of work, through agile methodologies, becoming standardized and replaceable work? 2) what are the tendencies toward the platformization of this work? 3) Can this become the predominant way of organizing this type of production and work or, at least, a way that has a relevant incidence? 4) How should we think about the tendency to work on demand via platforms in the developed world, in a professional category that is generally accepted as qualified and well paid? Do the elements that structure work in the periphery - informality, lack of rights - tend to generalize even to the richest countries? Or do these informalization processes have different contents? To help us answer these questions, we intend, during the BEPE internship, to conduct a more in-depth bibliographical discussion with researchers at the University of Toronto, and also to conduct fieldwork in the third largest technology hub in North America, where several platforms with work tasks for software developers also emerge. (AU)

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