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Social Structure

Extended Team Model in GSD and Structures

We have been researching the theoretical concepts and practical implementation of Extended Team Model in Global Software Development (GSD) arrangements. This research has been motivated by the increasing popularity of developing software involving cross-organizational teams that are characterised by all sorts of distances (e.g., geographical, cultural, temporal, and knowledge). While there is plenty of literature on different models of GSD (e.g., outsourcing and distributed development centres), there is little known about the structures (work, social, and communication) that may exist in ETM and what affordances those structures provide to support collaboration and coordination. Our research in this area has produced some initial findings that have revealed that whilst the current structures in the studied team help deal with different GSD challenges, these structures appear to have certain challenges inherent in them and the affordances they provide. Based on these findings, our extensive observations from GSD projects in different settings, and structured review of the published literature, we have made a few recommendations for improving the current structures to deal with the observed challenges. The findings from the first phase of data analysis  have been reported in a paper that was presented in the 8th International Conference on Global Software Engineering by Mansooreh Zahedi. The slides from her presentation provide some glimpses of different aspects of our study. Read More »Extended Team Model in GSD and Structures

Social Structures in Extended Team Model

Extended Team Model (ETM) is an emerging mode of arrangement for Global Software Development (GSD). As described in one of my previous post, ETM is a customized offshore outsourcing model aimed at building an extended arm of a client by having access to software development resources of a vendor, usually located offshore, by forming a partnership. Like any other kind of GSD arrangement, ETM can also be characterized by certain types of structures (i.e., social, communication, and work).  Appropriate nature and alignment among these structures are expected to ease collaboration and communication challenges. However, our research is based on more strong assertion about the potential of appropriate social structure for easing coordination and collaboration challenges. As the social networking and social structures are gaining significant attention in GSD, we are very much interested in empirically and systematically exploring the role of social structures in encouraging collaborative behaviors in an ETM-based GSD engagement. Read More »Social Structures in Extended Team Model

Sharing Experiences from Human-Centric Software Engineering Research

My current visit of down under (Australia) provided me with several opportunities to visit several colleagues, albeit for short catch meetings, and share our current research directions and  outcomes. My discussions and invited talks mainly focused on our experiences of devising and executing an ambitious agenda of taking an interdisciplinary approach to combining our historical interests in technological focused research and development efforts with our increasing attention to the socio-cognitive aspects of the origin, development, and use of the technologies (i.e., tools, middleware, design methods) that we devise and empirically assess. This kind of research falls within the theme of “human-centric software engineering” that is increasingly gaining attention of software engineering community. During my visit, I gave three talks about our experiences of human-centric software engineering research at three places: University of Technology Sydney, NICTA, and the University of Adelaide.Read More »Sharing Experiences from Human-Centric Software Engineering Research

Leveraging Activity Based Computing and Cloud Computing for Global Software Engineering

We have been working on exploring the use of activity based computing for guiding the design and development of next generation of tools for supporting software engineering in general and global software engineering in particular. At the same time, we have started work on leveraging cloud computing for the provision of such platforms and tools as a service. Recently, I gave two talks on this topic when I visited PNNL, Richland, Washington State, USA and Software Engineering Centre at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. The slides of the talks are here: ActivityTheory-CloudComputing-GSE-pdf. The details on this work can be found in the papers that Paolo Tell, Aufeef Chauhan, and I have written. ABC4GSD is driven through Paolo Tell’s PhD research and Tool as a Service (TaaS) work is being carried out through Aufeef Chauhan’s PhD work. The abstract of my talk is here:Read More »Leveraging Activity Based Computing and Cloud Computing for Global Software Engineering