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Global Software Engineering (GSE)

Global Software Engineering paradigm will have prominence on this blog.

Contextual Customisation of Agile Methods for GSD

Popularity of Agile methods and wide spread adoption of different forms of Global Software Development (GSD) have been encouraging several efforts aimed at exploring the potential advantages and disadvantages of applying Agile methods in GSD arrangements. Several research and industrial efforts and their outcomes aimed at combining Agile and GSD have been published in scientific and practitioner oriented literature – an emerging consensual message in nutshell is – context based customisation – Agile methods in general and Scrum in particular can be deployed in GSD arrangements with appropriate tweaking and customisation depending upon the contextual factors such as nature of domain, number of teams, amount of time difference, and number of cultural backgrounds. Now the efforts are being geared towards understanding the customisation antecedents and strategies of specific Agile methods for different GSD arrangements based on different contextual factors. The outcomes of such efforts are revealing interesting and useful insights into the needs and mechanisms of contextual tweaking of Agile methods in GSD – Yesterday (28 August, 2013), I chaired a session, Tweaking Agile Methods for GSD, at the International Conference on Global Software Engineering (ICGSE) in Bari, Italy, where three such efforts provided very useful findings. Three presenters Maria Paasivaara, Stephan Salinger, and Julian M. Bass shared interesting findings from their research efforts.Read More »Contextual Customisation of Agile Methods for GSD

Supporting Global Software Engineering with Cloud Computing

Like many disciplines and industries, Global Software Engineering (GSE) practitioners and researchers are also exploring the potential of Cloud Computing for improving the GSD processes and practices. We have been experimentally assessing the viability of providing Tools as a Service (TaaS) to globally distributed software development teams. I have recently presented a tutorial on this topic at the 10th International Summer School on Software Engineering in Salerno, Italy. The tutorial (Slides are here) was aimed at highlighting the important need of providing Software Engineering (SE) researchers and practitioners with knowledge and understanding about the potential opportunities, challenges, and solutions for leveraging cloud computing for supporting SE in general and GSE in particular. Read More »Supporting Global Software Engineering with Cloud Computing

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

Extended Team Model in Global Software Engineering

Distributed development of software has become a fact of life. Companies adopt different models of Global Software Development (GSD) paradigm based on their needs and the opportunities available to them. Apart from some of the well known models of GSD such as outsourcing, offshore development centers, global sourcing and virtual teams, companies are experimenting with new models that are more focused on collaborative approaches. One of the emerging models is Extended Team Model (ETM) that is based on cross-organizational partnership that can be justified by the need of having access to a pool of technical experts while having limited resources for outsourcing governance and fluctuating demand for developing software needs.

Mansooreh Zahedi, and I have started exploring the implementation of ETM in Small-to-Medium Enterprises (ETMs) involved in GSD. Part of this research will be incorporated in Mansooreh’s PhD dissertation. Mansooreh and I define an ETM as a customised offshore outsourcing model aimed at building an extended arm of a client by having continuous access to software development resources of a vendor by forming a long-term partnership.Read More »Extended Team Model in Global Software Engineering

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

Outsourcing from Danish Financial Sector

A few months ago, I was interviewed for a research study on IT outsourcing from Danish financial sector, whose union commissioned a research company named Oxford research for this task. The report from that research will be released soon. I am going to share the excerpts from my interview for that research here. The interview excerpts contain only my views on the IT outsourcing, especially software development offshore outsourcing in general. I’ll be very glad to see the views and commons of others on this important topic in the context of global software engineering.

What do you know about the IT outsourcing by the Danish financial sector?

I know about the IT outsourcing paradigm in a general sense – not specifically the Danish financial sector. The finance sector (not the Danish in particular, but in general) has very specific needs. Some of the financial companies today have very old systems in old programming languages for which many Western Universities have stopped giving education, e.g., mainframes. The backend systems are still running on mainframes, while the frontends are very sophisticated Internet based systems. These systems need to be maintained, and if they do not find the skilled labour locally, they are likely to outsource the maintenance and/or new development somewhere offshore. Read More »Outsourcing from Danish Financial Sector

Unique Challenges of Global Software Engineering in Europe

Global Software Engineering (GSE) has become a global phenomenon and a huge number of researchers and practitioners have been exploring the challenges of developing software in global arrangement, also called global sourcing, and how those challenges can be addressed. However, there has been relatively less attention to the unique challenges caused by a particular geographical location for example Europe. The discussions along these lines prompted christian Lescher (my co-program chair for ICGSE 2011) and me to organized a panel discussion during the International Conference on Global Software Engineering (ICGSE 2011) in Helsinki in August. The key question for the panel discussion was:

What are the unique challenges for GSE in Europe and how to overcome them?

This was a “fish ball” panel which was quite well attended with a lot of energetic and thoughtful participants who shared their observations, experiences, and opinions about the GSE challenges which are unique to Europe and those challenges are making it quite difficult for European companies to fully exploit the potential benefits of GSE paradigm. We will be writing a details report on the discussions and outcomes of the panel in the near future and I’ll have write a details blog entry. For those who are interested in knowing the main points discussed and different lines of arguments taken by different participants, I am placing some parts from the raw notes which were kindly taken by Paolo Tell. Read More »Unique Challenges of Global Software Engineering in Europe