Organizations are increasingly adopting geographically distributed development models, which are commonly known as Global Software Development or Global Software Engineering (GSE). There are many forms of GSD such as outsourcing, offshoring, nearshoring, software ecosystems, distributed development centres, and strategic alliances and partnerships for developing software at different places. GSD is not any more a phenomenon rather an increasing trend. Hence, there should not be any debate whether or not software development enterprizes (in-house and software houses) will develop software through global distributed development centres and teams; rather the question is to what extent. While GSD promises many advantages and benefits, however, GSD projects are also more likely to be unsuccessful, because geographical, temporal, cultural, organizational, and stakeholder distances can have negative impact on communication, coordination, collaboration, and knowledge exchange. Software researchers and practitioners have developed several tools and devised numerous processes and practices to support geographically distributed software development. However, the increasing scale and complexities of GSD projects are making them inappropriate and insufficient. Hence, there is a vital need of new tools and processes, which we call next generation technological infrastructure for supporting GSD. In order to meet this need, we are defining a large scale multi-disciplinary project involving several academic researchers and industrial partners.
This project aims to develop, empirical evaluate, and package next generation technologies – infrastructure, tools, and methods – that bridge geographical, temporal, and cultural differences in Global Software Development (GSD).
We plan to;
• conduct detailed studies of the collaborative distributed nature of GSD with a special emphasis on cultural discontinuities and opportunities,
• design and prototype new collaborative technologies and infrastructures for GSD, and
• develop new software engineering processes, practices, cultural norms, and practical guidelines for bridging distances in time, space, and culture
We have received strong interest from several companies involved in GSD proejcts around the World. Based on this interest, a few of these companies will be coming in this project as partners and some of them will be collaborators. The project’s initial proposal received very good feedback from the funding agency and it has been invited for the second round of submission, which is going to be quite tough; We have already started working on preparing and submitting a very competitive application as this project is going to be quite significant for the GSD researchers and practitioners in general and all directly involved in particular. I’ll be posting about this project and our work in this area so far in a forthcoming post.