Supporting Geographically Distributed Software Design Teams

While we have eagerly started working on organizing one of the most important community gatherings of researchers, practitioners, and educators interested in global software engineering, ICGSE 2011, the other day, one of my colleagues, Pernille Bjorn, from ITU organized a workshop on a closely related topic,  Global Software: Collaboration & Collaborative Technologies. The main objective of this workshop was to bring people interested in global software from Denmark, India, and Japan for a couple of days to present their research and brainstorm ideas for potential collaboration.

I was invited to give a talk during this workshop. I thought it would be very appropriate to speak about our previous and ongoing work aimed at supporting geographically distributed stakeholders in software design as I call them geographically distributed software design teams. Though, the time limitation didn’t allow me to go into details of different aspects of our work, I hope the workshop participants would have enjoyed the brief talk, whose slides are available here. If you like to read the abstract of the talk, here it is:
The software development paradigm is changing with the rise of geographically distributed software development models and off-shoring.  Traditional software development processes face new challenges posed by the increasing popularity and adoption of the GSD paradigm. In response to these challenges, various communities of software development practice (e.g., requirements engineering, inspections, and design) have been designing and evaluating new processes to tailor and/or scale traditional processes to support their practices in GSD projects. Our research concentrates on supporting geographically distributed software architecture design and evaluation teams. Global Software Development projects are often large-scale, and global development leads to significantly increased complexity for software design teams, who may have to face several kinds of new challenges characterized by the need of new and novel coordination, collaboration, and communication mechanisms to support different stakeholders and activities involved in software design and evaluation processes. This talk will describe an ongoing project aimed at developing new and/or extending existing processes and tools for addressing the challenges involved in architecting processes with geographically distributed teams. The talk will report the outcomes of this line of research so far and outline the future activities with the aim of seamlessly supporting the collaboration, coordination, and communication challenges characterized by cultural, time zone, and knowledge differences commonly observed in software design teams.

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