Globalizing software development in the local classroom

Richardson, I., Moore, S., Paulish, D., Casey, V. and Zage, D. (2007) Globalizing software development in the local classroom. [Conference Proceedings]


Given the requirement for software engineering graduates to operate in Global Software Development (GSD) environments, educators need to develop teaching methods to enhance and instill GSD knowledge in their students. In this paper, we discuss two projects that provided students with a first-hand learning experience of working within GSD teams. One project was with Siemens Corporate Research, whose focus was to shadow the development of a real-life GSD project. The second project, whose focus was virtual team software testing, was carried out in collaboration with Ball State University. In parallel with these projects we undertook qualitative research during which we analyzed students' own written reflections and face-to-face interviews that focused on their learning experiences in these contexts. We identified three specific forms of learning which had taken place: pedagogical, pragmatic and the acquisition of specific globally distributed knowledge. Our findings confirm that mimicking real work settings has educational benefits for problem-based learning environments.

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