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Working Across Borders: Overcoming Culturally-Based Technology Challenges in Student Global Software Development

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4 Author(s)

Facilitated by the Internet, global software development has emerged as a reality. The use of shared processes and appropriate tools is considered crucial to alleviate some of its issues (e.g., space and time differences), homogenizing the environment of development and interaction, and increasing the likelihood of success. Since 2005, Pace University in the United States has been collaborating with the Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC) and the University of Delhi in India to bring students together to work on global software development projects. This paper reports on our experiences and lessons from spring 2007 when the focus was on these students working together on the development of a single software system. One key objective was to investigate how to create a shared and open source tooling environment to support a distributed development process that has evolved over two years. The setting is unique in that it seeks to accommodate students from a mix of established, developing and emerging countries who, as a consequence, have had varying levels of exposure to the Internet and use it in non-similar ways. The findings, lessons and recommendations from our study are reported in this paper. Not surprisingly, when the perceived professional value of assumed dasiaeveryday technologiespsila is dissimilar across cultures, preparation for the communications tooling needs more attention than the engineering tooling. This has important implications for the emphasis placed on dasiaprocesspsila and dasiasoft skillspsila in the respective classrooms, and highlights some challenges facing emerging countries as they strive to become players in the global workforce.

Published in:

Software Engineering Education and Training, 2008. CSEET '08. IEEE 21st Conference on

Date of Conference:

14-17 April 2008