Universality of Egoless Behavior of Software Engineering Students

Universality of Egoless Behavior of Software Engineering Students

Pradeep Waychal (Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI, USA) and Luiz Fernando Capretz (Western University, London, Canada)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/IJTHI.2018010106
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Software organizations have relied on process and technology initiatives to compete in a highly globalized world. Unfortunately, that has led to little or no success. The authors propose that the organizations start working on people initiatives, such as inspiring egoless behavior among software developers. This paper proposes a multi-stage approach to encourage egoless behavior and discusses the universality of the egoless behavior by studying cohorts from three different countries, i.e., Japan, India, and Canada. The three stages in the approach are self-assessment, peer validation, and action plan development. The instrument to assess egoless behavior is based on Lamont Adams' “Ten commandments of egoless programming” – seven of the commandments are general, whereas three are related to coding behavior. The authors have found that students display relatively poorer egoless behavior in coding related than general commandments. The authors found traces of universality in the egoless behavior among the three cohorts.
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Many software engineering stalwarts have emphasized the criticality of the people dimension in software engineering. Dijkstra (1979) proclaimed that programming (software engineering) has to be considered as a human activity. Weinberg (1971) clearly stated that human personality is more important than human intelligence in software. Cockburn (1999) has emphasized importance of the people dimension by stating that the fundamental characteristics of “people” have a first-order effect on software development and must become a first-order research agenda item in software engineering. Potts (1993) has claimed that “all the real problems in software engineering are people problems.” Many studies have asserted criticality of teamwork in organizations (Bendifallah & Scacchi, 1989; Boehm, 1981; Mahnic, 2012; Scacchi, 1995) Therefore, the people dimension appears to be of critical importance.

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