Globalizing Software Development in the Local Classroom

Globalizing Software Development in the Local Classroom

Ita Richardson, Sarah Moore, Alan Malone, Valentine Casey, Dolores Zage
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-770-6.ch097
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In the dynamic global economy that exists today the operation and structure of organisations have had to adapt to the reality of the information revolution which has taken place. This has been the case within the software industry where global software development (GSD) has become a popular strategy and software development has become a globally sourced commodity. Given the requirement for graduates to operate in this type of environment, we as educators considered how our teaching methods could be developed and enhanced to instil GSD competencies within our graduates. We provided students with the opportunity to take part in a learning experience that transcended geographical and institutional boundaries, giving them first-hand experience of working within globally distributed software teams. Two separate projects were undertaken. One was with Siemens Corporate Research which was part of a larger project. The focus of this project was the shadowing of the development of an actual geographically distributed software product. The second project was carried out in collaboration with Ball State University, and the focus of this endeavour was virtual team software testing. Extensive qualitative research was undertaken on the data provided by the students. We identified three specific forms of learning which had taken place: (1) pedagogical, (2) pragmatic, and (3) the achievement of specific globally distributed competencies. Our findings would confirm that mimicking real-work settings creates the possibility of giving rise to the range of learning benefits that are associated with truly problem-based learning environments.

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