ICGSE 2012

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Keynote: Forrest Shull (Fraunhofer Center for Experimental Software Engineering, Maryland, USA)

Title: (Mis-)Communicating with Data: Managing Distributed Development


While globally distributed development provides an important solution for ambitious systems development efforts, monitoring the progress of components built in this way is a major challenge. How can system integrators balance overhead costs with the need to have confidence in the status of software being produced by geographically remote teams? How can late-breaking surprises that threaten the integration schedule be avoided? In many cases such risks are addressed by the system integrator requiring key data that measure development status to be reported on a regular basis.

This talk draws from real examples  drawn from both insourcing  and outsourcing   projects to examine some of the pitfalls of such a data-driven approach: Teams need to examine whether the data being reported are truly meaningful, and how much trust can be had in the data themselves. While we like to believe “the data don’t lie,” if not used carefully they can obfuscate and allow misinterpretation. Avoiding these problems requires explicit attention to two areas: Relating technical measures to business goals , so as to allow data interpretation to be placed in its proper context, and computer-assisted techniques  that allow users to quickly test hypotheses about what is really happening and provide feedback to the development team. I’ll describe our work on developing and transitioning solutions for these two areas and the work still to be done.

Of course, distributed developers aren’t the only ones who communicate with data. I also draw some parallels to the research community, and the need to organize and marshal data to convey to practitioners what they should know from the research studies being run, and how much confidence they can have in results. Along the way, I’ll look at some examples of how well the research community is doing in that regard based on my experience first as the editor of the “Voice of Evidence” column and later as Editor in Chief of IEEE Software.


Dr. Forrest Shull is a division director at the Fraunhofer Center for Experimental Software Engineering in Maryland (FC-MD), a nonprofit research and tech transfer organization, where he leads the Measurement and Knowledge Management Division. His work at Fraunhofer has applied empirical methods to providing actionable, concrete decision support for customers in the development and acquisition of systems and software. He has been a lead researcher on projects for NASA's Office of Safety and Mission Assurance, the NASA Safety Center, the US Department of Defense, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the National Science Foundation, and companies such as Motorola and Fujitsu Labs of America. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland College Park, where he has developed and taught software engineering courses aimed at skill development for practicing software professionals. He also serves as Editor in Chief of IEEE Software, the leading publication for translating software research and theory into practice.




Speaker: Roberto Petry (Dell, Brazil)

Title: Distributed Teams Experience in Software Development and IT Support for a Global Company and Its Impact for the Brazil Economy


This presentation will focus on a case study and lessons learned at Dell Brazil from an IT perspective, implementing distributed teams for software development and IT support in a captive center model in Brazil.


Roberto Petry is Master in Computer Science at UFRGS, with 20+ years’ experience in IT with focus in Database, Project Management, Software Development and IT Governance. He is PMP and ITIL Foundations certified.
Roberto Petry work as Site Lead for Dell IT in Brazil, At Dell he is also globally responsible for the Oracle Database Support Team and the Go to Market initiatives for Database in LATAM. He is used to teach at ULBRA, UNILASALLE and PUC University. He was regional and national president of User Association Group (SUCESU) from 2004 to 2007. Since 2012 he is also the President of the Open Technology Committee at American Chamber of Commerce in Porto Alegre.




Speaker: J. Alberto Espinosa (American University, Washington DC, USA)

Title: Global Boundary Complexity and Teamwork: A Social Network Coordination Perspective


Global market developments, high travel costs and the abundance of communication and collaboration technologies have been key factors in the emergence of globally dispersed teams. Software organizations are no longer tied to a single time location, time zone or company to conduct. The Internet, social networking and mobile technologies have provided popular media for interacting across global boundaries. However, these current fluid and virtual work environments add a layer of complexity when coordinating the work. While much progress has been made in the last several years on software engineering, we are still having difficulties figuring out how to work effectively and efficiently across global boundaries. My research with various colleagues suggests that crossing multiple global boundaries when collaborating adds a daunting level of complexity to the task environment. We have argued that too much emphasis has been placed on understanding the effect of single team boundaries (e.g., distance, time zones, cultural, organizational) and too little attention has been placed at the combined effect of all boundaries together. These boundaries often co-exist within a given team and the resulting complexity of collaborating across these multiple boundaries becomes an important risk factor for project success. Our research suggests that it is the complexity of the task collaboration environment, rather than any particular single boundary, which affects team work and coordination effectiveness. In this presentation, I will discuss the concept of global boundary complexity. I will also discuss what we have and have not learned yet from empirical research on the implications of global boundary complexity for teamwork and task coordination for global software teams.


Prof. Espinosa is the Chair of the Information Technology Department and a Professor of Information Technology at the Kogod School of Business, American University. He holds a Ph.D. and Master of Science degrees in Information Systems from Carnegie Mellon University, Graduate School of Industrial Administration; a Masters degree in Business Administration from Texas Tech University; and a Mechanical Engineering degree from Universidad Catolica, Peru. His research focusses on coordination and performance in global technical projects across global boundaries, particularly distance and time separation (e.g. time zones). Prof. Espinosa employs a multiple method approach in his research, including theoretical, lab experiments, qualitative studies and survey methods, but his primary focus on on-site field studies in large technical organizations. His work has been published in leading scholarly journals, including: Management Science; Organization Science; Information Systems Research; the Journal of Management Information Systems; IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management; Communications of the ACM; Information, Technology and People; and Software Process: Improvement and Practice. His work has also been published in leading academic conference proceedings and is a frequent presenter in those conferences. He teaches introduction to information technology, business requirements analysis, database and web programming. He also has several years of working experience, first as a design engineer and later as a senior manager with international organizations directly supporting, supervising and formulating policy for finance and global IT functions, where he designed and developed a number of software applications to support geographically distributed work.