The impact of intercultural factors on global software development

TitleThe impact of intercultural factors on global software development
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsMacGregor, E., Y. Hsieh, and P. Kruchten
Conference NameElectrical and Computer Engineering, 2005. Canadian Conference on
Pagination920 -926
Date Publishedmay.
Keywordsanecdotal testimonials, Artifacts, cross-cultural issues, extensive collaboration, extensive communication, global software development, human issues, intercultural dynamics, intercultural factors, intercultural variations, project management, social aspects of automation, software development management, technical issues

This paper examines the concept of culture, and the potential impact of intercultural dynamics of software development. Many of the difficulties confronting today's global software development (GSD) environment have little to do with technical issues; rather, they are "human" issues that occur when extensive collaboration and communication among developers with distinct cultural backgrounds are required. Although project managers are reporting that intercultural factors are impacting software practices and artifacts and deserve more detailed study, little analytical research has been conducted in this area other than anecdotal testimonials by software professionals. This paper presents an introductory analysis of the effect that intercultural factors have on global software development. The paper first establishes a framework for intercultural variations by introducing several models commonly used to define culture. Cross-cultural issues that often arise in software development are then identified. The paper continues by explaining the importance of taking intercultural issues seriously and proposes some ideas for future research in the area


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