Students as Partners and Students as Mentors: An Educational Model for Quality Assurance in Global Software Development

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Since 2005, Pace University in New York City has been collaborating with the Institute of Technology of Cambodia and the University of Delhi in India to bring students together to work on globally distributed software development projects. Over this period, we have been exploring models through which graduates and undergraduates from the three countries can work together, with pedagogical value to all sides. In 2007, we converged on using Software Quality Assurance as a focal point around which to establish a partnering and mentoring relationship. We included seven graduate students, as internal mentors and external auditors, to help assure the quality of what was to be a single distributed project involving twenty-seven students from across the three global locations. To focus further on quality, requirements and testing activities were emphasized. The motivation, logistics and experiences from this project are reported in this paper, and lessons of wider applicability are provided.