Culture Sensitive Aspects in Software Engineering

  • Hannu Jaakkola
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7260)


The characteristics of software engineering (SE) are changing rapidly. The following trends are easy to notice: the transfer from plan driven development to agile development, the transfer towards distributed and multicultural teams and organization structure, the increasing importance of services related to software products or software itself, transfer towards cloud implementation of information systems. Even as agile software development is encouraging active interaction inside teams and between the developers and the clients, distributed work is increasing its difficulty. The problems of distribution itself can be solved by tools and techniques, e.g. by improved version and configuration management, careful asset repository management, tools forcing the production of unified specifications, and tools supporting communication in a distributed development context. When software organizations are multicultural, one additional dimension of difficulty appears. Even in a single unit, differences in cultural background may cause problems, but the problems become emphasized especially in the case of distributed work. The same problem also appears in software related services: to an increasing extent the service chain is distributed across cultural borders. Process models are used to provide means for the better management of software engineering and services. Predefined processes force the developers to follow the given guidelines throughout the organization – regardless of the geographical location and cultural background of the employees. This is also the expectation of managers. A slightly more careful look at the real situation gives a different view: some processes are more culture sensitive than others, and the practices are “tuned” to follow the rules of the culture. This paper opens up the discussion on the cultural aspects in connection with software engineering, taking into account especially the role of national cultures.


Software Engineering Cross-Cultural Multicultural Software Life Cycle Processes Culture Sensitivity Globalization Globalized Software Development Cultural Analysis 


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hannu Jaakkola
    • 1
  1. 1.Tampere University of TechnologyPoriFinland

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