Advertisement

Culture Sensitive Aspects in Software Engineering

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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

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

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Abraham, L.R.: Cultural Differences in Software Engineering. In: Proceedings of the Second Annual Conference on India Software Engineering, Pune, India, pp. 95–100 (2009)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Aramo-Immonen, H., Jaakkola, H., Keto, H.: Multicultural software Development: The Productivity Perspective. International Journal of Information Technology Project Management (IJITPM) 2(1), 19–36 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Aramo-Immonen, H., Jaakkola, H., Linna, P.: Trust Creation in Multi-cultural organisations. Journal of Global Information Technology Management (2011)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Biro, M., Messnarz, R., Davison, A.G.: The Impact of National Cultural Factors on the Effectiveness of Process Improvement methods: The Third Dimension. ASQ 4(4) (2002), http://asq.org/pub/sqp/past/vol4_issue4/biro.html
  5. 5.
    Borcheres, G.: The Software Engineering Impacts of Cultural Factors on Multi-cultural Software Development Teams. In: Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2003), pp. 540–545. IEEE (2003)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Crosby, P.B.: Quality is Free. McGraw Hill, New York (1979)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Denise, L.: Collaboration vs. C-Three (Cooperation, Coordination, and Communication). The Rensselaerville Institute 7,3 (2011), http://www.ride.ri.gov/adulteducation/Documents/Tri%20part%201/Collaboration%20vs.%20the%203c%27s.pdf
  8. 8.
    Hawthorne, M.J., Perry, D.E.: Software Engineering Education in the Era of Outsourcing, Distributed Development, and Open Source Software: Challenges and Opportunities. In: Inverardi, P., Jazayeri, M. (eds.) ICSE 2005. LNCS, vol. 4309, pp. 166–185. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hofstede, G., Hofstede, G.J.: Cultures and Organizations - Software of the Mind: Intercultural Cooperation and Its Importance for Survival, 1st edn. McGraw-Hill, New York (2005)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hofstede, G., Hofstede, G.J., Minkov, M.: Cultures and Organizations- Software of the Mind: Intercultural Cooperation and Its Importance for Survival, 3rd edn. McGraw-Hill, New York (2010)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hofstede, G.: Cultural Dimensions. Geert Hofstede’sresource pages of cultures (2011), http://www.geert-hofstede.com
  12. 12.
    Huang, H., Trauth, E.: Cultural Influences and Globally Distributed Information Systems Development: Experiences from Chinese IT Professionals. ACM portal (2007), http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1235008
  13. 13.
    Humphrey, W.: Managing the Software Process. Addison Wesley (1989)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    ISO/IEC 12207/Amd2:2004: Systems and Software Engineering - Software life cycle processes - Amendment 2 (2004)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    ISO/IEC 12207: Systems and software engineering - Software life cycle processes. ISO (2008)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    ISO/IEC 15504-5: Information technology – Process Assessment – Part 5: An exemplar Process Assessment Model. ISO (2005)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    itSMFInternational:The IT Service Management Forum (2011), http://www.itsmfi.org/
  18. 18.
    Jaakkola, H.: Towards a Globalized Software Industry. Acta Polytechnica Hungarica 6(5), 69–84 (2009)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Jaakkola, H., Heimbürger, A., Henno, J.: The Roles of Knowledge and Context in Context-Aware Software Engineering - in Terms of Education and Communication. In: Cicin-Sain, M., Prstacic, I.T., Sluganovic, I., Uroda, I. (eds.) MIPRO Conference, pp. 224–230. MIPRO and IEEE, Opatija, Croatia (2009)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Jaakkola, H., Heimbürger, A.: Cross-Cultural Software Engineering. Informatologia 42(4), 256–264 (2009)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Jaakkola, H., Heimbürger, A., Linna, P.: Knowledge Oriented Software Engineering Process in Multi-Cultural Context. Software Quality Journal 18(2), 299–319 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Jaakkola, H., Henno, J., Linna, P.: From Local to Global - Path towards Multicultural Software Engineering. International Journal of Knowledge and Learning, IJKL (2011)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Jaakkola, H., Thalheim, B.: Software Quality and Life Cycles. In: Eder, J., Haav, H.-M., Kalja, A., Penjam, J. (eds.) Advances in Databases and Information Systems, ADBIS 2005, pp. 208–220. Tallinn University of Technology Press, Tallinn (2005)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Jaakkola, H., Thalheim, B.: Framework for high-quality software design and development: a systematic approach. IET Software 4(2), 105–118 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Jaakkola, H., Thalheim, B.: Architecture-Driven Modelling Methodologies. In: Heimbürger, A., Kiyoki, Y., Tokuda, T., Yoshida, N. (eds.) Information Modelling and Knowledge Bases XXII, pp. 97–116. IOS Press, Amsterdam (2011)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Karttunen, E.: Producing Software Services in a Multi-cultural Environment. MSc Thesis, Information Technology, Pori. Tampere, Tampere University of Technology, Tampere (2010)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Krishna, S., Sahay, S., Walsham, G.: Managing Cross-Cultural Issues in Global Software Outsourcing. Communications of the ACM 47(4), 62–66 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Lewis, R.D.: When Cultures Collide. Managing Successfully Across Cultures. Nicholas Brealey Publishing, London (1999)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Lewis, R.D.: Cross-Culture – The Lewis Model. Richard Lewis Communications (2000), http://faculty.fuqua.duke.edu/ciber/ice/Cross%20Culture%20The%20Lewis%20Model.pdf
  30. 30.
    Lewis, R.D.: Cultureactive – The web based global cultural database. Resource pages of Richard Lewis (2011), http://www.cultureactive.com
  31. 31.
    Paasivaara, M., Hiort af Ornäs, N., Hynninen, P., Lassenius, C., Niinimäki, T., Piri, A.: Practical guide to managing distributed software development projects. Aalto University, School of Science and Technology, Espoo (2010)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Pfleeger, S.L., Atlee, J.M.: Software Engineering: Theory and Practice, 3rd edn. Pearson Education International (2006)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Richardson, I., Casey, V., Burton, J., McCaffery, F.: Global Software Engineering: A Software Process Approach. In: Mistrik, I., Grundy, J., van der Hoek, A., Whitehead, J. (eds.) Collaborative Software Engineering. Springer, Heidelberg (2010), http://www.springerlink.com/content/k680115651r231w4/ Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Royce, W.: Managing the Development of Large Software Systems. In: Proceedings of IEEE WESCON, pp. 1–9 (August 1970), http://www.cs.umd.edu/class/spring2003/cmsc838p/Process/waterfall.pdf
  35. 35.
    SEI - Software Engineering Institute: CMMI Version 1.3 Information Center (2011), http://www.sei.cmu.edu/cmmi/tools/cmmiv1-3/
  36. 36.
    Siakas, K.V., Georgiadou, E., Sadler, C.: Software Quality Management from a Cross-Cultural Viewpoint. Software Quality Journal 8(2), 85–95 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Simcock, A.L.: Does a Multicultural Mix Bring an Extra Dimension to Software Engineering Design Teams? Global Journal of Engineering Education 2(3), 263–270 (1998)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Walsham, G.: Cross-Cultural Software Production and Use: A Structurational Analysis. MIS Quarterly 26(4), 359–380 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Statkaityte, R.: Multicultural issues in software engineering processes. MSc Thesis, Information Technology Pori. Tampere University of Technology, Tampere (2011)Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Wesslin, V.: Globalization practices of software companies from cultural point of view. MSc Thesis, Information Technology, Pori. Tampere University of Technology, Tampere (2010)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

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

Personalised recommendations