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Šāblis, Aivars
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Publications (4 of 4) Show all publications
Šāblis, A., Gonzalez-Huerta, J., Zabardast, E. & Šmite, D. (2019). Building lego towers: An exercise for teaching the challenges of global work. ACM Transactions on Computing Education, 19(2), Article ID a15.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Building lego towers: An exercise for teaching the challenges of global work
2019 (English)In: ACM Transactions on Computing Education, ISSN 1946-6226, E-ISSN 1946-6226, Vol. 19, no 2, article id a15Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Global software engineering has changed the way software is developed today. To address the new challenges, many universities have launched specially tailored courses to train young professionals to work in globally distributed projects. However, a mere acknowledgment of the geographic, temporal, and cultural differences does not necessarily lead to a deep understanding of the underlying practical implications. Therefore, many universities developed alternative teaching and learning activities, such as multi-university collaborative projects and small-scale simulations or games. In this article, we present a small-scale exercise that uses LEGO bricks to teach skills necessary for global work. We describe the many different interventions that could be implemented in the execution of the exercise. We had seven runs of the exercises and report our findings from executing seven runs of the exercise with the total of 104 students from five different courses in two different universities. Our results suggest that the exercise can be a valuable tool to help students dealing with troublesome knowledge associated with global software engineering and a useful complement to the courses dedicated to this subject. © 2019 Copyright is held by the owner/author(s)

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Association for Computing Machinery, 2019
Keywords
Communication and coordination, Distributed software development, Distributed teams, Global software engineering, Practical exercise, Teaching, Curricula, Distributed computer systems, Human resource management, Software design, Collaborative projects, Distributed projects, Teaching and learning, Young professionals
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-17539 (URN)10.1145/3218249 (DOI)000458016600009 ()2-s2.0-85059857336 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2019-01-28 Created: 2019-01-28 Last updated: 2019-02-21Bibliographically approved
Britto, R., Cruzes, D., Šmite, D. & Šāblis, A. (2018). Onboarding Software Developers and Teams in Three Globally Distributed Legacy Projects: A Multi-Case Study. Journal of Software: Evolution and Process, 30(4), Article ID e1921.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Onboarding Software Developers and Teams in Three Globally Distributed Legacy Projects: A Multi-Case Study
2018 (English)In: Journal of Software: Evolution and Process, ISSN 2047-7473, E-ISSN 2047-7481, Vol. 30, no 4, article id e1921Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Onboarding is the process of supporting new employees regarding their social and performance adjustment to their new job. Software companies have faced challenges with recruitment and onboarding of new team members and there is no study that investigates it in a holistic way. In this paper, we conducted a multi-case study to investigate the onboarding of software developers/teams, associated challenges, and areas for further improvement in three globally distributed legacy projects. We employed Bauer's model for onboarding to identify the current state of the onboarding strategies employed in each case. We learned that the employed strategies are semi-formalized. Besides, in projects with multiple sites, some functions are executed locally and the onboarding outcomes may be hard to control. We also learned that onboarding in legacy projects is especially challenging and that decisions to distribute such projects across multiple locations shall be approached carefully. In our cases, the challenges to learn legacy code were further amplified by the project scale and the distance to the original sources of knowledge. Finally, we identified practices that can be used by companies to increase the chances of being successful when onboarding software developers and teams in globally distributed legacy projects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2018
Keywords
Global software development, Global software engineering, Legacy, Onboarding
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-15195 (URN)10.1002/smr.1921 (DOI)000430299400004 ()
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2017-09-22 Created: 2017-09-22 Last updated: 2018-05-04Bibliographically approved
Šmite, D., Moe, N. B., Šablis, A. & Wohlin, C. (2017). Software teams and their knowledge networks in large-scale software development. Information and Software Technology, 86(JUN), 71-86
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Software teams and their knowledge networks in large-scale software development
2017 (English)In: Information and Software Technology, ISSN 0950-5849, E-ISSN 1873-6025, Vol. 86, no JUN, p. 71-86Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Context: Large software development projects involve multiple interconnected teams, often spread around the world, developing complex products for a growing number of customers and users. Succeeding with large-scale software development requires access to an enormous amount of knowledge and skills. Since neither individuals nor teams can possibly possess all the needed expertise, the resource availability in a team's knowledge network, also known as social capital, and effective knowledge coordination become paramount. Objective: In this paper, we explore the role of social capital in terms of knowledge networks and networking behavior in large-scale software development projects. Method: We conducted a multi-case study in two organizations, Ericsson and ABB, with software development teams as embedded units of analysis. We organized focus groups with ten software teams and surveyed 61 members from these teams to characterize and visualize the teams' knowledge networks. To complement the team perspective, we conducted individual interviews with representatives of supporting and coordination roles. Based on survey data, data obtained from focus groups, and individual interviews, we compared the different network characteristics and mechanisms that support knowledge networks. We used social network analysis to construct the team networks, thematic coding to identify network characteristics and context factors, and tabular summaries to identify the trends. Results: Our findings indicate that social capital and networking are essential for both novice and mature teams when solving complex, unfamiliar, or interdependent tasks. Network size and networking behavior depend on company experience, employee turnover, team culture, need for networking, and organizational support. A number of mechanisms can support the development of knowledge networks and social capital, for example, introduction of formal technical experts, facilitation of communities of practice and adequate communication infrastructure. Conclusions: Our study emphasizes the importance of social capital and knowledge networks. Therefore, we suggest that, along with investments into training programs, software companies should also cultivate a networking culture to strengthen their social capital, a known driver of better performance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017
Keywords
Agile, Case study, Cross-functional, Empirical, Feature teams, Intellectual capital, Knowledge networks, Large-scale software development, Social capital, Teams, Complex networks, Human resource management, Investments, Knowledge management, Personnel training, Software engineering, Surveys, Social capitals, Software design
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-13929 (URN)10.1016/j.infsof.2017.01.003 (DOI)000399855200005 ()2-s2.0-85010957499 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2017-02-22 Created: 2017-02-22 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved
Moe, N. B., Šmite, D., Šāblis, A., Börjesson, A.-L. & Andréasson, P. (2014). Networking in a Large-Scale Distributed Agile Project. In: : . Paper presented at International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement. Turin: ACM
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Networking in a Large-Scale Distributed Agile Project
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2014 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Context: In large-scale distributed software projects the expertise may be scattered across multiple locations. Goal: We describe and discuss a large-scale distributed agile project at Ericsson, a multinational telecommunications company headquartered in Sweden. The project is distributed across four development locations (one in Sweden, one in Korea and two in China) and employs 17 teams. In such a large scale environment the challenge is to have as few dependences between teams as possible, which is one reason why Ericsson introduced crossfunctional feature teams – teams that are capable of taking the full responsibility for implementing one entire feature. To support such teams when solving problems, ensure knowledge sharing within the project and safeguard the quality Ericsson introduced a new role – Technical Area Responsible (TAR). Method: We conducted extensive fieldwork for 9 months at two Ericsson sites in Sweden and China. We interviewed representatives from different roles in the organization, in addition to focus groups and a survey with seven teams. Results: We describe the TAR role, and how the TARs communicate, coordinate and support the teams. Also architects support the teams, however not as closely as the TARs. We found that the TAR is usually a senior developer working halftime or fulltime in the role. We also present measures of the actual knowledge network of three Chinese and three Swedish teams and the TARs position in it. Conclusions: TARs are central in the knowledge network and act as the boundary spanners between the teams and between the sites. We learned that availability of the TARs across sites is lower than that with local TARs. We also found that the size of a team’s knowledge network depends on how long the team members have been working in the company. Finally we discuss the advantages and the challenges of introducing experts in key roles in large scale distributed agile development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Turin: ACM, 2014
Keywords
Boundary spanners, global software development, offshoring, insourcing, social network analysis, distributed agile, large-scale agile, technical area responsibility.
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-6569 (URN)10.1145/2652524.2652584 (DOI)oai:bth.se:forskinfoDFCB414203141D5AC1257D8F0076330D (Local ID)978-1-4503-2774-9 (ISBN)oai:bth.se:forskinfoDFCB414203141D5AC1257D8F0076330D (Archive number)oai:bth.se:forskinfoDFCB414203141D5AC1257D8F0076330D (OAI)
Conference
International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement
Available from: 2014-11-14 Created: 2014-11-13 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved
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