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Gabriela Avram <[log in to unmask]>
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Gabriela Avram <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 15 Jun 2008 16:42:08 +0100
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Workshop at ICGSE 08 - Bangalore, India - August 17-20, 2008,

Studying Work Practices in GSE - 17 August 2008

Background and rationale

Software development is increasingly distributed across
geographical,political, social, and cultural boundaries.
Enterprises that wish to take advantage of globalization require
innovative techniques, tools, and practices to  overcome the various
difficulties of organizing and managing globally distributed software
The field of Global Software Engineering (GSE) or Global Software
Development (GSD), as it is sometimes called, has  emerged as a
transdisciplinary research arena bringing together software engineers
as well as social scientists and organization theorists involved in
examining various aspects of how globally distributed software teams
 However, while many experimental studies on problem-solving in teams
have been performed, as well as interview studies with management
referring to problems in distributed coordination and management,
extensive participative  field study material on actual workplace
practices is relatively meagre.
Thus, despite of occasional empirical studies of distributed software
development activities over the years there is still a dearth of
well-designed studies in Software Engineering and CSCW that provide
good examples of field  research in the area. By bringing together
researchers who are actively involved in such field studies of
distributed software practices the workshop aims at contributing to a
broader understanding of GSE.

Goals and objective

The purpose of this workshop is to bring together researchers in the
GSE field who wish to examine the strengths and limitations of
empirical research methods being deployed in the field. Methods are
not simply techniques to be  chosen and deployed at will, but are
constructed from particular conceptual worldviews, and entail
theoretical commitments.
Actual use of methods also requires training and a sensitivity to the
local situation. These issues are often not  adequately dealt with
before the researcher enters the field. In order to discuss this topic
in a concrete fashion, we are soliciting workshop papers from
researchers who are actively engaged in empirical studies of GSE. The
workshop will collect empirical findings and relate them to the
methods applied. It will consist of a discussion on the strengths and
limitations of particular approaches, the variety of ways in which
methods can be used in  practice, grounded in a series of specific GSE
case studies. We are particularly interested in field studies of
actual in situ practices of software engineers.

Workshop organization

The one-day workshop will bring together a maximum of 20 participants.
The accepted papers will be made available to  the participants in
advance and discussants will be assigned to each paper. The morning
session will include an introduction of the workshop objectives,
followed by a working session where the discussions will be based on
 material provided by the participants. In the afternoon, we will
focus on the broad picture resulted, highlighting strengths and
limitations of the material provided by the participants. At the end
of the day, we will wrap up with  a session dedicated to outlining a
list of issues that need to be addressed in future research in the

Submission details

Our intended audience is primarily researchers who are actively
engaged in empirical studies of GSE. We will  encourage a mix of
graduate students, new faculty, and established researchers to
participate. Prospective participants are invited to submit short
papers (4-6
pages) on their field study research, providing an account of the
rationale for the choice of research method(s) being used, showing how
it relates to the research  questions being examined, the experiences
of the authors in actually carrying out the fieldwork using this
and interesting findings gained by this methods. The methods must be
seen in action in particular cases, and both  reports of research in
progress and completed studies will be accepted. Papers simply
outlining plans for future empirical research are not acceptable.
Papers should conform to the two-column IEEE CS Press format and be
submitted  as PDF files. Submissions will be handled via EasyChair.
Each paper will be reviewed by at least two reviewers. The selection
will be based primarily on the ability of the papers to generate
fruitful discussion of important issues and also to provide examples
of practice-related, high quality case studies. At least one author of
each accepted paper must attend the workshop.

Important dates

* Submission deadline: June 29, 2008
* Notification of acceptance: July 7, 2008
* Workshop date: August 17, 2008

Outcomes and dissemination

The assessment of the submitted material by two independent
reviewers,the discussants and the other participants will provide the
authors with useful feedback regarding their own work. The workshop
participants will also be involved in formulating a list of issues
that need to be further addressed by the research community. Depending
on the outcome of the Workshop discussions and on the interest of the
participants, we may explore further  publication outlets for the
Workshop papers.

Organization Committee

Gabriela Avram, Interaction Design Centre, University of Limerick,Ireland
Liam Bannon, Interaction Design Centre, University of Limerick,Ireland
Alexander Boden, University of Siegen, Germany
Volker Wulf, University of Siegen / Fraunhofer Institute for Applied
Information Technology, Germany

Gabriela Avram is Research Fellow at the Interaction Design
Center,University of Limerick, currently working on a  project
focusing on cultural,organisational and social aspects of globally
distributed software development. She is particularly studying
collaborative work practices in this context, employing
ethnographically-informed methods. Coming from a Knowledge Management
background, Gabriela's area of expertise also includes social
software, social networks and online facilitation.

Liam Bannon is Professor in the Department of Computer Science and
Information Systems and Director of the  Interaction Design Centre at
the University of Limerick. His research interests include interaction
design, human-computer interaction, computer-supported cooperative
work,computer-supported collaborative learning, cognitive ergonomics,
new media, and social dimensions of new technologies.

Alexander Boden is a Cultural Anthropologist and works as a research
assistant at the Institute for Information Systems and New Media
(University of Siegen). Currently he is engaged at the Fraunhofer
Institute of Applied  Information Technology (FhG-FIT) within a shared
research project. His areas of research are centered on the role of
coordination and communication practices in the context of global
software development (offshoring) as well as on  the utilization of
ethnographic methods.

Volker Wulf is Professor of Information Systems at the University of
Siegen and a senior researcher at Fraunhofer Institute of Applied
Information Technology (FhG-FIT). Moreover, he heads the International
Institute for  Socio-Informatics (IISI), Bonn . He studied computer
science and business administration at the RWTH Aachen and the
University of Paris VI, got a PhD at the University of Dortmund and a
Habilitation Degree in computer science at the  University of Hamburg.
Last year he spent a sabbatical at the University of Michigan , Ann
Arbor , and Stanford University , Palo Alto . He published more than
170 papers and 9 books. His research interests lie primarily in the
 areas of Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Information
Systems,Human Computer Interaction, Participatory Design,Computer
Supported Cooperative Learning, Knowledge Management, and
Organizational Computing.

The call for papers is available on the workshop website:

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