Exploring and expanding GSE education with open source software development
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionACM Transactions on Computing Education. 2019, 19 (2), 1-23. 10.1145/3230012
Global software engineering (GSE) courses traditionally require cooperation between at least two universities so as to provide a distributed development environment to the students. In this study, we explore an alternative way to organize a global software engineering course where students work on open source software development (OSSD) projects rather than in a multi-university collaboration setting. The results show that the new setup may provide core GSE challenges as well as challenges associated with software development outsourcing and challenges related to working on large open source software. The present article compares the experiences gained from running a combined GSE and OSSD course against the experiences gained from running a traditional GSE course. The two alternatives are compared in terms of students’ learning outcomes and course organization. The authors found that a combined GSE and OSSD course provides learning opportunities that are partly overlapping with, and partly complementary to, a traditional GSE course. The authors also found that the combined OSSD and GSE course was somewhat easier to organize because most of the activities took place in a single university setting. The authors used the extended GSE taxonomy for the comparison and found it to be a useful tool for this, although it had some limitations in expressive power. Therefore, two additional relationship dimensions are proposed that will further enrich the extended taxonomy in classifying GSE (and OSSD) projects.