Teaching Students Global Software Engineering Skills using Distributed Scrum

Maria Paasivaara, Casper Lassenius, Daniela Damian, Petteri Räty, and Adrian Schröter

Aalto University, Finland; University of Victoria, Canada

Track: Software Engineering in Education
Session: Advanced Software Engineering Education
In this paper we describe distributed Scrum augmented with best practices in global software engineering (GSE) as an important paradigm for teaching critical competencies in GSE. We report on a globally distributed project course between the University of Victoria, Canada and Aalto University, Finland. The project-driven course involved 16 students in Canada and 9 students in Finland, divided into three cross-site Scrum teams working on a single large project. To assess learning of GSE competencies we employed a mixed-method approach including 13 post-course interviews, pre-, post-course and iteration questionnaires, observations, recordings of Daily Scrums as well as collection of project asynchronous communication data. Our analysis indicates that the Scrum method, along with supporting collaboration practices and tools, supports the learning of important GSE competencies, such as distributed communication and teamwork, building and maintaining trust, using appropriate collaboration tools, and inter-cultural collaboration.