Since Global Software Development and Offshoring/Outsourcing are the burning questions in both research and industry, I have been invited to talk at various events in academia (e.g. keynotes at the ICGSE conference workshops, BESQ conference, and summer schools) and industrial events (e.g. at STEW organized by SwedSoft, Ericsson Research Day, at DevCon organized by TelecomCity, LUCAS Day organized by Lund University, Swedish Association for Software Testing, CafeUnthink organized by HiQ, Seminar for Swedish companies organized by AVEGA, Global and Agile seminar series for Norwegian companies hosted by SINTEF and Finish seminar hosted by FiSMA) and companies (Ericsson, ABB, DNV, UiQ, Telenor, etc.).
Examples of talks
Topics of seminars and workshops
The truth about remote working
COVID-19 outbreak has forced many companies to shift from predominantly office work to fully remote work from home. What have we learned about the remote work? In short: the pandemic experiences were surprisingly positive, yet it’s clear that remote work is not for every individual, every task and every organization. In this presentation, Darja Smite will share insights into the experiences from the forced work from home during the pandemic and the future of remote work based on her research studies conducted in several Swedish and Norwegian software companies.
True costs of offshoring
Offshore of software development has been both famous for the promises of great cost reductions, and infamous for the hidden costs associated with the challenges of organizing software work over distance. Experience shows that many of the hidden costs do not receive the deserved attention and are often excluded when making offshoring decisions. As a result, there is often a significant deviation between the expected and the realized costs of offshoring. In this presentation, we shed the light on the hidden costs of offshoring, the ways to calculate the true costs, and the key factors that negatively impact the accumulation of the cost savings. The presentation is built upon three detailed cases: 1) eight years of small-scale offshoring collaboration between the Netherlands and India, 2) a small-scale pilot project of collaboration between Norway and Slovakia, and 3) three years into a large-scale transfer from Sweden to India.
Code production in the office vs at home: experience from two companies
Telework is often associated with the perceived increase of productivity and job satisfaction, which until these days was mostly self-reported by teleworkers. In this talk, I will share the findings from monitoring the transitions to WFH during the COVID-19 pandemic in two large software companies, paying particular attention to productivity in terms of code production. Our analysis of commit data shows that code production before and after the pandemic did not change dramatically. Yet, when zooming into individual data points, we see many changes. The analysis of commit data, calendar invitations and Slack communication, as well as the personal experiences from the interviewees provides insights into factors that helped engineers adjust to the new ways of working and even increased their productivity, factors that hinder engineers and teams when working remotely and the potentially cancelling effects in this equation that result in the lack of visible effect on the higher level.
Running successful communities of practice
Who is taking important decisions in your projects? Traditionally, all important strategy, structure, and work-design decisions, as well as most of the ongoing decisions about work procedures have been taken by organizational management. Yet, as Tayloristic habits are disappearing, organizations willingly (or unwillingly)change their decision-making approaches to enable more participation and influence from the performers, which gave rise to participation-based parallel organizational structures, such as quality circles, task forces or communities of practice. The latter is the central topic of this talk. A community of practice (CoP) is usually a group of people with similar skills and interests who share knowledge, make joint decisions, solve problems together, and improve a practice. Communities of practice are cultivated for their potential to influence the knowledge culture and bring value for individuals, teams, projects, and organization as the whole. Despite the assumed benefits, implementing successfully functioning CoPs is a challenge, and even more so in large-scale distributed contexts. In this talk, you will learn what helps to run successful communities of practice, based on the findings from studying member engagement in large-scale distributed communities of practice at Spotify and Ericsson.
Transferring work to offshore developers
A software transfer is a process of moving software development and/or maintenance activities from the site where the work was originally performed (sending site) to a new site (receiving site). In practice, a software transfer can be compared with a turnover of the developers within the project. In contrast to the usual process of onboarding novices, a software transfer is associated with a significant or even full exchange of the employees, which means that the existing development with the legacy received is continued by people who have limited or no previous engagement with the product. As such, software transfers, even within the same building, but especially those conducted on a distance, result in productivity decreases and often have secondary effects on quality. But how large are the productivity and quality gaps, and how fast does the new site climb the learning curve? That is highly dependent on the qualities of the receiving and sending resources, and the transfer process. In this presentation, we share our findings from studying over 15 different transfers and give recommendations for planning, executing and evaluating transfers on a distance.
Cross-cultural communication course
3-4h long interactive workshops for Swedish and Indian engineers, or Norwegian and Ukrainian engineers working in distributed projects.
Snapshot from selected presentations
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