Call for participation to the half-day workshop on

Technology for supporting software engineers in globally distributed contexts

To be held 27th of August 2007 in conjunction with the IEEE International Conference on Global Software Engineering 2007 Munich, Germany, August 27-30, 2007

Register to the workshop at by 9th June, 2007.


Globally distributed software engineering (GDSE) offers many opportunities, such as access to scarce resources and knowledge, savings in development times and costs, and being close to global customers. However, collaborative development makes it at the same time more complex; for example, the development teams are usually dispersed over different time zones, continents and cultures, which places high demands on communication, teamwork and working methods.

Research already proved that people apart more than 30 meters communicate no more frequently than those separated by oceans. The quest for technological support should therefore be put on: “Creating a virtual 30 meters within GDSE”. Creating transparency among dislocated software engineers lowers the need for informal face-to-face communication. Within the Merlin project research has been carried out between international industrial organizations and research institutions. The focus has been on the development and validation of solutions global distributed software engineering with different companies/partners on the same product. Different types of solutions have been identified for specific globally distributed software engineering challenges, often related to the processes, technologies or organization of software engineering. Some of the solutions include the use of technical support, varying from complete transparent development environments implicating an open way of working to simple communication features included in a specific purpose tool (such as project management tool or collaboration handbook).

Goals and focus

The workshop aims in defining engineer requirements for GDSE technology with a focus on the virtual 30 meters. First, some of the work done in the Merlin project is briefly presented to provide a starting point for the workshop. After that the participants work together to define the challenges and priorities for such engineering technical support. As a result the needs and requirements will be gathered and prioritized. Furthermore, potential solutions identified by the workshop participants to the Merlin handbook will be identified.

Workshop agenda

13.30 – 13.45   Welcome and introduction by chairman
                        Rini van Solingen of LogicaCMG – project manager Merlin project

13.45 – 14.30    “Inventory, development and industrial trials with collaborative engineering
                        technologies in Europe – Results and Experiences from the Merlin project”
                        Rini van Solingen

14.30 – 15.00   “The development and usage of an electronic collaboration handbook”
                        Päivi Parviainen of VTT Technical Research Centre Finland

15.00 – 15.30   “Implementation and industrial deployment of a toolchain for co-located software development”
                        Rob Kommeren of Royal Dutch Philips Electronics

15.30 – 16.00    Break

16.00 – 17.20   Working session “Challenges and priorities for technical support for distributed software engineering technologies”,
                        moderated by Paivi Parviainen and Rini van Solingen

17.20 – 17.30    Summary and closure by Rini van Solingen

Merlin project URL: