In this paper we present assessment and comparison of local and global software (SW) engineering practices based on our software engineering (SE) class jointly taught for the last three years between San Francisco State University (SFSU) and the University of Applied Sciences, Fulda University, Germany. We define global SE practices as those used when the team members are for most part distributed in terms of location and time, and hence do not meet together in person. While global SE practices have become a significant mode of SW development, surprisingly little formal measurements and comparisons were done to understand it and compare it with traditional (local) SE practices. Moreover, the challenge remains as to how to effectively prepare students and employees for this environment. The key contribution of this paper is an attempt to objectively compare differences between local and global SW engineering practices using measurements from our SFSU/Fulda SW engineering class as a simulation of a real-world environment. As part of this work we also developed a practical SE teamwork assessment methods and SW tools based on java.net, which are useful in program accreditations. In analyzing the differences between local and global SE practices we measured and analyzed the following five main factors: quality of final delivery (including development of milestone documentation), progress impediment factors, expended effort, level of collaborative activity and teamwork problems. We will present our findings, and also the tools for teamwork assessment which we developed using java.net.
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