Interregional Software Development Week, Day 1: Overview

Ha! You didn’t think that when you got up this morning, did ya? But it’s true, you’ve just officially entered the Interregional Software Development Week. A week of posts wherein I’ll share some ideas and experiences I’ve had with interregional software development teams. I got these experiences partly from my days in the “YaBB”: team, partly in my job as a teaching assistant in an international software engineering project at our university, and partly from plain common sense (but that doesn’t count as experience).

This series of posts targets groups of people that don’t live close to one another, but want to succesfully complete their software project. This can be an open source projects (where a lot of interregional collaboration takes place), or any other kind of project. I’ll warn you upfront: interregional collaboration isn’t easy; it’s considerably harder than having all people in one building, but also more challenging. In this series my main focus will be on the tooling side of the story: which tools can you best use for which purpose? On some of the areas discussed I’ve also seen some problems with management and structuring, I’ll say something about those issues as well. Managing a distributed team is hard, much harder than managing a local team. We’re only five weeks into the international software engineering project here at our university, and already I’ve seen people nearing mental break-downs.

Day 1: Overview
Day 2: Meeting
Day 3: Communication
Day 4: File exchange
Day 5: Documentation
Day 6: Collaborative editting

And maybe I’ll figure something out for the seventh day, suggestions are welcome.