Global Software Development Projects as a Framework for Capacity Building in Developing Countries

Christelle Scharff, Yahya H. Sheikh, Idris A. Rai
In the university setting, global software development (GSD) projects involve teams of students distributed across several countries and working collaboratively on the development of software artifacts and software. Students are confronted with issues related to distance, time and culture. In 2014, students from SUZA in Tanzania and Pace University in the US united in the annual GSD project to develop mobile apps targeting the Tanzanian context. In this paper, we focus on the roles and experience with GSD of Tanzanian students. We describe their motivations for participating, the challenges they encountered, and what they learned. We explore how GSD can be used to speed up skills acquisition for both entrepreneurs and IT professionals in developing countries. The results we present are useful for academic institutions, tech hubs and capacity building organizations.