Redmiles Reflects on ICGSE 2016

ICGSE LogoAs reported in the Fall/Winter 2015 edition of the ISR Connector, the Eleventh Annual IEEE International Conference on Global Software Engineering (ICGSE 2016) was held at the University of California, Irvine, in Bren Hall, August 2-5, 2016.  The conference series brings together researchers and practitioners interested specifically in the challenges faced by globally distributed, collaborative software engineering.  As the reader might imagine, the “global” and “distributed” dimensions create particular challenges to communication and coordination, strategic planning, and process – especially, for example, scaling processes including agile software processes.

Prof. David RedmilesThe week was filled with research workshops, tutorials, a doctoral symposium, keynotes, technical presentations, networking time, and concluded with a site visit to Google, Irvine.  The photo above shows the conference attendees who participated in the Google site visit on the last afternoon of the conference.  ISR alumnus Jason Robbins and Robert Murray of Google graciously hosted the conference attendees, with Murray giving a short lecture about software development at Google and the Irvine site in particular. Then volunteers – many of them UCI ICS grads (e.g. ISR alumnus Dr. Chris Jensen among others) – helped lead small groups on tours through the facility. 

While the site visit to Google was a great capstone event to the conference, each day of the conference had something exceptional to offer.  Workshops and tutorials comprised the first day-and-a-half.  Of note and new this year was a workshop on educating software developers for globally distributed software development (GSE-Ed).  ISR’s Prof. Walt Scacchi gave a tutorial about the relationship of open source software to globally distributed software engineering.  The opening keynote of the conference on Tuesday was given by Sanjay Shirolé from the SAP Innovation Center Silicon Valley.  He gave an inspiring talk on entrepreneurship and innovation in industry and how SAP fosters innovation through its HanaHaus project.  Thursday’s keynote was by Dr. Margaret-Anne Storey, a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Victoria, who gave a visionary talk on how conversational bots can facilitate communication in collaborative software development.  In the final keynote, on Friday, Dr. Andrew Begel, a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research, presented the latest research around using biometrics to monitor and help improve the performance of software developers.  Video recordings of the keynote talks are available on the 2016 conference website.

The Best Research Paper award was given to “Hiring in the Global Stage: Profiles of Online Contributions” by ISR Prof. Anita Sarma (Oregon State Univ.), Xiaofan Chen (Newnerdy Enterprise Group, New Zealand), Sandeep Kuttal (Univ. of Tulsa), Laura Dabbish (CMU), and Zhendong Wang (Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln).  We are pleased to say that Zhendong Wang has since joined UCI ISR as a Masters student in Software Engineering.  The winner of the Best Industry Paper was “Enabling Knowledge Sharing in Agile Virtual Teams,” by Nils Brede Moe (SINTEF ICT, Norway), Tor Erland Fægri (SINTEF ICT, Norway), Daniela Soares Cruzes (SINTEF ICT, Norway), and Jan Edvard Faugstad (DNV GL, Norway).  

Participants of the Int’l Conference on Global Software Engineering visit Google, Irvine.Prof. David Redmiles, General Chair of the conference, remarked: “I was so pleased to see attendees from so many countries and to have a balance between industry and academic discussions.  I could tell the conference was a success by all the wonderful expressions of gratitude by attendees as the week ended.”  Indeed, two goals of ICGSE are to bring together industry and academia and to bring together people from many countries and cultures.  At the conference, 24 of the 76 attendees were from industry (about 30%), and attendees came from 28 countries. 

Finally, the success of the conference is greatly due to the fantastic support of ISR, particularly the support of Assistant Director Debra Brodbeck, who served as Conference Manager and Finance Chair, working with the conference team on a multitude of issues, managing the budget, making local arrangements, overseeing registration, and serving as liaison to the IEEE professional society. 

Further information about the conference, as well as the present edition and other past editions, may be found at  The proceedings are available on the IEEE Xplore Digital Library.  Prof. David Redmiles can be reached at

This article appeared in ISR Connector issue: