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Exposing software engineering students to stressful projects: does diversity matter?

  • Software development teams have to face stress caused by deadlines, staff turnover, or individual differences in commitment, expertise, and time zones. While students are typically taught the theory of software project management, their exposure to such stress factors is usually limited. However, preparing students for the stress they will have to endure once they work in project teams is important for their own sake, as well as for the sake of team performance in the face of stress. Team performance has been linked to the diversity of software development teams, but little is known about how diversity influences the stress experienced in teams. In order to shed light on this aspect, we provided students with the opportunity to self-experience the basics of project management in self-organizing teams, and studied the impact of six diversity dimensions on team performance, coping with stressors, and positive perceived learning effects. Three controlled experiments at two universities with a total of 65 participants suggest that the social background impacts the perceived stressors the most, while age and work experience have the highest impact on perceived learnings. Most diversity dimensions have a medium correlation with the quality of work, yet no significant relation to the team performance. This lays the foundation to improve students’ training for software engineering teamwork based on their diversity-related needs and to create diversity-sensitive awareness among educators, employers and researchers.

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Author of HS ReutlingenKuhrmann, Marco; Trieflinger, Stefan
Erschienen in:2023 IEEE/ACM 45th International Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering Education and Training (ICSE-SEET), 17-19 May 2023, Melbourne, Australia, proceedings
Place of publication:Piscataway, NJ
Document Type:Conference proceeding
Publication year:2023
Tag:diversity; project management; software engineering education; team work
Page Number:13
First Page:210
Last Page:222
DDC classes:004 Informatik
Open access?:Nein
Licence (German):License Logo  In Copyright - Urheberrechtlich geschützt