When Pace University led a study involving five master’s students in computer science on three different continents, they knew selecting the appropriate tooling would be key to the students’ development process. The students on this unique distributed team worked on a mobile phone application called Target First Grade that helps instruct mathematics, reading, writing and geography to first graders in developing countries. The purpose of this project was to examine how well agile and Scrum practices support the work of distributed developers, as well as how important tooling is in supporting the developers when transitioning from a traditional to an agile application development approach.
After using traditional models in application development studies during the four previous years and cobbling together several different tools for the same needs, they adapted an agile approach in the fifth year of research. With the selection of IBM Rational Team Concert, they found that “the end-to-end tooling was a superior model,” according to Dan Griffin, Marketing Manager for IBM Rational.
The researchers chose IBM Rational Team Concert because it offers a collaborative development environment that’s built on Eclipse technology, which the students were already familiar with. RTC enabled the students to practice Scrum, to communicate synchronously or asynchronously, to pull diverse reports and to maintain transparency; this type of communication was particularly important as these students never met all in person in the same location. It was also helpful for tracking 45 user stories, conducting sprint planning, setting priorities and allowing for checks on real-time project status.
Innovative studies like this one are being used to pave the way for future software development projects that could make it easier for academics and software professionals to put their talents to work for other charitable and educational causes. For more information on this, check out what other bloggers from Software for a Cause have to say at softwareforacause.org.