A distributed project for a globalized world

The Distributed and Outsourced Software Engineering course at ETH Zurich (DOSE, internally known as the Distributed Software Engineering Laboratory) includes, as its key component, a distributed project in which student teams over several universities collaborate. Since it started in 2007, this multi-site student project, the first of its kind, has attracted an increasing number of institutions and given hundreds of students the opportunity to learn hands-on about the issues and successful techniques of distributed development.

Participation in the project, and the course as a whole, is open to any interested university meeting the conditions described below.

Distributed Software Development

Industrial software construction is, increasingly, a distributed activity. The scenario of a single team working in a single location for a set period, once the norm, is fast becoming the exception.

Distributed development, however, raises considerable problems. As everyone knows, software engineering is difficult; if it is hard to make a project succeed when everyone is in the same building, splitting the team across continents, time zones, languages and cultures does not help. Hence the many failures reported in outsourced and offshore projects.

Universities, in their software engineering education, should teach the principles and techniques that will avoid such failures, and more generally emphasize distributed development as a key component of modern software engineering, not likely to go away in any near future. The standard curriculum does not yet, however, cover it, in particular because it is difficult to organize project work that mimics the conditions of distributed projects.

The DOSE project provides a controlled environment for such a project. For instructors interested in empirical software engineering research, it also opens the way for interesting studies, as attested by the long list of publications (see below) that have already resulted from the DOSE experience.

How to join DOSE

If you are interested to join DOSE, contact Bertrand Meyer and Martin Nordio. Please note the following requirements:

Universities involved in previous DOSE projects

Since 2007, we have developed distributed projects in collaboration with several universities:
  1. ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  2. Cairo University, Egypt
  3. Hanoi University of Science and Technology, Vietnam
  4. ITMO National Research University, Russia
  5. IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  6. Innopolis University, Russia
  7. Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Republic of Korea
  8. Odessa Polytechnic National University, Ukraine
  9. Politecnico di Milano, Italy
  10. Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), Brazil
  11. State University of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
  12. The University of Adelaide, Australia
  13. University of Crete, Greece
  14. University of Delhi, India
  15. University of Debrecen, Hungary
  16. University of Rio Cuarto, Argentina
  17. University of Zurich
  18. Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Spain
  19. Wuhan University, China


Watch some demos from DOSE projects of previous years:
DOSE students



Martin Nordio — ETH Zurich
Bertrand Meyer — ETH Zurich
Christian Estler — ETH Zurich
Julian Tschannen — ETH Zurich

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