About this online course


Develop the technical and organizational skills you need to practice software engineering in a globally distributed environment.

Software engineering operates ever more frequently in globally distributed settings, in a practice that is known as Globally Distributed Software Engineering (GDSE). In this course, you will obtain a practical overview of the organization and operation of software engineering of this practice. As such, it is aimed at professionals in distributed global software development teams, and executives setting up and leading such teams who would like to develop the required technical and organizational skills.

The course covers the subject in an accessible and practical manner. Through video lectures, group assignments and exercises, you will be familiarized with the advantages and disadvantages of GDSE, the practical consequences of GDSE and its technological feasibilities and infeasibilities. You will learn about real-world experiences of users and examples of GDSE applications such as outsourcing, offshore software development, near-shoring and multi-partner systems development.

As a verified learner, in addition to the free-practice quizzes found throughout the course, you will also gain access to a midterm and final test.

Guest lectures from industry experts and researchers will be an integral part of the course. These lectures will demonstrate how GDSE is handled in industry, how decision-makers lead their teams in this context, and what is the state-of-the-art in GDSE research.

The course consists of seven main topics:

  1. Globally Distributed Software Engineering
  2. Distributed Agile
  3. The Software Engineer and GDSE
  4. Boardroom: C-level Decision-Making
  5. Offshoring and GDSE Research
  6. Time and Cultural Differences

What you'll learn:

  • To understand the main constructs of globally distributed software engineering theory.
  • How to apply the principles of globally distributed software engineering in your own company's practice.
  • To identify the main concepts in decision-making and leadership roles in a globally distributed context.


Each topic is explained by two guest lecturers from industry or academia. Guest lecturers include, among others:

  • Emiel Romein - Software Development Manager at Exact Online
  • Eelco Rustenburg - Senior trainer at Gladwell Academy and partner of Blinklane Consulting
  • Jeff Sutherland - the inventor and co-creator of Scrum
  • Suzanne Kelder – Executive Coach at KPN and former CIO of Base Company
  • Svenja de Vos – CTO at Leaseweb
  • Darja Šmite - Professor at Blekinge Institute of Technology and a part-time research scientist at SINTEF ICT
  • Erik Ammerlaan - Software Engineer at Exact
  • Prajeesh Prathap - Delivery Engineer and expert for DevOps, Continuous Delivery and Application Lifecycle Management at InfoSupport
  • Dianne Elsinga - Global Team Expert at Prowareness
  • Maran Gunasekaran - Security consultant at Prowareness


Unless otherwise specified, the Course Materials of this course are Copyright Delft University of Technology and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


This is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that runs on edX.


Students that follow this course should have prior knowledge of how software is developed, although technical knowledge or programming skills are not required.

  • Starts: Anytime (Self-Paced)
  • Free | Earn certificate for $50
  • Group fee: contact us
  • Length: Self-Paced
  • Effort: 4 - 6 hours per week / 6 weeks

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