Rashina Hoda

Please Note

ALERT! This person can no longer be contacted through the School of Engineering and Computer Science at Victoria University of Wellington
Rashina Hoda profile picture


  • PhD, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
  • BSc CompSci, Louisiana State University, USA

Research Interests

Software Engineering, Agile Software Development, Object-Oriented Programming/Design, Human Computer Interaction, Empirical Studies

Latest News

Calling all Agile researchers! Agile India 2012 Research Stage Call for Papers

Rashina's PhD research featured in the Communications of the ACM News, ACM TechNews: ACM TechNews, Ministry of Science and Innovation, NZ, InfoQ and ACM Blog


Rashina is a post-doctoral researcher and lecturer at the School of Engineering and Computer Science at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Her PhD thesis focused on "Self-Organizing Agile Teams" in the area of Agile Software Development under the supervision of Prof. James Noble and Dr. Stuart Marshall. After completing her Masters part one at Victoria, Rashina was accepted to the direct PhD program in 2006. She graduated with a Bachelors in Computer Science, summa cum laude (highest honors, GPA: 3.93/4.00) from Louisiana State University, USA in 2003. She is also a Certified Scrum Master (2009).

Research Publications

  1. Self-Organizing Agile Teams: A Grounded Theory. Rashina Hoda. PhD Thesis [PDF]. Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, 2011.
  2. Developing a Grounded Theory to Explain the Practices of Self-Organizing Agile Teams. Rashina Hoda, James Noble, Stuart Marshall. Accepted to the Journal of Empirical Software Engineering (ESE), [Online Link], 2011
  3. The Impact of Inadequate Customer Involvement on Self-Organizing Agile Teams. Rashina Hoda, James Noble, Stuart Marshall. Journal of Information Science and Technology (IST) Special section on Best Papers from XP2010 [Online Link], 2011
  4. Documentation Strategies on Agile Software Development Projects Rashina Hoda, James Noble, Stuart Marshall. Accepted to the International Journal of Agile and Extreme Software Development (IJAESD) 2011
  5. Grounded Theory Rashina Hoda, James Noble, Stuart Marshall. Accepted for Shepherding at PLoP 2011
  6. Supporting Self-Organizing Agile Teams: What's Senior Management Got To Do With It? Rashina Hoda, James Noble, Stuart Marshall. XP2011, Madrid, Spain, May 2011 PDF
  7. Self-Organizing Agile Teams: Beyond the Buzzword Rashina Hoda and Esther Derby. Tutorial at XP2011, Spain, May 2011 Presentation Slides
  8. 4th International Workshop on Cooperative and Human Aspects of Software Engineering (CHASE2011) at ICSE2011. Marcelo Cataldo, Cleidson R. B. de Souza, Yvonne Dittrich, Rashina Hoda, Helen Sharp (Organizing Committee), Hawaii, 2011
  9. Agility in Context. Rashina Hoda, Philippe Kruchten, James Noble, Stuart Marshall. OOPSLA2010, Reno/Tahoe, Nevada, USA, Oct 2010 [PDF]
  10. Using Grounded Theory to Study the Human Aspects of Software Engineering. Rashina, James Noble, Stuart Marshall. HAoSE2010 workshop at SPLASH, Reno/Tahoe, Nevada, USA, Oct 2010 [PDF]
  11. Organizing Self-Organizing Teams. Rashina Hoda, James Noble, Stuart Marshall. ICSE2010, Cape Town, South Africa, May 2010 [PDF]
  12. How Much is Just Enough: Documentation Patterns on Agile Projects. EuroPLoP, Germany, 2010 [PDF]
  13. Balancing Acts: Walking the Agile Tightrope. Rashina Hoda, James Noble, Stuart Marshall. Cooperative and Human Aspects of Software Engineering CHASE workshop at ICSE2010, South Africa, May 2010
  14. Agile Undercover: When Customers Don't Collaborate. Rashina Hoda, James Noble, Stuart Marshall. XP2010, Norway, June 2010 [PDF]
  15. What Language Does Agile Speak? Rashina Hoda, James Noble, Stuart Marshall. XP2010, Norway, June 2010 [PDF]
  16. Don't Mention the 'A' Word: Agile Undercover. Rashina Hoda, James Noble, Stuart Marshall. Agile2009 Research Stage, Chicago, USA August 2009 [PDF]
  17. Negotiating Contracts for Agile Projects: A Practical Perspective. Rashina Hoda, James Noble, Stuart Marshall. Proceedings of XP2009, Sardinia, Italy. May 2009. PDF
  18. Agile Project Management: A Grounded Theory Perspective. Rashina Hoda, James Noble, Stuart Marshall. NZCSRSC2009, Auckland, NZ. April 2009.
  19. Exploring the Role of the Manager in Agile Projects. Rashina Hoda, James Noble, Stuart Marshall. ACDC2009, Wellington, NZ. January 2009. [PDF]
  20. A for Agile, Issues with Awareness and Adoption. Rashina Hoda, James Noble, Stuart Marshall. Agile2008 Research Stage, Toronto. 4-8th August, 2008 [PDF]
  21. Agile Project Management Rashina Hoda, James Noble, Stuart Marshall. NZCSRSC2008, Christchurch. 14-17th April, 2008. [PDF]
  22. Usability methods and mobile devices: an evaluation of MoFax Tim Wright, Pak Yoong, James Noble, Roger Cliffe, Rashina Hoda, Donald Gordon, Chris Andreae MUM2005: 26-33

PhD Research: Self-Organizing Agile Teams

Agile Software Development has gained tremendous popularity in the Software Industry over the last couple of decades. It is fast becoming the standard way of software development as more and more organizations across the world adopt Agile. These include, but are not limited to, software giants IBM, Google, Yahoo, GE, Microsoft, SAP, Motorola, Siemens, Wipro, Tech Mahindra, Cisco, and Lockheed Martin.

While "Self-Organizing Agile Teams" (SOAT) are a hall-mark of Agile software development, unfortunately, there has been no substantial research on the self-organizing aspect of Agile teams, across different organizations, countries, and cultures.

Through a qualitative study of over 58 Agile practitioners across 23 software organizations in New Zealand, India, and North America, Rashina has explored what it means to be a Self-Organizing Agile Team for over 4 years. Using the rigorous constant comparative method of Grounded Theory, Rashina has analyzed the data collected through interviews and observations. The research has resulted in a grounded theory of self-organizing Agile teams. The theory of self-organizing Agile teams explains how teams take on informal, implicit, transient, and spontaneous ROLES and perform balanced PRACTICES while facing critical environmental FACTORS.

These roles are: Mentor, Co-ordinator, Translator, Champion, Promoter, and Terminator [ICSE2010]. These practices involve balancing between freedom and responsibility, balancing cross-functionality and specialization, and balancing continuous learning and iteration pressure [CHASE2010]. The practices include their ability to commit to team goals, self-assign tasks, collective decision making, displaying responsibility and ownership, "group programming", understanding different perspectives, self-evaluation, self-improvement, and ability to manage "iteration pressure". The critical environmental factors are: Senior Management Support at their own organizations [XP2011] and Level of Customer Involvement [Agile2009 Research-in-Progress, XP2009, XP2010, IST Journal].

Who's talking about us? (Research Impact)

Presentations/Seminars/Invited Talks

  • Tutorial Presentation with Esther Derby at XP2011, Madrid, Spain, 10th May 2011 [tutorial]
  • Presentation full research paper at XP2011, Madrid, Spain, 12th May 2011 [research presentation]
  • Invited keynote presentation at AgileNCR 2011 conference, New Delhi, India (declined due to travel constraints) [keynote presentation]
  • Seminar at the IIIT Delhi, Organizing Self-Organizing Agile Teams, February 2011 [invited research seminar]
  • Seminar at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, Organizing Self-Organizing Agile Teams, December 2010 [research seminar]
  • Invited Talk at the APN (Agile Professionas Network), Organizing Self-Organizing Agile Teams, 27th Sep 2010 [invited industry talk]
  • Invited Talk at the APN Wellington, Agile Undercover: When Customers Don't Collaborate, 23rd Aug 2010 [invited industry talk]
  • Guest lecture at SWEN302 Agile Methods course on "Scrum 101 ++", 29th July 2010 Presentation [invited talk]
  • Presented full research paper at XP2010, Trondheim, Norway, 3rd June 2010 Presentation Slides [research presentation]
  • Displayed poster at XP2010, Trondheim, Norway, 2nd and 3rd June 2010 [poster presentation]
  • Presented full research paper at ICSE main track, Cape Town, 6th May 2010 [research presentation]
  • Presented full paper at CHASE (co-operative and human aspects of software engineering) workshop at ICSE2010, Cape Town, 2nd May 2010
  • Departmental Seminar on Organizing Self-Organizing Agile Teams, 1st April 2010 [research/industry seminar]
  • Barcamp Agile 2009 presented research results on self-organizing agile teams, Wellington, 12th December 2009 [industry presentation]
  • Presentations at leading Agile companies in India, New Delhi/Bangalore, Oct-Nov 2009 [industry presentation]
  • Agile2009, Chicago, August 2009 [research presentation]
  • XP2009, Sardinia, Italy 2009 [research presentation]
  • NZCSRSC 2009 presented at conference and hosted a discussion session on Agile, Auckland, April 2009 [research presentation]
  • NZCSRSC 2009 practice presentation at Elvis meeting, ECS, Wellington, April 2009 [practice talk]
  • Certified Scrum Master Training, India, Feb 2009 [participated]
  • ACDC 2009 - presented research outline and latest findings and received feedback (Wellington, 19th Jan 2009) [research presentation]
  • ACDC 2009 practice presentation at Elvis meeting, ECS, Wellington, Jan 2009 [practice talk]
  • PhD Proposal Seminar, Victoria University, Wellington, NZ (30th Sep 2008) - Attended by MSCS and SIM staff and an Agile practitioner, received feedback [seminar presentation]
  • IEEE PG Presentation Event, Wellington, New Zealand (28th August 2008) - short research presentation, received certificate [research presentation]
  • [Agile 2008 Conference] Toronto, Canada (4-8th August 2008) - presented preliminary results, received community feedback [research presentation]
  • [NZCSRSC'08], Christchurch NZ (14-17th April 2008) [poster presentation]
  • [Agile Mumbai conference], Mumbai India (28-29th March 2008) [participation]
  • [Agile NCR conference], Gurgaon India (8th March 2008) [industry presentation]
  • [BarCamp Agile] at Deloitte, Wellington (Friday, 7th December 2007) [industry presentation]
  • [SIENZ] or Software Innovation and Engineering New Zealand, Auckland (Nov 26-27, 2007) [participation]


  • Research and Academic Chair, Agile India 2012 Conference, Bengaluru, India 2012
  • Organizing Committee, Co-operative and Human Aspects of Software Engineering (CHASE) at ICSE, Hawaii, 2011
  • Reviewer, Agile 2011 Conference, Salt Lake city, 2011
  • Program Chair, New Zealand Computer Science Student Research Conference (NZCSRSC2010), Wellington 2010
  • Program Committee, Agile 2010 Conference, Research Stage, Nashville 2010
  • Reviewer, Empirical Software Engineering Journal, 2010
  • Reviewer, Agile 2010 Conference, Technical Stage, Nashville 2010
  • Reviewer, Agile2009 India Conference, India 2009
  • Guest Lecture for SWEN302: Agile Methods course on Scrum
  • Presentations at Agile Professionals Network (APN) Wellington - BarCampAgile 2009, APN August 2010

Work Experience

  • Post-Doc/Lecturer/Supervisor [2010-2011] * Rashina is currently teaching COMP103: Introduction to Data Structures and Algorithms and SWEN302: Agile Methods course in T2 2011 besides submitting her PhD research results for publications at various venues. * Supervisor: 4th year Bachelor of Engineering project: Dynamic Multi-Touch Agile Walls * Taught COMP103 in T2 2010 and COMP102: Introduction to Computer Program Design in T1 2011
  • Assistant Lecturer/Tutor [2005-2009] * Previously, Rashina has been involved in the preparation, delivery, and evaluation of several Software Engineering/Computer Science courses such as COMP102 (Intro to Computer Program Design), COMP205 (Software Design and Engineering), COMP311 (User Interface Design), and as an Agile Coach for SWEN302 (Agile Methods course) at the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science, VUW, NZ. * Senior Tutor at School of Information Management, VUW for courses such as INFO101 (Foundations of Information Systems) and INFO102 (Business Application Programming).
  • Industrial Experience [2003-2005] * Team Leader (Software Development) Ebookers, a UK-Based Online Travel Agency, in New Delhi India. * Summer intern at Deloitte IT Consulting

Achievements, Awards, and Scholarship

  • Learning and Teaching Development Grant, VUW (2011)
  • BuildIT Post Doc Scholarship Award (Feb-Nov 2011)
  • BuildIT PhD Travel Grant, July 2010
  • Faculty Strategic Research Grant, Victoria University of Wellington, NZ 2010
  • Victoria Top Scholar 2008-2009 (Dominion Post, 15th July 2009)
  • BuildIT PhD Scholarship Award for emerging researchers, 2009-2012
  • Agile Alliance Research Grant, USA 2008
  • Faculty Strategic Research grants, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand 2008, 2009.
  • Google Anita Borg Scholarship short-listed candidate, Google (USA) and Anita Borg Institute(USA), 2008.
  • Accepted to direct PhD program after completing Masters part one on basis of excellent academic background and research potential, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, 2006.
  • Graduated Summa cum Laude, GPA: 3.93/4.00 with Honors Distinction, Bachelor of Science
    Computer Science, Louisiana State University, USA, 2003.
  • Dean's list and Chancellor’s Honor Roll at all four years of Bachelors, Louisiana State University, USA, 1999-2003.
  • Andrea Martin Memorial Scholarship 2003 and Chevron Scholarship for Outstanding Student 2002, Louisiana State University, USA.
  • Full Scholarship awarded for Bachelors Degree, LSU, USA 1999-2003.
  • Phi Kappa Phi and Golden Key nominee LSU, USA, 1999-2003.


  • Certified Scrum Master (Feb 2009)
  • Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and IEEE Computer Society
  • Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
  • Agile Alliance, Scrum Alliance
  • Agile Professionals Network
  • Elvis, Software Engineering Research Group, VUW, NZ
  • Agile Research Group, VUW, NZ
  • Agile Project Management, Scrum Development, Agile India, Scrum India user groups
  • Women in Software Engineering Linked-In group

Other Interests

Rashina likes designing websites, painting, and writing poems and articles.

I say!

"The best you can do is your own"