Tight Spirals and Industry Clients: The Modern SE Education Experience

Hogan, J.M., Smith, G. and Thomas, R.C.

    Modern software engineering education is driven by an expectation that industry best practice and state of the art software technologies should not wait until graduation, but should appear early in the undergraduate curriculum. Moreover, students in our programmes have a strong, and well-justified belief that industrial strength project work is well-regarded by potential employers, and have had little difficulty expressing their preference for more relevant courses. In response, we have significantly enhanced the industry linkages and professional focus of our SE programme through a series of initiatives over a four year period. These initiatives have included: the introduction of a more modern development process employing multiple iterations; a novel approach to the first software engineering unit in which the students must extend an existing (phase 1) software system; the involvement of a live industry partner in the advanced software engineering unit, with regular and candid feedback from the company staff; and the provision of detailed support materials for version control and automated unit testing as part of our process infrastructure. This paper details our experiences during this period, the rationale for our process and course structure, and discusses the feedback on our approaches from students and local employers.
Cite as: Hogan, J.M., Smith, G. and Thomas, R.C. (2005). Tight Spirals and Industry Clients: The Modern SE Education Experience. In Proc. Seventh Australasian Computing Education Conference (ACE2005), Newcastle, Australia. CRPIT, 42. Young, A. and Tolhurst, D., Eds. ACS. 217-222.
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