August 13, 2013—Software engineering educators from 14 leading institutions located in the United States and abroad gathered from August 5-7, 2013, at the SEI's Pittsburgh facility for the 10th annual Architecture-Centric Engineering (ACE) Workshop for Educators. The SEI hosts this event to foster an ongoing exchange of ideas among educators whose curricula include the subjects of software architecture and software product lines. This year's ACE Workshop took up the architectural implications of cloud computing and the topic of economics-driven architecting.
Workshop attendees participated in courses and tutorials conducted by Grace Lewis, Rod Nord, and Ipek Ozkaya, all senior members of the SEI technical staff. The SEI's James Edmondson and James McHale, also senior members of the technical staff, supplemented the coursework with invited talks. Edmondson discussed the next generation of mobile computing, while McHale addressed the Team Software Process and architecture. The workshop's formal program was supplemented by a group session facilitated by the SEI's Larry Jones, in which participants had the opportunity to share experiences, ideas, and tangible artifacts for introducing the concepts of software architecture and product lines into the college curriculum.
"The attendees stated that every year they incorporate new material into their courses, including software architecture, software product lines, SEI methods, the Pedagogical Product Line, and the Hard Choices game," said Jones, a senior member of the SEI's technical staff. "They find the workshop a unique opportunity to interact with like-minded teaching colleagues face to face. They also have the opportunity to connect to the growing community that has attended other ACE workshops." Jones, along with SEI colleague Lewis, served as co-leaders for the event.
Attendees found practical value in the ACE Workshop. "The course portion provided material for a new graduate course on software architecture I am currently building for this fall," said Roger Champagne, associate professor in the Department of Software and IT Engineering at École de Technologie Supérieure, Montreal, Quebec. "I think cloud computing, the economic impacts, and value-driven software architecture are musts for such a course. I will likely be integrating summarized versions of this year's modules into 2-3 three-hour lectures during next term."
Fellow attendee Rajendra Raj echoed Champagne's comments. "I found the material useful, and I will use it in my own coursework starting this. For instance, I will use this material to enhance my Distributed Systems course. I also plan to use it in my Secure Data Management course that I teach in spring. I believe these revisions will enhance my students' learning tremendously." Raj is a professor of computer science at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York.
By conducting these annual ACE workshops, the SEI is helping educators in the field of software architecture improve its pedagogy and, consequently, improve the understanding of software architecture concepts among the hundreds of students they instruct. The SEI believes this understanding will help these future software engineering professionals as they enter a technological environment of ever-increasing scale and complexity.
For more information about the SEI's work in software architecture, please visit www.sei.cmu.edu/architecture/.
For more information about the SEI's ACE Workshops, please visit www.sei.cmu.edu/community/edworkshops/.
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