August 31, 2017—Software engineering educators gathered August 1-3 at the SEI’s Pittsburgh headquarters for the 14th Software Engineering Workshop for Educators. The SEI hosts this annual event to foster an ongoing exchange of ideas among educators whose curricula include the subject of software engineering. The SEI’s Grace Lewis, Robert Nord, and Ipek Ozkaya led the workshop, which was attended by 27 educators representing institutions located in Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Mexico, Peru, and the United States.
The first day of the workshop was devoted to the course Design Guidelines and Patterns for Microservices, taught by Paulo Merson, visiting scientist at the SEI. Day Two began with the course QUELCE: Planning for Change, a New Era in Cost Estimation, taught by the SEI’s Robert Stoddard. The balance of the workshop comprised group sessions facilitated by SEI members. These sessions offered participants an opportunity to exchange experiences, ideas, and artifacts they’ve used to successfully introduce software engineering topics into college curricula.
Continuing the format begun in 2016, the workshop’s expanded focus moved beyond software architecture. “Topics ranged from the purely pedagogical to the technical,” said Nord. “For instance, we facilitated sessions on issues specific to the teaching of software engineering at the university level and the role of online education, srcML (a tool that provides infrastructure to support source code analysis), and a session on requirements and quality attributes. That just scratches the surface of the range of topics presented and discussed.”
“As software has become so ubiquitous it started to influence how and when students get exposed to software engineering concepts. One particularly interesting topic discussed during this year’s workshop was how to bring K-12 educators up to speed in software engineering fundamentals so they could teach effective introductory courses. It is humbling to observe how educators attending this workshop exchange ideas, challenges and successes so altruistically,” said Ozkaya.
Workshop participants lauded the experience. “The community of minds represented at the workshop provides a diverse and fascinating set of perspectives on how to teach software engineering,” said Mark C. Paulk of the University of Texas. “It was both a humbling and informative week.”
Isaac Griffith of Montana State University enjoyed the breadth of topics discussed. “I found that several of our colleagues’ approaches to incorporate projects with industry knowledge thought provoking,” said Griffith, “and I hope to integrate concepts from the shared artifacts and courses in my teaching going forward.”
By conducting these annual workshops, the SEI is helping educators in the field of software engineering improve its pedagogy and, consequently, improve the understanding of software engineering concepts among the hundreds of students they instruct. This understanding will help 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 Software Engineering Workshops for Educators, please visit www.sei.cmu.edu/community/edworkshops/.
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