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Careers in which you personally continue to do technical work ... A common career progression is from doing the technical work to leading others who do technical work ...

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S we 51 3 software engineering l.jpg
SWE 513: Software Engineering

People II


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Future Experience

What will you be doing one year from now?

Ten years from now?


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Future Experience

What will you be doing one year from now?

Ten years from now?

  • Careers outside computing

  • Careers in which you personally continue to do technical work

  • 3. Careers in which you are responsible for the technical work of others


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Careers outside Computing

A computing background can be valuable in any career:

management, government, law, medicine, philanthropy, etc.

Education in computing is an asset:

• Computing is a vital part of almost every organization

• Education in logical thinking, tackling large tasks systematically

Education in computing is a potential weaknesses:

• Not every problem can be solved by rational thinking

• Importance of skills with people, judgment, etc.


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Technical Careers

Super-technical positions

A very few senior positions which are almost entirely technical:

e.g., industrial research, universities

Even these have substantial organizational aspects

Mid-level technical positions

Numerous mid-level professional positions

Can be state-of-the-art or dead-end

Computer professional report satisfaction with their choice of

careers


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Careers that take responsibility for the Technical Work of Others

A common career progression is from doing the technical work to leading others who do technical work

Senior personnel must be familiar with both the strategic organizational aspects and the computing aspects of the work, e.g.,

Entrepreneur

Chief Information Officer

Senior consultant

• Does not require detailed technical expertise

• Requires organizational, personnel, financial expertise


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Flexibility Others

Nobody knows where computing will go in the future, but …

If you do not learn continuously, you are going out of date fast!

• Go to seminars, conferences, training courses

• Be inquisitive – discover things for yourself

Technical expertise is most valuable when combined with other skills

• Understand the organization that you are part of, e.g.,

budgets, marketing.

• Develop organizational skills, e.g., presentations,

writing, leadership


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Software Development as a Profession Others

Software development demands a high degree of professionalism.

Question: Is software development a branch of engineering?

Answer: It depends on how you define engineering.


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From Lecture 1: OthersThe Craft of Software Development

Software products are very varied

--> Client requirements are very different

--> There is no standard process for software engineering

--> There is no best language, operating system, platform,

database system, development environment, etc.

A skilled software developer knows about a wide variety of approaches, methods, tools. The craftof software engineering is to select appropriate methods for each project and apply them effectively.


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Crafts, Science, Engineering Others

Science

Production

Professional

Engineering

Commercial

Craft

From: Shaw and Garlan


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Science Others

Production

Professional

Engineering

Commercial

Craft

Crafts, Science, Engineering

algorithms

data structures

compiler construction

software development

methodologies

From: Shaw and Garlan


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Professionalism: Software Process Others

Fundamental Assumption:

Good processes lead to good software

Good processes reduce risk

Good processes enhance visibility


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Software Engineering Institute Capability Maturity Model Others

1. Initial -- no effective management processes

2. Repeatable -- requirements management, project planning, scheduling and tracking, quality assurance, configuration control

3. Defined -- conformity to defined processes, design and code reviews, communication procedures, personnel development

4. Managed -- software quality management, quantitative process management

5. Optimizing -- continuous improvement of processes

Question: What is the evidence that the Capability Maturity Model reflects effective Software Engineering?


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From Lecture 1: OthersProfessional Responsibility

  • Organizations put trust in software developers:

  • Competence: Software that does not work effectively can destroy an organization.

  • Confidentiality: Software developers and systems administrators may have access to highly confidential information (e.g., trade secrets, personal data).

  • Legal environment: Software exists in a complex legal environment (e.g., intellectual property, obscenity).

  • Acceptable use and misuse: Computer abuse can paralyze an organization (e.g., the Internet worm).


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An Old Question: OthersSafety Critical Software

A software system fails and several lives are lost. An inquiry discovers that the test plan did not consider the case that caused the failure. Who is responsible:

(a) The testers for not noticing the missing cases?

(b) The test planners for not writing the complete test plan?

(c) The managers for not having checked the test plan?

(d) The customer for not having done a thorough acceptance test?


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Client Responsibility Others

• Organization culture that expects quality

• Appointment of suitably qualified people to vital tasks (e.g., technical team that will build a critical system)

• Reviewing requirements and design carefully

• Establishing and overseeing the acceptanceprocess

• Providing time and incentives that encourage quality work

• Working closely with the software team

Accepting responsibility for the resulting product


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Computing Management Responsibility Others

• Organization culture that expects quality

• Appointment of suitably qualified people to vital tasks (e.g., testing safety-critical software)

• Establishing and overseeing the software development process

• Providing time and incentives that encourage quality work

• Working closely with the client

Accepting responsibility for work of team


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Software Developers and Testers: Responsibilities Others

• Carrying out assigned tasks thoroughly and in a professional manner

• Being committed to the entire project -- not just tasks that have been assigned

• Resisting pressures to cut corners on vital tasks

• Alerting colleagues and management to potential problems early


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What is Engineering? Others

A definition of engineering

The profession of:

... creating cost-effective solutions ...

... to practical problems ...

... by applying scientific knowledge ...

... and established practices ...

... building things ...

and taking responsibility for them!

With this definition, software development is clearly engineering


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What is Engineering? Others

A second definition of engineering

A professional who

… is licensed by a professional society

… based on a set educational program with a standard body

of knowledge and specified experience

… who is the only person permitted to oversee certain tasks

If this is your definition of engineering it is hard to see it applied to software development


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Software Engineering as Engineering? Others

• Part craft -- part engineering

• Embryonic scientific basis

• Evolving body of expertise

ACM conclusion: Software Engineering is in too much of a craft, too uncertain, and changing too much for the apparatus of a profession

• Who has the expertise to define a formal Body of

Knowledge?

• What would be in an accreditation exam?


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