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“Best Practice” Workshop at the CSEE&T 2006
Call for Participation and Position Papers
Workshop on Best Practice in Software Engineering: The Role of Industry in Software Engineering Education and TrainingTo be held during the 19th Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training (CSEE&T 2006) Turtle Bay, Oahu, Hawaii – April 19-21, 2006
Organisers: Prof. J. Barrie Thompson and Prof. Helen M. Edwards,
School of Computing and Technology,
University of Sunderland,
St. Peter’s Way, Sunderland, SR6 0DD,
Tel: +44 (0)191 515 2769, Fax: +44 (0)191 515 2781,
Contextual InformationTo operate effectively in today’s volatile software industry, graduates from Software Engineering programmes need to be equipped with knowledge of both real world situations and best Software Engineering practices. It is intended that this CSEET 2006 workshop will provide the initial inputs to a project that is being funded under the UK National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) which is concerned with enhancing the education that supports IT professionals. Further information on the overall project is given at the end of this call. Workshop Theme and Objectives The initial stage for the NTFS project involves:1. Investigating mechanisms to determine industry-related best practices and
2. Identifying area(s) where best practices are actually in place.
In support of the above, the overall theme of the workshop will be to explore the interactions between industry and academia with the objectives of:
· Identifying the types and range of interaction between industry and academia which enable knowledge to be gained of industrial Software Engineering practices.
· Identifying those areas in Software Engineering where best practices are most likely to be found
· Identifying the mechanisms that could be used in the analysis of the interactions between industry and academia and which would assist in the classification and evaluation of industrial Software Engineering practices.
· Producing a prototype framework that would support these evaluation activities.
Post-conference DeliverablesA comprehensive post-workshop report will be produced following the workshop, and a paper based on it will be submitted for journal publication. The post-workshop report will also form a major input into a subsequent event that is to be held on 20th May 2006 during the International Conference in Software Engineering in Shanghai.
Position Papers and Sources for InformationPotential participants are invited to submit short Position Papers (one or two pages in length, in CSEET 2006 format) that either:
1. Address a particular interaction between industry and academia (e.g. work placements/internships) and highlight the knowledge that was gained from the interaction and how it was gained (e.g. from a placement/internship report), or
2. Address a particular area within Software Engineering where proven best practices are being employed in industry.
All accepted Position Papers will be included in the comprehensive post-workshop report and this will be circulated to participants. As stated above the post-workshop report will also form a major input at a subsequent event that is to be held on 20th May 2006 during the International Conference in Software Engineering in Shanghai.
Position Papers should be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org from whom further information can also be obtained. Papers should arrive no later than Monday 20th February 2006. Please include “CSEET Submission” in the subject heading and specify a return receipt.
The web sites for this workshop at CSEE&T 2006 and the subsequent event at ICSE 2006 can both be assessed from: http://www.cet.sunderland.ac.uk/ssee/
The site for the CSEE&T 2006 conference can be found at: http://db-itm.cba.hawaii.edu/cseet2006/papers.htm
Workshop Activities and FormatIt is intended that the workshop will have a highly interactive format involving the active participation of all attendees. Also it is intended that extensive use will be made of activities within small groups. Also to ensure that the time in the workshop is spent as effectively as possible, the position papers of the participants will be made available on the Internet prior to the workshop.
It is envisaged that the workshop will essentially consist of two distinct parts. Part A 1. Recap the objectives of the workshop and present summaries of the most relevant position papers. 2. Break out into two activity groups:
One group will consider the interactions between industry and academia the other will consider those areas in Software Engineering where best practices are most likely to be found.
3. Feedback to full group: a nominated speaker from each activity group will to feedback themes emerging from their group's discussions.
4. Opportunity for further inputs in the light of feedback presentations.
1. Break out into one or more new activity groups:
Each group will, in the light of the feedback provided in stage 3 above, consider a selected industry academia interaction (or set of interactions) and will attempt to identify key features that would:
· Support the documentation and analysis of the interaction, and
· Provide a means of evaluating current industrial practices
2. Feedback to full group: a nominated speaker from each activity group will feedback themes emerging from their group's discussions.
3. Group session with all participants to identify common features which could be used in the specification of a prototype framework that would support evaluation activities.
Additional InformationThe overall aim of the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme funded project is to develop guidelines and recommendations regarding:1. The identification and incorporation of proven industry-related best practices into both undergraduate and post-graduate computing curricula (including curricula that relate to maintenance of competence for existing professionals).
2. Best practice mechanisms for the delivery of such enhanced curricula in a variety of contexts (e.g. remote distance learning).
The project builds on work that has been undertaken relating to international standards for IT professionals which have been proposed by the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP). It will also use the knowledge gained from involvement in the ACM and IEEE-CS supported international curricula effort for undergraduate degrees in computing. This previous work has involved highly successful workshops at previous CSEE&T and ICSE conferences. IFIP in the late 1990s produced a document entitled “Harmonization of Professional Standards” which highlights six specific areas with regard to professionalism viz:
· Ethics of professional practice,
· Established body of knowledge,
· Education and training,
· Professional experience,
· Best practice and proven methodologies and
· Maintenance of competence.
The proposals contained within the IFIP “Harmonization of Professional Standards” document appeared particularly relevant to the field of Software Engineering (SE). Therefore, starting in autumn 2000, a range of activities began aimed at both promoting and evaluating the IFIP document within the SE community. These included formal conference presentations followed by question and answer sessions, through panel sessions addressing particular aspects, to highly participative workshop events that allowed in-depth analysis of the document. The overall reaction by the SE community has been very encouraging. It has recognised that the IFIP document essentially defines framework or meta model, which should truly assist the advancement of professional standards. An overall summary of the activities and the evaluations of IFIP’s proposals were reported back to IFIP in a paper presented at the 8th IFIP World Conference on Computers in Education in South Africa in June 2005. However, this initial work has raised some significant queries that indicate that further work needs to be undertaken. The main concerns are associated with the areas of best practice and proven methodologies, maintenance of competence, and the educational support for these areas. A paper highlighting the problems associated with “Best Practice” was presented at the 2005 Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training, in Ottawa.
There is little doubt that within other engineering disciplines (e.g. civil, electrical) great importance is placed upon "current best practice and relevant proven methodologies" both within industry and within academic programmes. Texts supporting these disciplines (such as "Why Buildings Stand Up" by Mario Salvandori) make clear, how in these other disciplines best practices are based on both theoretical and empirical foundations and that they often develop in the aftermath of failure. Unfortunately it appears that although in Software Engineering reference is often made to "Best Practices", identifying those of clearly proven worth is far from easy. The failure of many software projects to meet their objectives, or indeed the termination of partially completed projects, occurs all too often. These are real indications that if best practices do exist they are certainly not as widely used as they should be, nor does it appear that they are being developed in the light of actual practical experiences.
Further details of the UK’s Higher Education Academy and the UK National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) can be found via: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk
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