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A Principles and Practices Exam Specification to Support Software Engineering Licensure in the USA

Summary: In April 2013, several states in the United States will require licensure for certain individuals who are involved in the creation of software that can affect the health, safety, and welfare of the public. It is expected that eventually, all states and jurisdictions in the United States will require such licensure. Each state has different licensure criteria, but all include certain educational and experiential requirements, passing two tests, with one being a common test of engineering fundamentals, and the other a test of minimal competency in relevant areas of software engineering knowledge and practice. While the common test of engineering fundamentals exists, the software engineering examination does not. In order to develop this examination, the authors conducted a study using a multimethod approach in identifying the professional activities and knowledge/skills that are important to the competent performance of software engineers who serve the public. In this article, the authors describe the study, the results, and the test specification that was derived. Demographic information for the survey respondents is also presented.

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  • Topics: Human Resources
  • Keywords: Standards and specifications, Software quality, Engineering, Safety, Testing, Surveys, State government, Certification, Knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA), Computer software
  • Author: Laplante, Phillip; Kalinowski, Beth; Thornton, Mitchell
  • Journal: Software Quality Professional Magazine