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Software Process Improvement in Industry in a Graduate Software Engineering Curriculum

Summary: Software process improvement (SPI) is considered one of the most important fields in the software engineering discipline. But despite its importance, increasing its coverage in educational settings is still challenging. By influencing the syllabus for university-level graduate and undergraduate courses to include quality and process improvement, the future professionals, on entering the various industries, could act as ambassadors for process improvement. This article deals with one such example at the École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS), where SPI is taught in lecture format and with a 10-week implementation project in organizations by teams of students from the graduate software engineering curriculum. The SPI course is taught using a “problem-goal-solution” approach where students learn that any process improvement initiative must be based on issues preventing an organization from achieving its organizational goals whether the organization is a company or a not-for-profit organization. An important aspect of this course is the management of technological change where students learn and put into practice in their project the “soft” issues, which are part of most SPI organizational initiatives. In addition to the one-semester graduate SPI course, a few students pursue the work done during the 10-week team project as their graduate project.

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  • Topics: Software Quality
  • Keywords: Software quality, Process improvement, Curriculum, Problem solving, Change management, Small business, International Standards Organization (ISO)
  • Author: Laporte, Claude Y.; O'Connor, Rory V.
  • Journal: Software Quality Professional Magazine