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1424RE: [scrumdevelopment] Digest Number 327

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  • Mike Cohn
    Jun 5, 2003
      Good points, Jeff.

      I was on a similar industry advisory committee to a university with the
      exact same results. This was about 10 years ago and pretty much everything
      we suggested was ignored and rather than start teaching anything about
      client/server and distributed computing and more PC-based programming they
      continued to insist on mainframe programming classes for everyone,
      structured analysis, and kept COBOL as the official language of the

      I'm tempted to suggest that we should find a way to propose some form of
      agile curriculum but I don't know how we get universities to listen. With
      the poor economy I've met so many people who have decided that "if only I
      had a [better] degree, I'd be employable." Yet when I talk to them about the
      things they're learning I can't see how it helps them.


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Jeff Sutherland [mailto:jeff.sutherland@...]
      Sent: Thursday, June 05, 2003 8:20 AM
      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Digest Number 327

      I think the consus of this group would be the same as I believe ACM has
      taken. SWEBOK is attempting to promote processes on which there is no
      consensus and where substantial data exists to demonstrate that many
      proposed approaches do not work.

      The ACM and leaders in software development today do not support SWEBOK
      does not accurately reflects the current consensus.

      The June issue of IEEE Computer has an article which documents the failed
      DOD standard promoting the waterfall method that cost the military about
      $100B in abandoned or broken projects. The author of the standard said he
      used consultants and textbooks to draft the standard. He had no real world
      experience in building production software and would have proposed
      iterative incremental development, had he known what was really going on at
      NASA and IBM. It has taken more than a decade for a review committee led by
      Fred Brooks to repair the damage.

      It has also led to curriculum development in universities which has been
      largely irrelevant to production software development. I gave a talk at
      Brown University a few years ago on modern software techniques used in real
      businesses today. A Ph.D. candidate got up and stated to the entire
      conference that virtually everything he had learned about software
      development at Brown was largely irrelevant to modern methods.

      I don't want to fault Brown because I was on an advisory committee to the
      University of Massachusetts and they were even worse. They agreed with the
      industrial advisory committee about what to do about the problem and then
      failed to implement it teaching the same old things that were not relevant
      to product development.

      Jeff Sutherland

      At 01:55 PM 6/4/2003 +0000, you wrote:

      >Message: 1
      > Date: Tue, 3 Jun 2003 07:30:37 -0600
      > From: "Alleman, Glen B." <glen.alleman@...>
      >Subject: RE: IEEE SWEBOK Is Looking for Reviewers--They Don't Even Mention
      >XP, Agile, etc.
      >As a reviewer of SWEBOK this is a problem in a larger context. SWEBOK is
      >an academic framework for the teaching of Software Engineering. The
      >first thought is that XP and agile method are transitory in the
      >engineering world. Meaning they are the "current" methods and describing
      >them in a "body of knowledge" is risky. Not because of their value to
      >the software world but because they are too far down in the food chain.
      >It would belike teaching GIS methods for waste water remediation in an
      >environmental engineering Body of Knowledge - critically important but
      >only so once you reach the field.

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