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Making Software Engineering Issues Real to Undergraduates
Good software engineering education should not merely present techniques for dealing with large programs—it must also convince the students that there are real problems for which these techniques are very much more effective than the casual methods they probably learned as beginners. It is often difficult to motivate the need for these techniques, and we consequently end up slighting important issues. I would like to list some of the issues we tend to avoid and some of the reasons we seem to do so. I will try to organize them so that this list will provoke more examples and provide some structure for discussion. I would like to hear from University people about techniques for making these ideas easier for students to appreciate; I would like to hear from practitioners about deficiencies they find in college-trained programmers.