About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3817-3828
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain


N. Stankovic

Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (CHINA)
Software systems development projects are complex team oriented undertakings that use many technologies. At the center of any software development project is the system and the software lifecycle, which is the sequence of activities that require specific knowledge and skills to be successfully completed. These skills and knowledge can be nontechnical or technical in nature, and they should be broadly distributed within the team. Therefore, a narrow individual competence, such as either programming or management, is not sufficient to become a productive participant in the workflow.
The education must answer these challenges by preparing students for their professional careers accordingly but, as our experience shows, this is not easy to achieve. Even simple questions are often missed in students work, such as can this work?, what else do I need to know to make this work?, what information or objects are missing in my design?, is my design consistent at the same level and across levels?, is this sequence correct?, and do my colleagues share the same understanding with me?
It appears that the difficulty of producing structured documentation and acquiring the skills of expressing oneself in another language, such as the Unified Modeling Language (UML), or in a different way obscures the need for answering such simple questions. Even when the design is coarse, the understanding of the concepts and relating them to behavior, assigning the behavior to the objects, and thinking at different levels of abstraction at the same time is difficult for most students.
Therefore, asking more difficult design questions, reflecting on one’s past experience, and effectively applying one’s previously acquired knowledge to solve software design problems are even less likely to eventuate. In this paper we present a number of examples and point at these kind of problems that we have experienced through the years. While the students’ output clearly reveals the strong interest of the students in the course it also reveals the need for active participation by the instructor to point at such problems and motivate rework through formative assessment.
author = {Stankovic, N.},
title = {IT IS SO HARD},
series = {4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-5538-9},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {8-10 March, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {3817-3828}}
AU - N. Stankovic
SN - 978-84-613-5538-9/2340-1079
PY - 2010
Y1 - 8-10 March, 2010
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2010 Proceedings
SP - 3817
EP - 3828
ER -
N. Stankovic (2010) IT IS SO HARD, INTED2010 Proceedings, pp. 3817-3828.