A challenger has appeared!

This is a discussion on A challenger has appeared! within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; So basically I started one of my last semesters (only one class left after this) in college with what I ...

  1. #1
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    A challenger has appeared!

    So basically I started one of my last semesters (only one class left after this) in college with what I believe to be a pivotal and relevant course, Software Engineering. For those that haven't taken it or have a different version, a group of students propose an application and go through the entire software design process. The parts where it begins via diagrams, modeling, use cases, interface, to eventually writing code. I am sure this is going to be the hardest work I've done in my college career but I'm sure it's the most relevant to my career after college. I'm pretty psyched, I so far have a cool group and there's a lot of learning to be done since we'll be using databases and interfaces (which I know just not in java swt/swing or the like).

    I guess after this course I'll at least have a better taste of a working environment than pretty much all of my programming courses.

    Plus I like hearing my teacher say, "You're taking this course so you can make more money".

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    C++ Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    I'll be joining you in doing the same thing when my next academic year starts in August. Mine is a 6 member group where everyone would have taken a pre-requisite introduction to software engineering (I took that half a year ago).

    Oh, and although the pre-requisite module is Java based, that software engineering project module alternates between C++ and C#. I timed it so that I get to program in C++
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    Do universities teach agile methods nowadays? It was pretty much all waterfall when I was in school in the late 80s.

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    C++ Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    Do universities teach agile methods nowadays?
    Beyond a brief mention, my introduction to software engineering module did not cover agile methods.

    Oh yeah, that interview on MSDN had this part where Stroustrup stated about "agile": "I don't use the word; it's much too vague. Of course C++ supports agile—whatever that means."
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    I didn't take an introduction to Software engineering at all. I think they could have streamlined our curriculum more as I look back. Programming 1 and 2were pretty similar (Program a rat, a rat is a subclass of Rat king, etc). I think after that and maybe data structures they could have taught that introduction course, and then programming III which if you didn't know about polymorphism taught us about multi-threading, serialization and networking (which I all forgot).

    But I'm pretty excited, nervous, etc etc. But I think when I finally have a copy of the project documents that will be a great addition to my portfolio. Plus I'm looking to get an itnernship in the fall, so I think this will help.

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    Looking back on my course work, I loved the SE class. Made a lot more sense to me than the required Physics and Chemistry my CIS-ENG degree required.

    You'll have fun. It's good to work in teams.

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    I hated Software Engineering. First, it's way undervalued - it's worth 6.0 ECTS points (A European system of measuring the amount of work in a course. You need a certain amount of ECTS points to finish the degree, and they're also important if you want to switch to a different university.) which is supposed to mean that you'll work an average of four hours per week across the whole semester. But in truth, you'll work way more than that.
    And my group sucked. Of the six people, two were competent, two were eager, and two were lazy idiots.
    All the buzzt!
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    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CornedBee View Post
    I hated Software Engineering. First, it's way undervalued - it's worth 6.0 ECTS points (A European system of measuring the amount of work in a course. You need a certain amount of ECTS points to finish the degree, and they're also important if you want to switch to a different university.) which is supposed to mean that you'll work an average of four hours per week across the whole semester. But in truth, you'll work way more than that.
    And my group sucked. Of the six people, two were competent, two were eager, and two were lazy idiots.
    Hmm... I'd like to look more into this ECTS system. You say that 6.0 ECTS points implies 4 hours of work per week? In the USA, we use a credit system that goes at a 1:1 ratio of credits to hours of class each week. The general rule is also that for each hour of class, you should expect to do at least 1.5 hours of work and studying. So that would be 1 credit to 2.5 hours of work. However, a year of work is expected to be only a minimum 32 credits (generally no more than 40). So that's a minimum 16 hours of class per week per semester or in terms of work, about 40 hours of work per week excluding mid-terms and finals. It may come out to more hours in Europe, but I will definitely look more into it.
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    Cat without Hat CornedBee's Avatar
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    The old Austrian system (still the primary measure used by students) used the "Semesterwochenstunde" (semester week hour, SWS) as the basic unit. It was supposed to be the number of hours of work per week averaged over the semester, not counting any studying. So a lecture that's one hour per week is worth 1 SWS. The rating of courses that include practical assignments is of course more fuzzy.
    When the ECTS system was introduced, 1 SWS was mapped to 1.5 ECTS, for reasons I don't know.
    All the buzzt!
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    carry on JaWiB's Avatar
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    I've found credits are a very bad indicator of how much work a class will take. I have a physics lab course and a calculus course this quarter that are 3 credits each but make up about 70% of my workload, while I have two other courses that are 5 credits each. I also had a circuits class one quarter that had been dropped to 4 credits just so the EE major would require fewer credits to graduate. The amount of work, however, was the same as it had been with 5 credits (more work than any other class I've taken so far!)
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlyMaelstrom View Post
    Hmm... I'd like to look more into this ECTS system. You say that 6.0 ECTS points implies 4 hours of work per week? In the USA, we use a credit system that goes at a 1:1 ratio of credits to hours of class each week. The general rule is also that for each hour of class, you should expect to do at least 1.5 hours of work and studying. So that would be 1 credit to 2.5 hours of work. However, a year of work is expected to be only a minimum 32 credits (generally no more than 40). So that's a minimum 16 hours of class per week per semester or in terms of work, about 40 hours of work per week excluding mid-terms and finals. It may come out to more hours in Europe, but I will definitely look more into it.
    Not completely 1:1. My class is 1:15 for two days a week. So it's only two and a half hours but it's a 3 credit course. I also had a 1 credit course with the same amount of hours taken per week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by medievalelks View Post
    Do universities teach agile methods nowadays? It was pretty much all waterfall when I was in school in the late 80s.
    Mine did not teach waterfall anyway. They mocked waterfall because it's ........ing retarded. We did our project using the "iterative" process. It was a good class, partly because I lucked into a group where everybody was awesome (except maybe me, haha being modest) but it still had a lot of the busywork involved with UML and such. They were still a bit behind on tools, living in a Subversion world.
    There are 10 types of people in this world, those who cringed when reading the beginning of this sentence and those who salivated to how superior they are for understanding something as simple as binary.

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    We're going to be learning several methods but we will be using the unified software process model. So far all this modeling and process stuff is over my head, need to do some more studying on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by indigo0086 View Post
    We're going to be learning several methods but we will be using the unified software process model. So far all this modeling and process stuff is over my head, need to do some more studying on it.
    Don't let them snow you too hard. The best process is the one that works, not only from an architectural/design/coding perspective but a customer/market perspective. You are learning valuable information, just don't fall into the trap of thinking it's the only way to do things.

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    best way is starting small and changing the least bits possible and always be ready for modifications since you can't plan everything from start.

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