Friday, May 14, 2021

Real World Tests to Prepare Graduates for the Real World

I am helping out with some project audits of ANU Techlauncher computer students this week. Students have been working for ten weeks in teams for a real client to produce a system. They are audited every few weeks to see how they are doing and to make suggestions for improvements. The clients, and other students have input to this as well as staff. This is an approach which might be applied in other disciplines, to make assessment for useful for learning and prepare graduates for the workplace.

This approach is modeled on real world software engineering practice. I have carried out similar audits at the Defence Department on large projects, some of which were subsequently cancelled (as an expert witness in court cases I have reviewed documentation from projects which should have been cancelled). I thought I should revise the fundamentals and found a Wiki version of the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK) which doesn't need registration to access (but I am not sure how up to date this is). Chapter 10: Software Quality, 2.3 Reviews and Audits is the relevant part:

"Reviews and audit processes are broadly defined as static—meaning that no software programs or models are executed—examination of software engineering artifacts with respect to standards that have been established by the organization or project for those artifacts. Different types of reviews and audits are distinguished by their purpose, levels of independence, tools and techniques, roles, and by the subject of the activity. Product assurance and process assurance audits are typically conducted by software quality assurance (SQA) personnel who are independent of development teams. Management reviews are conducted by organizational or project management. The engineering staff conducts technical reviews."

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