Academy of Software Engineering and Training (ASEE&T)

The Academy of Software Engineering and Training (ASEE&T) is a special program section consisting of invited guest presentations by luminaries in the software engineering field, demonstrating how to best teach various aspects of software engineering.  These sessions may include work activities.  The intended audience is software engineering faculty, although the technical content would also be of interest to software engineering practitioners. 

In 2020, ASEE&T will include presentations by Professors Rick Kazman and Dieter Rombach.  Each of their sessions will be half-day sessions on July 29, thus comprising a full day.

ASEE&T Program — July 29, 2020

Morning Session (Rick Kazman)
Teaching Architecture Design Using the “Smart Decisions” Game
Time: tbd
Afternoon Session (Dieter Rombach)
Education & Training in the Digital Age
Time: tbd

Teaching Architecture Design Using the “Smart Decisions” Game
Rick Kazman

Architecture design is notoriously difficult to teach and to learn. Most competent architects in industry have deep knowledge won from long years of experience. But if we want architecture design to be methodical and repeatable, we need better methods for teaching it. Simply waiting for an aspiring architect to accumulate 10 or 20 years of experience is not acceptable if we believe that software engineering is a true engineering discipline that can be taught and learned in a reasonable time-frame.

In this workshop I will describe our experiences working with industry in the development of a game that aids in teaching architecture design, specifically design employing the Attribute-Driven Design (ADD) method. The game was not conceived of as a substitute for “traditional” instruction about design, but rather a complement to such instruction.

I will begin by discussing our goals for the game. Next I will describe our approach to creating the game, the fundamentals of ADD, and the “design concepts catalog” that provides the knowledge base for the game. And I will also discuss how we modularized the game mechanics—the rules and steps to follow—and separated this from the game content—the design concepts catalog, thus easing the creation of other similar games or updated versions of the Smart Decisions game.

In this workshop we will run a real game session where the attendees get to play the game in small groups. Following the game we will have a debrief wherein we discuss and compare our experiences. Finally, I will briefly report on our experiences with deploying the game, in several variants, in both academia and industry, and the assessments and feedback that we have received from our participants.


Education & Training in the Digital Age
Dieter Rombach

Digital transformation focusses on further automation of existing business processes and creation of new disruptive business process. Examples of new disruptive business processes include new E-Mobility, E-Health, E-Energy, E-Production (Industry 4.0) or new E-Agriculture solutions. These solutions are typically based on large, open, and interconnected software systems (often referred to as Eco-Systems) which utilize large amounts of data for intelligent support.

The development of these new software systems follows principles of agility, creativity (e.g., Stanford design thinking), and fast prototyping. Furthermore, these systems employ artificial intelligence components (e.g., deep learning) in order to provide intelligent support. Consequently, the required competencies of software developers are changing rapidly.

New approaches to teaching and training are being explored at various universities, but no consensus has been reached as to how curricula for the digital transformation age should look like. The University of Kaiserslautern and its associated institutes (organized in the Science & Innovation Alliance)  are focusing research and teaching on digital transformation for many years. With its departments of Math, CS, Engineering, and Economics they are exploring innovative teaching and training approaches. Examples include an interdisciplinary study program (BS and MS) called “Social-Computing”, multiple programs on the application of AI, a certificate program on “Digital Management”, a continuing education and training master program “System engineering for embedded systems (MSE)”. The workshop will be led by Dieter Rombach, Senior Research Professor for Software Engineering at the University of Kaiserslautern. He has been a leader of the activities around digital transformation, and a leader in the design of supporting teaching and training curricula. The workshop will consist of 3 parts: (a) a general introduction by Dieter Rombach, (b) short presentations of example teaching approaches towards digital transformation, and (c) an open discussion. The aim is to come up with a whitepaper for the design of software curricula in the digital transformation age.