Training Software Engineers Using Open-Source Software: The Professors' Perspective

Gustavo Henrique Lima Pinto, Fernando Figueira Filho, Igor Steinmacher, Marco Aurelio Gerosa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Traditional Software Engineering (SE) courses often prioritize methodologies and concepts in small, controlled environments: naive projects used as a proof of concept instead of full-fledged real software systems. Although this strategy has clear benefits, it does not place enough care in training students to face complex, non-trivial legacy software projects. To bridge this gap, novel SE courses are leveraging the rich variety of open-source software (OSS) projects to illustrate how these methodologies and concepts are applied to existing, non-trivial software systems. To better understand the benefits, challenges, and opportunities of this transition, in this paper, we interview seven SE professors that changed their academic setting to aspire students to comprehend, maintain, and evolve OSS systems as part of their SE course. We found that there are different ways to make use of OSS projects in SE courses in terms of project choice, assessment, and learning goals. Moreover, we evidence clear benefits of this approach, including improving students' social and technical skills, and helping students enhancing their resume. Also, we observed that this strategy comes with costs: the activity demands effort and time from the professor and the barrier for one getting involved with and, therefore, placing a meaningful contribution, in an OSS community is often high.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 30th IEEE Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training, CSEE and T 2017
EditorsHironori Washizaki, Nancy Mead
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages117-121
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781538625361
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 4 2017
Event30th IEEE Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training, CSEE and T 2017 - Savannah, United States
Duration: Nov 7 2017Nov 9 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings - 30th IEEE Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training, CSEE and T 2017
Volume2017-January

Conference

Conference30th IEEE Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training, CSEE and T 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySavannah
Period11/7/1711/9/17

Keywords

  • Open-Source Contributions
  • Open-source software
  • Teaching Software Engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education

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