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"S. Ron Oliver" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
S. Ron Oliver
Tue, 20 Feb 2001 17:34:41 -0700
text/plain (93 lines)
At 05:12 PM 2/20/01 -0600, Johnson Phillip E wrote:

> >and/or Engineering (preferably all three), THEN do (at least) a one year
> >internship.  I tend to think it would be better if it were 1 1/2 years or
> >longer.
>I think if there is more than a one year internship we would lose a lot of
>candidates, but that might be a good filter in the process.

Precisely.  Just such a filter has many advantages.  (But that's a rather
long story. . .)

> >>The unanimous response was, "We are graduating professionals not
> >Well, what can I say.  You were talking to the wrong people.
>It was department chairs and several VP of schools.

My point is that part of the problem with our current academic system
(largely due to the tenure system) is there is no motivation, whatsoever
(at least not that they understand), for academic personnel to do anything
with industrial "inputs" but continue to justify that what they are doing
is obviously what they should be doing.  I have known a few exceptions -
but they tend to become disenchanted with the academic community and go
(back) into industry.  Either that or they become very cynical and take
advantage of the tenure system to do their own thing (which may actually
have significant technical merit) and stop trying to do what makes sense
for the curriculum.

> >>The fact is the individual not the group define the work ethic of a
> >Most professional disciplines have very carefully written codes of
> >ethics.  The role of the individual is to apply that code of ethics
> >conscientiously, not to write his own.
>The "work" ethic I spoke of is not a code of standards and practices, but
>rather personal beliefs and principles that dictate the diligence with which
>an individual applies to their work to produce a quality product.

OK.  So I think we are in agreement, at least with respect to the role of
the individual.

> >>Ron tends to paint his pictures with a "very" broad brush,
> >I hope you now see a little more of the detail.


> >By "actual world" I suppose you mean the overwhelming majority of "current
> >working environments for software developers".  I haven't a clue what you
>You a correct.  Unfortunately, the real world (management) imposes schedules
>and expectations that are less than realistic.

Yes.  The "management problem" is a very important part of the whole
problem.  But it is not the only part.

>I have spent a good deal of
>time over the past two years teaching Physics to my project management.  The
>primary lesson/the ONLY lesson has been the difference between the physics
>of check mark on a schedule and the physics of reality.  I think I got
>though once or twice.  We spent a lot of time explaining why a delivery
>could not be made.

Good.  This is the only thing a Software Engineer CAN do, once they are on
the job - try to educate management how to mange.  That is VERY DIFFICULT
to do if that Software Engineer has had no significant education and/or
training in management.  Although I tend to emphasize the importance of
Math, Science, and Engineering, I also feel a few good business management
courses are critical to being able to manage a Software Engineering project
- if only to make it easier to talk to management.

>We this continual explanations and much passive
>resistance we have maintained a fairly high quality in our product.

Hard work.  But if it truly improves quality, it's worth it.  :)


S. Ron Oliver, semi-retired professor of Computer Science and Computer

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