5o Years of Software Engineering – Challenges, Results and Opportunities in Education: Panel Discussion @ the conference ITiCSE 2018 in Cyprus

I have been invited as a panelist to discuss “50 years of software engineering – challenges, results and opportunities” at the 23 annual conference of Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE 2018) that will take place in Larnaca, Cyprus.

I will be on the panel with Stephan Krusche, Bruce Scharlau and Janet Hughes and we have submitted a short paper describing our different positions. In my talk I will focus on two ways in which software engineering educaiton needs to change to address future challenges. The first is that we need a stronger focus on development of professional competencies for our students to be able to address complex and wicked problems. The second is that we need to address the gender stereotyping of ICT as a male subject, as this is really hindering development of the field. To be able to change the male stereotyping we need to understand carreer trajectories and choises of women in technology driven areas – which is exactly what NordWit is focusing at. We also need to work with change preferrably driven by action research collabroations – we have that in NordWit too :-). We’ll see what comments and new insights I will get through the discussions and the panel. Looking forward to a nice conference and a nice discussion!

My position statement:

To develop and deploy information and communications technology (ICT) in organizations is difficult and often users think that the ICT is too complex and has major flaws. We are indeed getting better at software engineering, and we know that today’s approaches such as Agile work better than their predecessors. If we could make use of todays’ knowledge on the situation we had 50 years ago we would be fine. However, the complexity of ICT has grown substantially. Many users are engaged with around 15-25 different software systems in their work, and we have an ecology of different devices. The future is increasingly complex with virtual reality, robots and automation. We need to address these challenge in education in at least two different ways. First, we need to prepare our students to work with complex, wicked problems that are not easily solved. Second, the gendered stereotyping of ICT as a male subject means that we fail to realize the full potential of ICT talent in the population. Men and women have different, gendered experience, and can contribute with different perspectives.

Åsa Cajander

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