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Communications of the ACM


Undergraduate Software Engineering

Undergraduate Software Engineering, illustrative photo

Credit: Goodluz Productions

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In the fall semester of 1996, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) launched the first undergraduate software engineering program in the U.S.9,10 The culmination of five years of planning, development, and review, the program was designed from the outset to prepare graduates for professional positions in commercial and industrial software development.

From an initial class of 15, the ABET-accredited program has grown steadily, Today, the student body numbers more than 400 undergraduates. Co-op students and graduates are employed in organizations large and small, including Microsoft, Google, Apple, and United Technologies, as well as a variety of government agencies. Housed in a separate Department of Software Engineering at RIT, the program has the independence and flexibility necessary to ensure its integrity as it evolves.


Ian Sommerville

I found this to be an interesting article and I agree with most of what the authors say.

However, I found the article to be a bit too self-congratulatory ("haven't we done well") and I would really have like to have seen more reflection - not just what went well but also what didn't work so well and how the authors tackled the problems that arose. Lessons learned from their experience would be incredibly useful to those trying to extend software engineering education in their own institutions either as a separate degree or within a computer science degree program.

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