Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Comber, T, Lo, B & Watson, R 1996, 'Achieving balance in software engineering curricula', Proceedings of the International Conference Software Engineering: Education and Practice - SEEP'96, Berlin, Germany, 25-30 March, IEEE Computer Society Press, Los Alamitos, CA.


Achieving balance is an issue that faces all curriculum designers. The complexity of the software process demands a pluralistic approach to systems development. This pluralism must also be reflected in the education and training of future software engineers. How can we integrate the diverse views into a unified curriculum framework? How can we cover all topics that are deemed essential for the discipline. We must balance specialised software engineering topics with fundamental topics in computer science and we must also balance the variety of software engineering topics amongst themselves within the relatively short three-year undergraduate curriculum. Very often, what is left out is just as important as what is left in. This paper describes the process and outcomes of a recent attempt at Southern Cross University to develop a balanced software engineering course. Comparisons were made between this implementation and the ACM/IEEE model curriculum and other related efforts.