Consultation

The Centre for Computing Science Education is entering into a consultation process with employers, big and small, interested in delivering professional software engineers. The consultation process has been designed to resolve concerns and unanswered questions in delivering work-based learning for software engineering. The consultation process seeks to engage various employees within partnering organisations. The aim is to engage the correct person for each concern, e.g. timetabling on-campus classes may involve human resource staff as well as technical leads. The motivation is to resolve as many concerns and issues as possible, minimising disruption and anxiety for students entering into such programmes in the near future. Furthermore, the key insights of the consultation process will be shared publicly so that others can benefits from our discussions.

 

Consequently, we are keen to engage various employers, even if they are not ready to participate in delivery of work-based learning programmes or necessarily want to partner with the University of Glasgow to deliver them.

Industry Mindset

Overview

The mindset of individual employers towards work-based learning for software engineering is important as the university is partnering with companies to deliver professionals. Consequently, in devising a viable model for work-based learning it is important to understand the capacity and resource each employer has to support students and what additional resource employers may need to effectively support students.

Employees to Engage

The management team would be valuable to engage to gain insight into the mindset of industry for work-based learning.


Industrial Practices and Activities

Overview

A principle of our work-based learning programmes is to deliver such schemes in equal partnership with industry. Consequently, we need to understand the practice and activities of the software engineering industry. The motivation is to devise a curriculum where intended learning outcomes are achieved not only on-campus, but also in the workplace. There are some concepts best delivered and assessed on-campus, while others can be learned and assessed, off-campus, in the workplace.

Employees to Engage

The expectation is that technical leads within partnering companies will provide the best insight into the practices and activities of the software engineering industry. However, it will also be valuable to engage wider management and marketers in understanding the additional pressures influencing the day-to-day experience of professional software engineers.


Ironing

Overview

Apprentice tailors when learning the craft of making a garment begin with ironing as a way to engage and interact with the entire process of creating a garment. This is not only beneficial for their learning, but valuable to the employer as the learner is providing value to the organisation immediately. The consultation process seeks to determine such activities, those that can be thought of as the 'ironing' of software engineering, i.e. those common activities that provide value to the organisation immediately and support the learner to better understand the industry.

Employees to Engage

The expectation is that placement and internship coordinators would be the best employees to engage as they will be familiar with the activities that are often valuable to the employer and easily grasped by new entrants. It would also be valuable to engage staff responsible for testing and evaluation of software as well as recently appointed graduate software engineers as they can provide valuable insight into relevant activities and practices.


Theory and Practice

Overview

The challenge is to devise a work-based learning model for software engineering that provides value to employers, but lasting education to the learner. Consequently, theory and practice must be balanced to deliver a learner that is sufficiently versatile to ensure they are valuable to the software industry as a whole. The expectation is that employers will be able to retain strong students with a suitable reward structure and challenging projects. The approach should ideally not only allow employers to remain competitive, but benefit the wider economy.

Employees to engage

The best staff to engage are team leaders as they will be aware of the skills and knowledge they need to meet business objectives. It will also be beneficial to engage with any research staff and established software engineers to determine the theory and knowledge that will ensure versatile software engineers.


Intellectual Property

Overview

Intellectual Property rights grant controls to the owners and authors of content, in some cases such rights can be recognised at the point of creation while in other cases it may require registration. The expectation is that students will interact with content employers subject to such rights. Furthermore, it is expected that students may generate content, potentially subject to such rights. The concern is that such intellectual property rights may form a challenge for teaching and assessment. Consequently, a viable model for work-based learning model in software engineering will need to encompass some formal agreement between parties.

Employees to Engage

The best employees to engage would be the legal teams of the respective employers, research and innovation staff as well as senior engineers and any researchers employed at the employer.


Privacy

Overview

The privacy of students, staff and partners must be considered when devising and delivery the work-based learning model for software engineering. The university and employers will need to ensure adequate protections are in place. The University of Glasgow is subject to the terms of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) 2002 Act, specifically records maintained by the organisation can be requested by the public.

Employees to Engage

The best employees to engage would be members of the legal team, data protection officer as well as any security staff that are involved in the surveillance and monitoring of employees.


Research Opportunities

Overview

The collaboration of employers and a research-led institution to devise a work-based learning model has the potential to generate research collaborations. The need to define potential research collaborations as well as relevant structures will be an important part of the model in delivering work-based learning for software engineering as to ensure the curriculum prepare engineers for the future needs of employers.

Employees to Engage

It would be valuable to engage the management team as well as senior engineers and lead researchers in better understanding the research opportunities that exist between research-led institutions and employers.


Timetabling

Overview

There are several potential timetable arrangements for work-based learning, day release, block release, boot-camps etc. The timetable arrangement needs to represent a compromise between the needs of the employers and the capacity and resources of the learning provider while attaining the optimal learning environment for the student.

Employees to Engage

The best employees to engage would be mentors within the organisation, team leaders and line managers as well as upper management to determine the timetable options.


Staging

Overview

The student must represent value to the employer immediately, this will in-turn afford more learning opportunities for the student. The expectation is the curriculum will be appropriately staged to ensure content is delivered in a timely manner to support value to the employer, but also support the student in becoming a competent professional software engineer.

Employees to Engage

The best employer to engage would be recently appointed graduates about their experiences as well as mentors and team leaders.


Organisational Learning, Knowledge and Wisdom

Overview

Many employers will have their own structures for inter-organisation knowledge transfer between different business units. Employers will also have structures and approaches for communicating business knowledge and communicating business objectives. For larger employers this may take the form of corporate universities. When devising a model for work-based learning in software engineering, the model must complement such structures rather than clash or interfere with them.

Employees to Engage

The best employees would be those involved in the continuity personal development of employees, human resources as well as those employees that manage placement and internships.


Existing work-based learning structures

Overview

Many employers will already have existing structures for work-based learning in-place within their organisation. These structures support the learner and other employees within the organisation in terms of attainment of specific skills and progression within the organisation. The consultation process will seek to determine the strengths of such schemes and how a model for work-based learning in software engineering can complement such strengths.

Employees to Engage

The best employees would be those involved in the continuity personal development of employees, human resources, placement and internship managers, mentors and any existing learners.


Interprofessional and Multiprofessional Learning

Overview

Interprofessional learning refers to two or more individuals learning from each other to improve their own practice and strengthen collaboration. The expectation is that professional software engineers will operate in many different environments, involving not only other software engineers with different experiences, but professionals from different disciplines. The aim is to support students to learn from such experience and work with other professionals towards a common goal.

Employees to Engage

The best employees to engage would be senior specialised staff, continuity professional development staff as well as potential customers.