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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Education from VSB university and industry point of view

IT Cluster meeting took place in Ostrava on 26th of September 2011. The meeting has been organized by VSB Technical university Ostrava. If I have got it right, then the participants are only the members of IT Cluster (have a look at them if you wish).
The main target of the meeting was to present what the university teaches and what is the feedback from software companies. Well, it is obvious that some courses are not set according to the needs of industry. As I have been told, that the meeting has been organized as a reaction to my blog post dedicated to VSB graduates. It was kind of my feedback on university graduates I have gathered during over hundred interviews with VSB graduates - have a look here. That is quite flattering, but nonetheless - this is great sign of reflection shown by the university. The university is finally trying to find out what are the industry needs - it is definitely good step forward and I am looking forward to be part of that journey. I should also note that the university has changed the curriculum already and we might see the output in few years (but I don't know what exactly has been changed so hard to predict what we might expect).

Nowadays, I am wondering...
Who is making the curriculum for the semesters and what the creation process is based on? 
It seems there are few areas of subject "Information technologies". Would it be possible to split it to these areas? So students could choose what suits them best? Some people will be never good developers or good testers (and so on...). The areas might be: 
    1. software development (web based, mobile devices...) 
    2. analysts
    3. project management 
    4. testing 
    5. networking 
The university graduates with bachelor's degree should be able to start work in software company. This can be (and usually is) difficult because they have got no practice - so they don't have the behaviour/soft skills and the knowledge that is mandatory. How to give them a change to work in a software company? Student practice is really great for that, but it seems that there are not enough companies to provide that to all students... so the question is how to do that? 
Two semesters are dedicated to Algorithms and only one to Java and C# (C# is actually planned for two semesters). I am really wondering, is it really good to teach them C++, C# and Java? I am pretty sure that if developer is great in one language - he can learn the other easily. So, why don't teach them only one language? If they learn Java SE, Java EE, something about JVM and some top frameworks (to cover ORM, MVC...) then I am sure their price will go up and companies will be more interested in hiring the university graduates. Of course the choice must be based on their own decision, so student decides what language to master. 
The university is teaching also RUP, SCRUM - and I am wondering how they are doing that... how they are simulating supplier / customer environment, are there demo presentations, retrospectives and other key artefacts from agile? 
What about code quality and continues integration - it is pretty hard to make quality product without these things... Is this included in lessons?
There will be other meeting next week (4.10.2011) to discuss all the stuff more practically and agree on concrete steps - I think I am ready after writing this down :-) As I have already said, I am looking forward!