Leading and Innovating: Software Engineering Program is inducted into the CSEE & T Hall of Fame

Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The University of Ottawa’s Software Engineering program has been recognized by the world’s largest technical professional organization for the advancement of technology, the IEEE. The 30th IEEE Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training (CSEE&T) seeks to improve and share software engineering education and training practices by identifying the best examples in the field. Those elected to membership in the Hall of Fame represent the highest achievement in their field, serving as models of what can be achieved in software engineering education and training.

Early history of the program

Professors Tim Lethbridge (centre) accepted the award at the 30th IEEE Convention in Savannah, Georgia. 

Originally, the University created a software engineering option attached to its Computer Science program, but by 1997 the option was converted into a full program. Many other Canadian universities followed, creating software engineering programs with considerable similarity to the one offered at the University of Ottawa. Subsequently, many aspects of the program were incorporated into the SE2004 model curriculum sequences in order to establish a standard for university programs being established around the world.

Prior to the 1990s, software engineering programs were available only at the Master’s level. Undergraduate programs in computer science and computer engineering usually covered only parts of the growing field of software engineering. Therefore, many felt it was time to expand the undergraduate software engineering offerings. The Faculty’s Software Engineering program was one of the first three in Canada – the others being at Western University and McMaster University. This program also stands out for being the only bilingual program of its kind in the country. Nowadays, the objective is to train students who can competently lead the development of high quality software.

Continual improvement and innovation

The software engineering program has undergone many small modifications in response to feedback from students, accreditors and others. Most notably, the co-op work experience, which has always been an integral part of the curriculum since its inception, was made compulsory in 2015. This is now the largest co-op program at the University. The program also introduced a first-year course to train students in key professional skills prior to their first work term, including interviewing, professional communication, teamwork, website management, version control with git, and a “pitch” presentation that is evaluated by local entrepreneurs.

The Faculty wishes to extend its congratulations to Professors Tim Lethbridge, Liam Peyton, Daniel Amyot and Stéphane Somé, who have been integral to shaping the program since its inauguration. Others involved in the early development of the program include Professors Dan Ionescu and Carlisle Adams, as well as former Professors Ali Mili, Jacques Raymond and David Gibbons.

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