Salam group members,

Two days back, i had a chance to visit the SD&M head offices in Munich — the second or third biggest software company of Germany.

Although the presentations were in German, but as a whole visit was very interesting. I can understand German now, especially in presentations due to visual effects and its even more easy to get the intuition of the presenter.

Last year they have tested some 9000 Software Engineers, and only 350-380 was inducted. They shown us the full criteria of induction. The hands on expierence on the latest technologies like Model Driven Architecture, UML OCL is “a must”, beside having skills in C++ or languages like this. I had an idea that we should work on the development of a full curriculum for students, such that, after passing exams, the students should be able to place their self in these notable companies. This can really boost our performance too. Especially, if we can develop their formal skills for specification and verification, it will really make them suitable for these big big companies.

The SD&M has made some very huge and complex softwares like Train systems for Detuch Bahn, T-Mobiles, Post system for Germany and many more ….

We Definitely need a target, and it can be nice target, that after having a BCS, a student is (or should be) able to join the international companies. This way, our representation is also likely in many ways. First, we will have to leverage our self as well with modern technologies and tools. Secondly, we have to constantly update our self regarding what is the main line of action now a days for these software companies i mean model driven architecture, reduction of development costs etc etc. Once we have our name as good “software Engineer producers”, this will helps us a lot.  Thirdly and most  importantly, this will give us targets for research too. SD&M management told us that they are investing millions of Euros for research, so contains equally potential for us.

I was thinking last nights, that what to do, shall i open a software company. But actually the bottom line was that, i will not justify my self if i open a software company, i mean my what about PhD efforts?. So i had an idea, why not to work as software engineer producer, since it can preserve my PhD efforts, my research activities, save my time for getting an expert in tools and technologies.

My professor is doing the same, as she organized this trip to SD&M, so she wanted to show the bachelor students the inner working of SD&M.

These companies will love to see their head offices in development countries like Pakistan, but they wont compromise on their quality, which is generally lacking in our current students. Our students are not even suitable for national software competition, how can they be placed for international exams, please note the exceptions are there in this regard, but i am talking about the majority.

Me and Nauman are inshAllah working in this direction to make a curriculum for students and then “preach” it literally in all the Pakistan, i mean not only in IMS.

MM Alam

4 Responses to " SD&M — Software Engineer Producers (SEPs) "
June 23rd, 2007

WA from ThE OnE of the GroUp Members :)

it was nice read your enthusiastic post on the blog. As i always have same type of thinking while doing anything or thinking of any such activity. You rightly said that making a software house will not have that affect as being an academian. One more thing that i always try mention and emphasis on, is that our policy should be consistent. Hope you remember the term “evalance affect” in cryptography, where we discussed the affect of a bit change… Here i want to mention that we should always try to adopt ourselves to such a policy which has a greater evalance affect. i mean more people can banifit from our policy whether that academic, research or social.

Coming to the specific topic of being GOOD SOFTWARE PRODUCERS… i agree to the high level policy that you perceived except one thing that we need to have a software market as well so that our students have an exposure to the market as well. although we can have alternative for that as well (that needs to be discussed).

Next i want to mention that before proposing any of the plan we need to assess the complications at its low level implementation. As being a Model Driven Guy i think you sometimes forget about the lower level implementations :) . Anyway i want to mention some of them that came to my mind(Although there will be alot when it come to the ground) with some comments as well.

How are we going to change the corriculum?
(Not that big deal i hope)
How we get the right guys in the course?
i mean sometimes a new proposed course you get guys who are not accepted at any other course in IMS specially (as you can see BCS guys are always those who are left from BBA and BBA(IT) even….

How are you going to teach your desired courses to them by the desired(proper) teachers?
some times you want to teach a course and thats not assigned to you. for example if xyz is assigned the programming concepts course and he dont know anything about programming. which happened, happens and will happen… because you always have incompetent guys in the faculty. and How much guys we are in the faculty that we ll be teaching them the whole stuff… and to be very frank how can we say that we will justify with the subjects we are assigned (m talking about myself) :) ….

there are more in my mind as well but i cant mentions at the moment… the reason for this response is that i want to have a concrete plan for the goal… and the second reason could be that i learnt Risk Managment today in the course… although its not core part of risk management but still…. On monday in our university we had a function in our university in Dr. Mukhtar from HEC said that we get trained our teachers at the cost of our students. cos most of our teachers get good teachers by hit and trial. As we hav been…

More on next comment….

Tc TaMLeEk Ali

June 23rd, 2007

Hope m not discouraging any of us(including myself)… :) its just a comment take it positively….

June 23rd, 2007

“Agreed and Sole Heartedly Accepted with the magnificent ultra positive attitude.”

Should we discuss in detail about what and how to implement such a policy, a meeting is therefore, proposed. I will try to be here on Sunday too inshAllah

Regarding the curriculum, i was mentioning some efforts that me and Christian Vogt are doing to shape a document for future usage. Will update you people as soon as it is prepared.

You are right, the first two years of our teaching will be like the one, mentioned by Dr Mukhtar, but you will agree, some body have to take start. So why not “we”l!!!

For the low-level details, yes, i agree with you a long term, consistent policy, but in the first or two years, we will have to set or reset our direction many times, until we are on the right path?

These model driven technologies will make the difference certainly in our students. Otherwise, having expertise in C++ or VB or VC++ “only” is not a distinguishing factor now a days, i think so.

June 24th, 2007

I agree with mr. T regarding the existence of extreme problems regarding curriculum change but still, there are some changes which can be incorporated easily. For example, there is already a course called “Logic” in computer science. Why not (for example) when Mr. MM is back, he ask for being given this course and he can follow the outline developed by him and Christian. That can be a start.

Secondly, there is a course of “Object Oriented Programming” and “Programming Lanauges”. By the time they take OOP, students would know C/C++. If one of you guys takes OOP, you can go with MDA and UML etc. The architecture level stuff — automated code generation etc.

Changes have to be introduced slowly but unless there are changes, there isn’t much hope of improving students with the current courses (or course contents)

And we need more math in the math courses. We’re offering discrete math!! And it has nothing to do with Computer science. Discrete math is for CS alone! It’s its only purpose of existence :)

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