Improving software practice through education: Challenges and future trends

Jorge Diaz-Herrera
Richard Jr. LeBlanc
Timothy Lethbridge
J. Thompson


We argue that the software engineering (SE) community could have a significant impact on the future of the discipline by focusing its efforts on improving the education of software engineers. There are some bright spots such as the various projects to codify knowledge, and the development of undergraduate SE programs. However, there remain several key challenges, each of which is addressed in this paper: The challenges are 1) making programs attractive to students, 2) focusing education appropriately, 3) communicating industrial reality more effectively, 4) defining curricula that are forward-looking, 5) providing education for existing practitioners, 6) making SE education more evidencebased, 7) ensuring that SE educators have the necessary background, and 8) raising the prestige and quality of SE educational research. For each challenge, we provide action items and open research questions.