I would appreciate if this call for participation was forwarded to
the CPHC list.
Many thanks in advance,
The Requirements Engineering Specialist Group of the British Computer
Society will organise a tutorial on Requirements Engineering Training.
Please find details below.
A BCS RESG Event
“Requirements Engineering Training: the Who, the How, the What”
Date and Location
December 3rd, 2004, 12.45 - 5.00 pm
Room 342, Huxley Building, Imperial College London
180 Queen's Gate, SW7 2RH, London, UK
Tube: Picadilly/Circle/District - South Kensington/Gloucester Road stations
Registration via e-mail is required. Please email Elena Pérez-Miñana
([log in to unmask]) if you wish to attend.
Attendance to the tutorial is free of cost for RESG members.
Registration costs for non-members are the same as becoming a RESG member
(BCS/IEE member: £10, Non-BCS/IEEE member £20, Full time students: free)
Membership to the RESG can be obtained prior to the event (see details on
www.resg.org.uk) or can be arranged on the day.
Currently there is an increasing interest, both in industry and academia,
to tackle and solve the problems associated with the elicitation,
specification and management of requirements. Notwithstanding, there is an
evident lack of adequate training courses for people in industry.
This half-day event, organized by the RESG, includes presentations of
leading experts in the area of Requirements Engineering (RE). Each of them
will provide their point of view to the following three questions:
- Who needs RE training?
- How can RE be taught?
- What do RE practitioners need to learn?
Answers to these questions will become clear through a series of talks,
which will cover the two most important aspects of any training activity:
- The contents of the course, the syllabus, what an instructor should cover.
- The teaching method used during the course.
The first aspect will be discussed in the first two talks of the session.
Each talk will go over the thoughts the speaker has on the contents of an
effective RE training course.
The second aspect of RE training will be covered with a further two talks,
each one presenting a particular type of training method. The first one
labelled “informal/ad-hoc learning” advocates learning through a communal
effort following communities of practice. The second one comprises the
conventional short courses that are available through organizations such as
Learning Tree or Telelogic.
There will be ample opportunity to hold wide-ranging discussions with the
speakers and the rest of the audience during the discussion intervals and
It will be relevant to anyone interested in the role of requirements in
their organization, in finding out the type of training their engineers
will need to complete in order to do a good job in the requirements area.
The event will also be of relevance to those who might already be involved
with the requirements area and who would like to put forward their opinion
on how it should be carried out.
The last session will be a panel discussion, involving the audience and the
speakers. This will give every attendee the opportunity to raise anything
of importance in the area.
This workshop is appropriate for anybody who is involved with the
Requirements area, either because they work in the area, or hold a
managerial role in their organization and are considering setting up a
requirements group. Academics, interested in understanding the training
needs for the people working on requirements in industry, will receive
useful input, and will have plenty of opportunities of putting their ideas
13.00 Introduction (Elena Pérez-Miñana)
13.10 Ian Bray
13.40 Pete Sawyer/Ian Sommerville
14.10 Panel Discussion Part I
14.45 Coffee break
15.00 Stefanie Lindstaedt
15.30 Ken Jackson
16.10 Panel Discussion Part II
17.00 Closing remarks
Part I: The contents of the course, the syllabus, what an instructor should
“The content of RE training courses; constraints, biases and opinions”
Practising what I preach, I will explore the problem domain. Firstly, the
possibilities for RE training are clearly constrained by the subject matter
itself and the nature of this warrants consideration. Furthermore, we must
also investigate the gaps "out there".
- What are the existing strengths and weaknesses?
- What expertise already exists in industry? and
- What is the potential of the workforce?
and then the requirements ...
- What is the perception of need?
- Can we rely upon the "customers" (do they know enough to know what they
need to know?) or
- Should a domain expert help determine what training will be most effective?
Various elicitation sources (including a little "industrial espionage")
shed some light on these matters.
Ian Bray has been teaching at Bournemouth University for 15 years.
Previously, he spent some years working in a variety of roles in the
software industry. Amongst other things, in his last industrial role, he
was responsible for the training of new recruits. Around half of these were
new graduates and it was apparent that there were some glaring omissions in
their knowledge. This is, of course, pertinent to this seminar but also, in
part, motivated his move to academia, with the possibility of fixing this
problem "at source".
When not working, he is often to be found afloat.
"A bad day on the water beats a good day in the office."
“The underpinnings of RE training”
A surprising number of students find themselves doing RE-related jobs early
in the careers. This talk will focus on how the groundwork can be prepared
so that, even if they can't immediately be entrusted with specifying
systems, new graduates can at least understand enough about what RE is to
be able to do requirements-sensitive jobs and be ready for targeted RE
training. Students can be trained to write use cases, to build object
models and draw sequence diagrams. The real challenge is to get them to
understand how these skills can be deployed in a volatile project
environment and why that environment is apt to be so volatile. It is argued
that this is core knowledge that is needed to underpin a career in computing.
Pete Sawyer is a senior lecturer in the Computing Department at Lancaster
University. He has been interested in RE and engaged in RE research for
about 10 years. With Ian Sommerville, he is co-author of the Requirements
Engineering Good Practice Guide, which included the first public-domain
model for RE process assessment and improvement. He teaches on the software
engineering curriculum at Lancaster and is responsible for several courses
with an RE focus.
Part II: The teaching methods.
“AD-HOC Learning: Bringing RE-Processes to Life”
The fast-pacing economy requires increased flexibility not only from
companies but also from their employees. As a consequence, learning has
become an immanent part of every day's work. Or stated differently:
Learning is a new form of work. But learning at the workplace is
fundamentally different from "school learning" as we know it.
Generally seen as a conscious process - learning at the workplace is rather
unconscious: People just want to get knowledge and acquire skills that are
necessary to accomplish work tasks fast and effectively. The AD-HOC
approach bridges the gap between everyday work and learning situations
within them. It integrates training into the work processes by offering at
each step various resources to learn from. AD-HOC uses the work processes
as a navigation aide to link work, knowledge, and learning resources using
task-specific associations. In doing so, AD-HOC helps to reduce the search
space for work aides and at the same time provides further information when
it is needed.
In this talk I will show how the AD-HOC methodology can be applied to bring
requirements engineering processes to life within organizations. Here we
have chosen RESCUE as an example RE-process. That is, in this short
scenario we are assuming that an organization is interested in training
their employees on the RESCUE process in order to improve their
requirements engineering skills. Using the knowledge management and
eLearning platform of Hyperwave we have applied the AD-HOC methodology to
the RESCUE-process. In a short demonstration I will show how a user can be
supported in a variety of ways throughout the process. Depending on his/her
time constraints and desire to learn more about RESCUE the user can choose
between simple working aides such as process models, checklists, templates,
and examples all the way to sophisticated eLearning modules. The advantage
of AD-HOC is that the available "training material" increases with every
use of the RESCUE process, that it is not only helpful for novices. It can
also help experts speed up their work. The changes within the process are
communicated to the users in a timely and effective manner.
Since the end of 2001 Dr. Lindstaedt is leading the division Knowledge
Management & Organizational Memories at the Know-Center in Graz, Austria.
The Know-Center is Austria’s competence centre on knowledge based
applications and systems. Her core competencies are the systematic
introduction of knowledge management into organizations and the design of
organizational memories on the basis of innovative information technologies.
Dr. Lindstaedt is a member of Prof. Gerhard Fischer’s “Center for LifeLong
Learning and Design” and of the Institute of Cognitive Science, both at the
University of Colorado at Boulder.
“Training Requirements Engineers”
There are two major problems with requirements:
1. Most people (and particularly people from an engineering background)
have a tendency to go into too much detail too soon.
2. Many people (and particularly those from a software background) think
that by producing one or more models they have magically generated
The first problem can be likened to attempting to climb a slippery slope.
As you move up the slope so you can see a broader view and this is
equivalent to increasing the level of abstraction. As you go down the slope
your view becomes increasingly limited and this is equivalent to increasing
the level of detail, until at the bottom of the slope you become lost in a
jungle of weeds. Good requirements always avoid unnecessary details
(keeping as far up the slippery slope as possible) and this provides much
greater freedom for designers and implementers to use their creativity.
The second problem is subtler. There is no doubt that creating models is a
good way of understanding a problem. The issue is whether the models
produced have sufficient semantics to stand by themselves as a clear
statement of what is required. All too often models (and modellers) tend to
go into too much detail and find themselves slipping inexorably down the
slippery slope. It is therefore important that appropriate models are
created and then used as a basis for writing down the requirements.
The primary aim of educating people to write good requirements is to make
them aware of these two problems. I will argue that in a good training
course the best approach is to concentrate on understanding the difference
between problem and solution.
I will describe how we achieve this in the Requirements Training courses
organized by Telelogic. The method involves running through a series of
exercises that bring home the differences. The notion of modelling as a
means of creating a common understanding of a problem that enables the
students to deduce the real requirements is explored.
Ken Jackson has over 35 years experience in the development of software
based systems. The main contributors to this have been 15 years working in
the Ministry of Defence and 12 years working in the software industry.
For the last 8 years he has been employed by Telelogic where his main task
has been to help organisations to use the DOORS product effectively. This
involves assessing and improving the organisation’s requirements processes
and then mapping these via a data model to DOORS. He has taken a leading
role in the development and delivery of training courses to teach
requirements management. He is a co-author of two books that address the
topic of requirements management in a systems engineering context.
His hobbies include playing the organ, listening to music and watching cricket.