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Subject:

RESG tutorial on Requirements Engineering Training

From:

Sebastian Uchitel <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Sebastian Uchitel <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 13 Oct 2003 17:36:14 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (259 lines)

I would appreciate if this call for participation was forwarded to
the CPHC list.

Many thanks in advance,

Sebastian Uchitel


-----------

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
www.resg.org.uk


“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
Map: http://www.streetmap.co.uk/streetmap.dll?G2M?X=526466&Y=179365&A=Y&Z=1




Registration
------------
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.

Overview
========
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 
the breaks.
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.

Audience
========
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 
across.

Workshop outline
=================
12.45 Registration
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 
cover
===============================================

Ian Bray
--------
“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.

Bio
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."

Pete Sawyer
-----------
“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.
Bio
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.
==============================

Stefanie Lindstaedt
-------------------
“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.
Bio
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.

Ken Jackson
-----------
“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 
requirements.
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.
Bio
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.

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