To Fresh MTech Students

While preparing an Orientation Session presentation for our incoming batch of M.Tech CSE students, I was trying to figure out what was the foremost question on the mind of a fresh M.Tech scholar. After deeply analysing a set of prospective questions, I was finally able to zero-in on one of them. “What are the carrier possibilities from here on?”.

With this on my mind, I decided to frame a possible carrier hierarchy for M.Tech students to let them understand that they have actually enormous opportunities lying ahead, which they can grab with both hands with the help of those three d’s, discipline, dedication and devotion. Also, these three d’s are supported by their rising maturity levels which they lacked during their UG days. From my last three years of M.Tech Coordinator-ship, I can conclude that the carrier aims of the incoming M.Tech students can be divided into mainly three categories:

  1. Students aiming to pursue academia and research
  2. Students aiming for campus job placements (private IT industry)
  3. Students aiming to crack PSU examinations
  4. Students aiming for their own start-ups

Out of the above four categories, most of the students are of types 1) or 2), just a few of type 3), and even fewer of type 4). Although the ultimate goals might be limited, there are multiple possible paths to get there; and paths to the same destination will differ in years, skills, exposure, and process, which are finally going to play major roles in achieving a desired success level. I present to you this hierarchy which is quite helpful to the incoming M.Tech Scholars in deciding their future directions.

MTech hirarchy

APSEC 2015 Experiences

Recently had an opportunity to participate in 22nd Asia Pacific Software Engineering Conference (APSEC-2015) held in New Delhi. I would like to share my experiences of the event.

The conference had following three very interesting key note addresses:

Evolving Critical Systems
Trends in Automation and Control Systems Needing Efficient Software Engineering
Building an Open Identity Platform for India

Both Research and Industry Track papers covered a wide variety of software engineering research areas such as Bug Localization, Eye tracking Metrics, Code Inspection, Project Staffing and Scheduling, Embedded Systems, Dynamic Software Metrics, Project Outcome Prediction, Business Logic Complexity, Inheritance Metrics, Software Requirement Quality Assessment, Automotive Software Systems, Dynamic Software Updates, Cloud Based Software Engineering, Software Testing, Teaching Software Design and others. You can access the full list of selected papers (soon to be available on IEEE Xplore) here.

We had a privilege to present our paper titled: “Efficient and Scalable Collection of Dynamic Metrics using Map-Reduce” at APSEC-2015. An authors’ copy of the paper can be accessed by sending an email to singhpv@nitj.ac.in.

Also had good conversations with some of the leading researchers in software engineering research.

Software Engineering Body of Knowledge

The Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK) is an international standard ISO/IEC TR 19759:2005 specifying a guide to the generally accepted Software Engineering Body of Knowledge.

The Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK Guide) has been created through cooperation among several professional bodies and members of industry and is published by the IEEE Computer Society (IEEE).The standard can be accessed freely from the IEEE Computer Society. In late 2013, SWEBOK V3 was approved for publication and released.

The published version of SWEBOK V3 has the following 15 knowledge areas (KAs) within the field of software engineering:

  • Software requirements
  • Software design
  • Software construction
  • Software testing
  • Software maintenance
  • Software configuration management
  • Software engineering management (Engineering management)
  • Software engineering process
  • Software engineering models and methods
  • Software quality
  • Software engineering professional practice Software engineering professionalism
  • Software engineering economics
  • Computing foundations
  • Mathematical foundations
  • Engineering foundations

Directions for Research in Software Engineering

Following are a few directions you can refer, if you are just starting off with your PG or doctorate research work:
1) Go through various Software Engineering Research Groups and what are they upto including their SE subareas, projects and publications. You can go here to start with.
2) Go through the Top SE Journals and Top Conferences. Explore their recent volumes/issues for titles/abstract of the published articles. Read the full text if you find the title and abstract interesting.
3) Go through the list of Top SE Researchers/Authors. Their profiles including their publications and the research projects undertaken can prove invaluable.
4) Study good SE books. You can google “Top Software Engineering Books”. A good starting point is the book titled “Software Engineering: A Practitioner’s Guide” by Roger S. Pressman.
5) Study good books on Scientific Research Methodology to understand the basics of scientific research.
6) Study Industrial perspective towards developing a software project. This is especially vital if you have no prior software development industry work experience. Some informal tips are:

  • Visit the websites of top IT Companies.
  • Read Software Engineering Pressman Book’s “Home Security System Team Conversations”.
  • Talk to your friends working in IT industry about the Software Development Processes and Practices they follow.
  • Enlist and study the CASE tools being used in Industry.
  • Read Barbara Kitchenham’s literature on ‘Conducting Systematic Literature Reviews (SLRs) in Software Engineering’. Visit Version 2004 and Version 2007.
  • Visit the websites of famous open source software such as Eclipse (Link1 and Link2), Mozilla Firefox and Bugzilla etc to study their development and evolution over the years.

Apart from the links included, you can always use a reliable search engine like Google or Google Scholar to search for the list of top SE journals, conferences, researchers and research groups.

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