IBM Jazz Innovations Award
Software Engineering education struggles with identifying appropriate tools to support both modern pedagogy and industry-driven best practices. IBM/Rational’s new Jazz platform, with the Eclipse-based TeamConcert client, offers software engineering educators a solution. Jazz supports industry best practices through robust configuration and change management facilities, collaboration capabilities, integrated dashboard reporting, and extensible process modeling and enactment services. The extensible architecture of the Jazz platform means these same facilities may be used to support new pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning software engineering in the classroom. This Jazz Innovation project extends the Jazz platform to support modern pedagogy while immersing students in relevant industry best practices. The main objective of this project is to improve software engineering education through the Jazz platform.
A constant struggle in implementing the Software Enterprise is tool support. Like many software development organizations, we have pieced together a variety of open source tools and Eclipse plugins. However, managing homegrown tool integration is difficult and time-intensive and distracts from our real tasks as teachers. More fundamental, the toolset does not support the software practices and processes we would like to reinforce for our students. This leads to student frustration as they try to conceptually map classroom lessons to project application; and makes instructor visibility into project and student progress an ad hoc, laborious process.
Jazz solves these problems for academia. Jazz tool integration and simple installation mean we do not need our piecemeal toolset and can instead focus on teaching, not tool maintenance. The process enforcement and existing process models can serve as examples for students to review and apply on their team projects. Project dashboards provide instant visibility for instructors, student teams, and their real-world project sponsors. Work items and robust CM allow students to understand basic concepts of traceability. Collaborative facilities allow students to collaborate outside the classroom and not feel “detached” from their teams.
To date we have created new TeamConcert/Jazz client and server-side plugins to support collaborative Risk Management processes (Boehm, 1991) and to support Wideband Delphi estimation (Boehm, 1975). We are working to apply an open source software license and make these plugins available to the academic community. We are currently working on a defect estimation plugin based on the Capture/Recapture Method (Schofield, 2007).