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A Case Study in Teaching Agile Software Product Line Development

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Software Engineering Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Software Engineering Division

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Paper Authors


Derek David Riley Milwaukee School of Engineering

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Dr. Riley completed his PhD work in modeling and simulation at Vanderbilt University in 2009 and has expanded his scholarly and professional activity to include mobile computing and software engineering. He is currently a faculty member at the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

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The development of Software Product Lines (SPL) hold promise to improve the efficiency of writing and maintaining large software projects, but SPL engineering can be difficult to teach in a software engineering classroom for many reasons. The development of a non-trivial SPL typically takes longer than the time available in a typical semester, student interest in SPL engineering is rarely inherent, and learning outcomes from different approaches to SPL engineering are not always consistent or aligned with traditional software engineering learning goals. Further, applying SPL methods in an agile development environment can be challenging because agile methods typically prioritize features and bug fixes over SPL (maintainability) goals. In this work we present a case study of the multi-semester development of an SPL in a classroom environment for a real-world mobile application. We present key strategies for motivating positive learning outcomes including an adapted Scrum process designed to incorporate SPL engineering. We found that our approach improved student application of reusability theory, benefitted documentation quality, increased student satisfaction with the course, and increased the likelihood that code written by one semester’s class will be reused by students in a future semester.

Riley, D. D. (2017, June), A Case Study in Teaching Agile Software Product Line Development Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27444

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