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Outsourcing In Next Generation Technical Software Engineering Education

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

SE Curriculum and Projects

Tagged Division

Software Engineering Constituent Committee

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.934.1 - 15.934.13

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Paper Authors


James Long Oregon Institute of Technology

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James Long is an Associate Professor in the Software Engineering Technology program at Oregon Institute of Technology. James has been teaching at OIT for 10 years. Before coming to OIT, James worked in industry for 15 years as a Software Engineer. James has extensive industry experience in Large Scale Software Systems, Telecommunications, Medical Systems, and Real Time Data Acquisition and Dissemination.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Outsourcing in Next Generation Software Engineering Technology Education


Outsourcing is gaining an increasing presence in the US software development industry. As the Internet develops in emerging economies, the infrastructure required for effective outsourcing is maturing. The US software development workforce is now faced with viable competition from countries where software developer salaries are lower by an order of magnitude.

In technical software engineering education, code development is emphasized as a basis of laboratory exercises and hands-on experience. Outsourcing trends bring several challenges to the technical education table. As software engineering educators, how can we prepare our students for a workforce where a key aspect of the education we provide may prove irrelevant in the near future? This paper studies the issue of outsourcing in the software engineering educational environment as a required component of a software engineering project.

The first aspect presented is the outsourcing of a capstone project for the Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering Technology program to a developer or development team in an emerging economy. An operational process is presented showing how this was done to bring outsourcing as a viable activity for student projects. The second aspect examines application of the developed framework for outsourcing as a key component of developing large scale software systems. The junior project sequence is used as a test platform where five student teams are tasked with outsourcing a component of their project given a budget of $50.00 per team. The outcome impacts their final grade. The results of this activity are presented and analyzed.

Outsourcing of software development will increase in the software development industry as Internet based support infrastructure matures. The topics explored here deal with how to embrace outsourcing trends to prepare students for globally distributed software development.

Program Description

The Computer Systems Engineering Technology department of Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) offers a four year Bachelor of Science degree in Software Engineering Technology. OIT is accredited through Northwest Accrediting Agency. The Software Engineering Technology degree is accredited through the Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). The definition of engineering technology considered for construction of the curriculum is described in the Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems publication titled Engineering Education and Practice in the United States: Engineering Technology Education1:

Engineering technology focuses on knowledge of mathematics and natural sciences gained by higher education, experience, and practice as devoted to the implementation and extension of existing technology for the benefit of humanity.

Long, J. (2010, June), Outsourcing In Next Generation Technical Software Engineering Education Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky.

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