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10/12/2015  |   1:15 PM - 3:00 PM   |  Atlantic II

Systems Engineering for Software Engineers

It is well known that the majority of functionality and behavior of modern systems is provided by software, whether in health care, telecommunications, transportation, aeronautics, manufacturing, military systems, consumer products, and other domains. Understanding systems engineering issues is an important topic for software engineers who engage in projects and programs that involve developing and modifying hardware, software, and manual operations because these systems are becoming ever larger, more complex, and include more diverse kinds of components. This tutorial will cover some key areas that create problems when system engineers, software engineers, and other engineers work together on systems projects and programs. Topics to be covered include consequences of the differences between physical artifacts and software; differences in approaches to problem solving – functional decomposition and quantified metrics versus associative decomposition and qualitative metrics; differences in terminology such as “performance,” “verification,” and “validation;” differences in approaches to component integration – one-time versus stepwise versus continuous; difference in development processes – linear waterfall versus iterative agile; and differences in personality traits –outward people-focus versus inward product-focus. Techniques and strategies will be discussed on how software engineers, systems engineers, and other engineers can better understand their differences and integrate their work activities. Ample time will be allotted for discussions and interchanges of viewpoints.

  • The learning objectives for this half-day tutorial is for participants to understand the nature of systems engineering for software-intensive systems, the differences in approaches to problem solving, terminology, metrics and measures, process models, and personality characteristics of software engineers and systems engineers, and to learn how to deal with these differences when participating as a member of a systems engineering team or as a member of a software project that is part of an systems engineering program.

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Dick Fairley (Primary Presenter), IEEE Computer Society, dickfairley@gmail.com;
Richard E. (Dick) Fairley, PhD is Principal Associate of Software Engineering and Management Associates (S2EA), a consulting and training company. He is also chair of the Software and Systems Engineering Committee of the IEEE Computer Society and a Computer Society delegate to the governing board of BKCASE. In addition, he is the appointed Computer Society appointed liaison to PMI and INCOSE. He is an adjunct faculty member at Colorado Technical University and an Affiliate Faculty Member at Regis University. His research interests include software systems engineering, project management, and process improvement. He is a member of IEEE, the IEEE Computer Society, INCOSE, and PMI.

Massood Towhidnejad (Co-Presenter), Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, towhid@erau.edu;
Massood Towhidnejad, PhD is Director of the NextGeneration ERAU Applied Research (NEAR) laboratory, and Professor of Software Engineering in the department of Electrical, Computer, Software, and Systems Engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He is also a vice chair of the Software and Systems Engineering Committee of the IEEE Computer Society and a Computer Society delegate to the governing board of BKCASE. His research interests include software engineering, software quality assurance and testing, autonomous systems, and Air Traffic Management (NextGen). In addition to his university position, he has served as Visiting Research Associate at the Federal Aviation Administration, Faculty Fellow at NASA Goddard Flight Research Center, and Software Quality Assurance Manager at Carrier Corporations. He is a senior member of IEEE.

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