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Nugget: Boot Camp


Boot Camp is taken the first semester of the junior year by all entering software engineering students. The fundamental purpose of the boot camp experience is to prepare incoming students to function as full team members in the various projects of the software factory. Boot Camp includes the following activities:

  • Students learn how to function as part of a high-performance work team by:
    • learning the team life-cycle and team organizations
    • learning to mitigate dysfunctional team behaviors
    • participating in team-building activities
    • learning to handle dysfunctional team members
    • learning to organize and conduct productive meetings

  • Students learn the fundamental software processes applicable to the software factory. Students learn to use the software process manual to find applicable information on software factory activities.
  • Students learn to use the Computer-Aided Software Engineering tools used in the factory.
  • Students learn to participate in large-scale software projects by using:
    • Configuration Management
    • Peer and Formal Reviews and Inspections
    • Personal Resource Tracking and Estimation

  • Students learn about process improvement activities, the Shewart cycle, personal metrics capture, statistical process control and other subjects which enable them to participate in process improvement activities within the factory.
  • Students are exposed to the different "extra-curricular" activities within the factory in which they can participate such as:
    • Software Engineering Process Group (SEPG)
    • Configuration Control Board (CCB)
    • Quality Management Board (QMB)
    • Mentor

Suggested Texts:

Instructor Handouts (including user copy of Process Manual).


We have an 8 week segment of a three hour class MWF (3-0-3). This gives nominally 24 class periods, but lets assume 20 after

Each class is one hour

  • Class 1 Introduction the Factory.

    • What are Rotations? What options are available?
    • Why does the factory exist?
    • Problems in large-scale SE. How is this different from earlier practicums?

  • Class 2 The Group Process in Large Scale SE

    • Organizations for software projects
    • Teams vs groups vs organizations
    • Group lifecycle
    • Team roles - general and SE specific
    • Team Building exercise 1 (Snowstorm Survival)

  • Class 3 The Group Process cont'd

    • Team Building exercise 2 (Farmer Puzzle)
    • Communication in Groups - Impact on SE development

  • Class 4 The Group Process cont'd

    • Facilitators - Good or Evil?
    • PE - Basic Meyers/Briggs
    • Understanding your MBTI
    • Disruptive Behavior - Handling the problem member
    • Role Playing - disruptive behavior

  • Class 5 The Group Process final

    • Meetings why?
    • Setting an agenda
    • Keeping on track
    • Handling time/productivity killers

  • Class 6 Teambuilding Synthesis
  • Class 7 Processes

    • What is a process?
    • Intro to TQM and the PDCA cycle.
    • Process Improvement via SPC and 7 basic tools
    • Control Charts/UCL/LCL - Is the process in control?
    • Prateo Charts - The 80/20 Principle
    • Ishikawa Diagrams - Whats the root cause of the problem?
    • Other tools

  • Class 7 (Processes Continued)

    • SPC PE (Use factory data if possible)
    • Intro to Software process models (CMM/SPICE/...)

  • Class 8 (Processes Continued)

    • The Software Factory Process (Handout manuals)
    • How to use the manual
    • Construction - Coding Standards, Metrics
    • Configuration Management

  • Class 9 (Processes Continued)

    • Configuration Management (cont'd)
    • Configuration Management PE

  • Class 10 (Processes Continued)

    • CASE Tools in large scale SE projects
    • CASE Tool PE

  • Class 11 (Process Continued)

    • Introduction Testing in the Factory
    • Your responsibilities vs QA
    • Certifying your code is ready
    • Introduction to Code Reviews in the Factory

  • Class 12 (Process Continued)

    • What Documentation is prepared in the Factory
    • What are the quality standards for documentation
    • How is documentation assessed and evaluated?

  • Class 13 (Process Final)

    • Process Synthesis

  • Class 14 Presentations during reviews

    • Preparing and Giving Technical Presentations
    • Tips for Presenters
    • Presentations vs. Working Sessions vs. Reviews

  • Class 15 Catch-Up
  • Class 16 Assessment Evaluation I
  • Class 17 Assessment Evaluation II
  • Class 18 Current Project Review /Bids for next Rotation
  • Class 19 Next Rotation Assignments
  • Class 20 Future Opportunities in the Factory

    • Software Engineering Process Group (SEPG)
    • Configuration Management Board (CCB)
    • Quality Management Board (QMB)
    • Mentor
    • Process Action Team Member
    • Management vs Technical Tracks


  • One instructor (Prof or EXPERIENCED SE TA) per 28 (4x7) students.
  • One classroom per section of 28 students
  • Software Process Manual
  • Teambuilding Materials
  • Prepared Handouts (could be student edition of process manual)
  • Access to the standard CASE Tool
  • Access to the standard CM Software
  • Classroom should be C2000 enabled for software demos

Assume approx 100 students gives:
4 sections per semester.
For software access see construction


Basically, bootcamp is like 7100 or a seminar course. Assessment is via two principle techniques:

  • Student Observation During Group Activities.
  • Grading of Student Homework exercises on major topics.

Homeworks should be practically-oriented group actvities, for instance during configuration management, each group of students should be given a set of modules already in the CM system. They should be given the task of checking the module out, modifying it, putting itback in and performing a successful daily build.

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