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ERIC Number: EJ848652
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 8
ISSN: ISSN-1547-9714
The Alignment of Software Testing Skills of IS Students with Industry Practices--A South African Perspective
Scott, Elsje; Zadirov, Alexander; Feinberg, Sean; Jayakody, Ruwanga
Journal of Information Technology Education, v3 p161-172 2004
Software testing is a crucial component in the development of good quality systems in industry. For this reason it was considered important to investigate the extent to which the Information Systems (IS) syllabus at the University of Cape Town (UCT) was aligned with accepted software testing practices in South Africa. For students to be effective in industry, a close alignment between testing practices in industry and those to which a student is exposed to during undergraduate study is essential. For this reason there is a major emphasis on programming and systems development in the IS degree curriculum at the UCT. A requirement for both third and fourth year IS courses is a systems development group project with the primary goal to expose students to real life systems and thus obtain valuable industry related experience. In order to determine the extent to which alignment exists between testing approaches used in Industry and those used by students in the IS courses, a survey was undertaken and relevant criteria were identified as the basis for this investigation. These criteria were used to examine the data collected from companies in the software testing industry and students at the University of Cape Town. For each one of the criteria a statistical analysis leading to relevant conclusions was performed. Significant differences were found between software testing skills required by industry and those claimed by students, particularly with regard to the tests being used and the percentage of time spent on testing. The fact that the students' perceptions differed so much from the ratings given by industry emphasized the need for more exposure of students to current testing methods. Although both students and industry perceived testing as an important part of software development, it became clear that definitions and ratings could vary between individuals and the potential for subjectivity cannot be ruled out. Results also indicated that the depth of treatment of software testing in the IS course at UCT and for new graduates in general, was insufficient in instructing students to test a system adequately. As no testing framework currently exists in the IS course, the challenge remains to develop one suitable for inclusion in the system development projects. The conclusion of the study showed that there was significant scope for revision in the IS syllabus of UCT which could bring closer alignment with industry practices. (Contains 2 tables and 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa