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General Information

Title The Software Engineering Profession
Version Info Version 1 , submitted by thilburn on 4/18/2004 at 4:14 PM
View Revision History
Module Identifier thilburn.2004.4
Abstract This module is designed to reinforce and extend earlier study and discussion of the discipline of software engineering, ethics and professional conduct, and what constitutes good software engineering practice. After a discussion of ethical and professional issues, students are divided into teams and the teams carry out a case study analysis of the 1996 Ariane 5 accident.
Size Lecture: 60 minutes
Exercise: 60 minutes
Comments This module is designed for use with senior level students. It would be appropriate for including as part of a capstone project course.

SEEK Categories

  1. Professionalism (PRF.pr)


  1. Thomas Hilburn


  1. Students should have a good background across the breadth of software engineering (project work including requirements design, programming, and testing)

Learning Objectives

  1. Comprehension - Describe the purpose and structure of the "Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct".
  2. Comprehension - Describe the principal components of an engineering profession.
  3. Comprehension - Discuss to what degree software engineering should be considered a “mature” profession.
  4. Application - Apply knowledge about software engineering ethics and professional conduct to make judgments about case studies involving ethical and professional issues.


  1. Engineering Profession
  2. Accreditation
  3. Certification and Licensing
  4. Professional Practice
  5. Software Engineering Codes of ethics and Professional Conduct


  1. Lecture notes (Powerpoint) (PDF) 0.00/5 [Rate Material]

  2. Ariane 5 Accident video (MOV) 0.00/5 [Rate Material]

  3. Ariane 5 Case Study Exercise (Word) (PDF) 0.00/5 [Rate Material]

  4. Teaching tips (Word) 0.00/5 [Rate Material]


See Also...

No alternate modules.

Other Resources

  1. ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Task Force on Software Engineering Ethics and Professional Practices, Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice , Version 5.2. (Link)
  2. Ariane 5 Inquiry Board, Ariane 5 Flight 501 Failure Report, European Space Agency, July 19, 1996. (Link)
  3. Gleick, James, A Bug and a Crash, New York Times Magazine, December1, 1996.
  4. Ford, G. and Gibbs, N. E., A Mature Profession of Software Engineering, CMU/SEI-96-TR-004, Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, 1996. (Link)
  5. Jezequel , J. and Meyer, B., Design by Contract: The Lessons of Ariane, Computer, January 1997.
  6. Lethbridge, T., What Knowledge is Important to a Software Engineer?, Computer, Vol 33, No. 6, pp. 44-50, May 2000.


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