Computer Society Launches Refreshed CSDP Exam

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., 7 April, 2010 -- The IEEE Computer Society has completed the rigorous 14-month effort to update the Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP) examination to bring it in line with current industry practices. The refreshed examination will be available to candidates beginning 12 April.

This refresh effort involved contributions from 36 CSDP volunteers, who spent a total of 122 person-days developing the new examination. The beta examination, made available during the fourth quarter of 2009, resulted in the credentialing of an additional 121 new CSDPs.

The new examination brings the CSDP in alignment with Version 3 of the Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK), which is planned for completion this year. The new examination is also aligned with current software engineering industry trends. These changes will maintain the CSDP’s standing with ISO-IEC standards for software engineering certifications.
The CSDP exam refresh process began with an extensive job requirements analysis that led to the framework for the new examination. In May 2009, items from the existing CSDP examination were reviewed to see how many would be relevant for the new examination. In June, 390 new items were written and reviewed.

Four knowledge areas that will be present in Version 3 of the SWEBOK Guide —software engineering economics, computing foundations, math foundations, and engineering foundations—were added to the CSDP exam. The CSDP refresh is also part of an effort to create consistency between the CSDP and the Certified Software Development Associate (CSDA) credential, Version 3 of the SWEBOK Guide, and the SE 2004 Curriculum.

“The refreshed CSDP is the latest step in the program to completely align software professional certification with the software engineering body of knowledge and recommended software engineering curricula,” said Steve Tockey, chair of the Professional Activities Board’s Certification Committee. “The CSDP remains the only knowledge-based certification providing assurance that mid-level software engineers have the knowledge generally recognized necessary to be competent in their profession. This revision increases its value by updating its content to match recent industry trends.”

The CSDP exam refresh effort was led by Tockey, and Chris Ruoff, the Computer Society’s senior manager of product development. Tockey is an industry veteran with 33 years of experience in software development and training. For questions involving the new CSDP examination, please email

The Computer Society’s certification program falls under the purview of the Professional Activities Board, chaired by Vice President of Professional Activities Jim Moore. PAB provides leadership for activities related to the professional activities of practitioners engaged in disciplines such as computer engineering, computer science, information technology, information systems, and software engineering.

About the IEEE Computer Society

With nearly 85,000 members, the IEEE Computer Society is the world’s leading organization of computing professionals. Founded in 1946, and the largest of IEEE’s 38 societies, the Computer Society is dedicated to advancing the theory and application of computing and information technology. The Computer Society serves the information and career-development needs of today’s computing researchers and professionals with books, conferences, conference publications, magazines, online courses, software development certifications, standards, and technical journals. With about 40 percent of its members living and working outside the United States, the Computer Society fosters international communication, cooperation, and information exchange. Based in Washington, DC, the Computer Society operates offices in Tokyo and Los Alamitos, Calif.

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