Assessment Courses Introduced for Certifications

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., 1 June, 2010 – The IEEE Computer Society is expanding its line of career-assistance offerings for software developers with the introduction of assessment courses for its Certified Software Development Associate and Certified Software Development Professional examinations.

The CSDA and CSDP assessment courses are designed to help software professionals who wish to evaluate their mastery of the software engineering body of knowledge, particularly those preparing for the CSDA or CSDP examinations. The courses help software developers assess the breadth and depth of their understanding in the 15 Knowledge Areas (KAs) contained in Version 3 of the Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK Guide).

“The Computer Society has a wealth of high-quality content, and the relevant expertise of our members and contributors is unmatched,” said IEEE Computer Society Executive Director Angela Burgess. “When we combine those strengths with the professional education tools our partners offer, I think we have a very robust and substantive set of courses.

The online, self-paced assessment courses were developed by 14 subject-matter experts in the software engineering field. ”We paired up software engineering experts from industry and academia so each course provides a balanced perspective. The self-assessment quizzes are particularly effective at pinpointing areas of strength and highlighting resources for further study, where needed,” said Dennis J. Frailey, co-leader of the course development team.

Each assessment course provides a survey of selected SWEBOK Guide topics. The four CSDA courses evaluate the level of knowledge expected of an individual planning to take the CSDA examination. The eight CSDP courses cover the same topics in greater depth, appropriate to an individual planning to take the CSDP examination. In all courses, self-assessment quizzes on each topic are interspersed throughout to help individuals gauge their grasp of the material at each stage of the course.

Individuals completing any one of the assessment courses should come away with a clear demonstration of their grasp of material in that subject area. Conversely, the courses also expose knowledge gaps, enabling individuals to review material in areas they are weak in prior to taking the certification examination.

Each course provides feedback on the quizzes and also points to textbooks, courses, or other relevant reference materials that students can turn to for additional information on each topic.

The assessment courses, like the Computer Society’s certifications, are intended to provide a measure of a developer’s knowledge and expertise. “Companies are looking for some assurance that their software developers are the best and the brightest,” said Burgess. “CSDP offers employers that confidence, and gives developers a serious qualification they can leverage for advancement.”

The assessment course for the CSDP certification is available immediately, and costs $345 for an IEEE or Computer Society member, and $445 for non-members. As a special introductory offer, a $100 discount will be extended on orders for the first 30 days. The CSDA assessment course will be available on 28 June at a price to be announced. The CSDP is suitable for mid-career professionals, while the CSDA is designed for entry-level software developers. Visit http://www.computer.org/portal/web/certification/csdp/prepare for more information on the CSDP assessment course.

The CSDP assessment course is divided into eight modules. Aimed at experienced software development professionals and useful for assessing one's readiness to take the CSDP certification examination, each module is designed to take 1-2 hours to complete. Among the modules are:

CSDP 1: Software Requirements

CSDP 2: Software Design

CSDP 3: Software Construction
Software Engineering Methods and Tools

CSDP 4: Software Testing

CSDP 5: Software Maintenance
Software Configuration Management

CSDP 6: Software Engineering Management
Professional Practices in Software Engineering
Economic Foundations of Software Engineering

CSDP 7: Software Engineering Process
Software Quality

CSDP 8: Computing Foundations
Mathematical Foundations
Engineering Foundations

The CSDA assessment course includes four modules. Aimed at recent bachelor's-level graduates in software engineering and related fields, the course is designed help assess one’s mastery of college-level software-engineering curriculum, as well as a graduate’s readiness to take the CSDA certification examination. Among the modules are:

CSDA 1: Software Requirements
Software Design
Software Construction

CSDA 2: Software Testing
Software Maintenance
Software Configuration Management
Software Quality

CSDA 3: Software Engineering Process
Software Engineering Methods and Tools
Software Engineering Management
Professional Practices in Software Engineering
Economic Foundations of Software Engineering

CSDA 4: Computing Foundations
Mathematical Foundations
Engineering Foundations

The Computer Society recently updated the CSDP examination to bring it in line with current industry practices and Version 3 of the SWEBOK Guide. Knowledge areas on software engineering economics and computing, math, and engineering foundations were added in the process. The changes will maintain the CSDP’s standing with ISO-IEC standards for software engineering certifications.
The Computer Society also recently introduced Fast-Track Training CSDP preparation sessions that will let students take advantage of top-caliber CSDP trainers without leaving their offices. For more information on certifications, visit http://www.computer.org/portal/web/certification/home.

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 the 39 societies of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Computer Society is dedicated to advancing the theory and application of computer and information-processing technology, and is known globally for its computing standards activities. For more information, go to http://www.computer.org.

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