IEEE Computer Society Embarks on Refresh of CSDA Exam

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., 8 June, 2011 – The IEEE Computer Society is moving forward with the refresh of the Certified Software Development Associate examination for entry-level software developers. The update will align the CSDA with current software engineering industry trends and Version 3 of the Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK). Additionally, the changes will maintain the CSDA’s standing with ISO-IEC standards for software engineering certifications.

The CSDA credential, intended for graduating software engineers and early-career software professionals, serves to bridge the gap between educational experience and real-world work requirements. To obtain the credential, exam takers must demonstrate proficiency and knowledge in 15 knowledge areas. To find out more, visit http://www.computer.org/csda.

More than three dozen holders of the Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP) credential holders are participating to develop and test the new CSDA examination, which is expected to debut in January 2012. The geographically diverse volunteers working on the CSDA refresh are from both academia and industry to ensure that the examination has broad global reach.

“Having the CSDA credential is important to both employers and employees,” said Eddie Burris, a CSDP credential holder and assistant professor at University of Missouri-Kansas City “The challenge for employers is distinguishing top talent; the CSDA gives them a valuable tool to do this. For employees and job candidates, having the CSDA credential helps them to stand out among the competition.”

Those interested in getting an early look at the new CSDA exam are invited to sign up as beta testers. For a limited time only, the CSDA beta examination package is available at the introductory price of $295. The package includes the examination, assessment course, SWEBOK Guide (2004 PDF version), and free IEEE Computer Society membership.

The deadline to sign up as a beta tester is 17 August 2011. Only 200 spots are available, and the test must be taken between 17 August and 19 September 2011. To get a head start on studying for the beta exam, early signups are encouraged.

After the CSDA beta exam period has closed, the exams will be analyzed and a passing score established. Exam results above the passing score will be awarded a CSDA credential. Results will be available 10 weeks after the examination window has closed.

“The CSDA helps to standardize the important issues for software development professionals and it reinforces the message that software professionals should have a broad understanding of the software engineering knowledge areas as a whole,” said Oscar Mondragon, a CSDP holder and software process improvement consultant from Zapopan, Mexico.

The CSDA examination refresh began with an extensive job requirements analysis that led to the framework for the new examination. In October 2010, items from the existing CSDA examination were reviewed to see how many would be relevant for the new examination. In March 2011, more than 500 new items were written and reviewed. From all of these items, a new exam will be created and beta tested in fall 2011. Once beta testing is complete, the new CSDA exam is expected to launch in early 2012.

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 computer and information-processing technology. The Society serves the information and career-development needs of today’s computing researchers and practitioners with technical journals, magazines, conferences, books, conference publications, certifications, and online courses. For more information, visit http://www.computer.org.

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