KNOWLEDGE AREA DESCRIPTION SPECIFICATIONS
This document presents version 1.9 of the specifications provided by the Editorial Team to the Knowledge Area Specialist regarding the Knowledge Area Descriptions of the Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (Ironman Version).
This document begins by presenting specifications on the contents of the Knowledge Area Description. Criteria and requirements are defined for proposed breakdowns of topics, for the rationale underlying these breakdowns and the succinct description of topics, for selecting reference materials, and for identifying relevant Knowledge Areas of Related Disciplines. Important input documents are also identified and their role within the project is explained. Non-content issues such as submission format and style guidelines are also discussed.
The following requirements and criteria should be used hen proposing a breakdown of topics within a given Knowledge Area:
Knowledge Area Associate Editors are expected to identify in a separate section which Knowledge Areas of the Related Disciplines are sufficiently relevant to the Software Engineering Knowledge Area that has been assigned to them be expected knowledge by a graduate plus four years of experience.
This information will be particularly useful to and will engage much dialogue between the Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge initiative and our sister initiatives responsible for defining a common software engineering curricula and standard performance norms for software engineers.
The list of Knowledge Areas of Related Disciplines can be found in the Proposed Baseline List of Related Disciplines. If deemed necessary and if accompanied by a justification, Knowledge Area Specialists can also propose additional Related Disciplines not already included or identified in the Proposed Baseline List of Related Disciplines. (Please note that a classification of the topics from the Related Disciplines has been produced but will be published on the web site at a latter date in a separate working document. Please contact the editorial team for more information).
Knowledge Area descriptions should use the following table of contents:
The software engineering body of knowledge is an all-inclusive term that describes the sum of knowledge within the profession of software engineering. However, the Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge seeks to identify and describe that subset of the body of knowledge that is generally accepted or, in other words, the core body of knowledge. To better illustrate what “generally accepted knowledge” is relative to other types of knowledge, Figure 1 proposes a draft three-category schema for classifying knowledge.
The Project Management Institute in its Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge1 defines “generally accepted” knowledge for project management in the following manner:
“‘Generally accepted’ means that the knowledge and practices described are applicable to most projects most of the time, and that there is widespread consensus about their value and usefulness. ‘Generally accepted’ does not mean that the knowledge and practices described are or should be applied uniformly on all projects; the project management team is always responsible for determining what is appropriate for any given project.”
The Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge is now an IEEE Standard.
At the Mont Tremblant kick-off meeting in 1998, the Industrial Advisory Board better defined “generally accepted” as knowledge to be included in the study material of a software engineering licensing exam that a graduate would pass after completing four years of work experience. These two definitions should be seen as complementary.
Knowledge Area Associate Editors are also expected to be somewhat forward looking in their interpretation by taking into consideration not only what is “generally accepted” today and but what they expect will be “generally accepted” in a 3- to 5-year timeframe.
Figure 1 Categories of knowledge
Knowledge Area Descriptions are currently expected to be roughly in the 10-page range using the format of the International Conference on Software Engineering format as defined below. This includes text, references, appendices, tables, etc. This, of course, does not include the reference materials themselves. This limit should, however, not be seen as a constraint or an obligation.
Alain Abran and James W. Moore are the Executive Editors and are responsible for maintaining good relations with the IEEE Computer Society, the Industrial Advisory Board, the Executive Change Control Board, and the Panel of Experts as well as for the overall strategy, approach, organization, and funding of the project.
Pierre Bourque and Robert Dupuis are the Editors and are responsible for the coordination, operation, and logistics of this project. More specifically, the Editors are responsible for developing the project plan and the Knowledge Area description specification, coordinating Knowledge Area Associate Editors and their contribution, recruiting the reviewers and the review captains, as well as coordinating the various review cycles.
The Editors are therefore responsible for the coherence of the entire Guide and for identifying and establishing links between the Knowledge Areas. The Editors and the Knowledge Area Associate Editors will negotiate the resolution of gaps and overlaps between Knowledge Areas.
Based on the Straw Man version, on the discussions held and the expectations stated at the kick-off meeting of the Industrial Advisory Board, on other body-of-knowledge proposals, and on criteria defined in this document, this document proposes a baseline list of ten Knowledge Areas for the Trial Version of the Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge. This baseline may of course evolve as work progresses and issues are identified during the course of the project.
This document is available at www.swebok.org.
Based on the Straw Man version, on the discussions held and the expectations stated at the kick-off meeting of the Industrial Advisory Board, and on subsequent work, this document proposes a baseline list of Related Disciplines and Knowledge Areas within these Related Disciplines. This document has been submitted to and discussed with the Industrial Advisory Board, and a recognized list of Knowledge Areas still has to be identified for certain Related Disciplines. Associate editors will be informed of the evolution of this document.
The current version is available at www.swebok.org.
This report is the basis for the entire project. It defines general project strategy, rationale, and underlying principles and proposes an initial list of Knowledge Areas and Related Disciplines.
This report is available at www.swebok.org.
This book describes the scope, roles, uses, and development trends of the most widely used software engineering standards. It concentrates on important software engineering activities — quality and project management, system engineering, dependability, and safety. The analysis and regrouping of the standard collections exposes you to key relationships between standards.
Even though the Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge is not a software engineering standards development project per se, special care will be taken throughout the project regarding the compatibility of the Guide with the current IEEE and ISO Software Engineering Standards Collection.
The hierarchy of references for terminology is Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (10th ed.), IEEE std 610.12, and new proposed definitions if required.
This standard is considered the key standard regarding the definition of life cycle process and has been adopted by the two main standardization bodies in software engineering: ISO/IEC JTC1 SC7 and the IEEE Computer Society Software Engineering Standards Committee. It also has been designated as the pivotal standard around which the Software Engineering Standards Committee (SESC) is currently harmonizing its entire collection of standards. This standard was a key input to the Straw Man version.
Even though we do not intend that the Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge be fully 12207- compliant, this standard remains a key input to the Stone Man version and special care will be taken throughout the project regarding the compatibility of the Guide with the 12207 standard.
See note for std IEEE 610.12.
Knowledge Area Descriptions should conform to the
International Conference on Software Engineering Proceedings format (templates are available at http://sunset.usc.edu/icse99/cfp /technical_papers.html).
Knowledge Area Descriptions are expected to follow the IEEE Computer Society Style Guide. See http://www. computer.org/author/style/cs-style.htm.
Microsoft Word is the preferred submission format. Please contact the Editorial Team if this is not feasible for you.
When referencing the guide, we recommend that you use the full title “Guide to the SWEBOK” instead of only “SWEBOK.”
For the purpose of simplicity, we recommend that Knowledge Area Associate Editors avoid footnotes. Instead, they should try to include their content in the main text.
We recommend using in the text explicit references to standards, as opposed to simply inserting numbers referencing items in the bibliography. We believe it allows the reader to be better exposed to the source and scope of a standard.
The text accompanying figures and tables should be self-explanatory or have enough related text. This would ensure that the reader knows what the figures and tables mean. Make sure you use current information about references (versions, titles, etc.).
To make sure that some information contained in the Guide to the SWEBOK does not become rapidly obsolete, please avoid directly naming tools and products. Instead, try to name their functions. The list of tools and products can always be put in an appendix.
You are expected to spell out all acronyms used and to use all appropriate copyrights, service marks, etc.
The Knowledge Area Descriptions should always be written in third person.
The Editorial Team and professional editors will edit Knowledge Area Descriptions. Editing includes copy editing (grammar, punctuation, and capitalization), style editing (conformance to the Computer Society magazines’ house style), and content editing (flow, meaning, clarity, directness, and organization). The final editing will be a collaborative process in which the Editorial Team and the authors work together to achieve a concise, well-worded, and useful Knowledge Area Description.
All intellectual properties associated with the Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge will remain with the IEEE Computer Society. Knowledge Area Associate Editors were asked to sign a copyright release form.
It is also understood that the Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge will be put in the public domain by the IEEE Computer Society, free of charge through web technology or by other means.
For more information, see http://www.computer.org/copyright.htm.