Specifying a role-based guide for learning to work with an enterprise framework



Learning to work with enterprise frameworks requires considerable effort, because of the inherent complexity of all the knowledge that is needed. However, different roles in project teams need to learn different knowledge components according to the different tasks to be performed. A role-based guide that has been developed for new developers in the California projects at the software house International Business Systems, Inc. (IBS) Consist is presented. The California projects develop financial applications based on the IBM SanFrancisco enterprise framework. The requirement for this guide originates in the need to guide (new) project members in learning the required skills for being able to work productively after focused training for the California projects.

The starting point for this guide is the IBS development process. The individual tasks during the different phases in the process are specified by means of the Unified Modeling Language (UML) use case diagrams. An important property is that the guide is role-based to allow new project members to focus on their roles in the project, while learning to work with the framework. For each role, a UML activity diagram guides one to find the right paths for learning the required skills (which we call knowledge components) for the particular project role. The knowledge components are related to the tasks in the development process and to the roles. For all roles, at least some basic knowledge of the UML is required. Therefore, it is reasonable to specify this learning guide by means of the UML. This paper illustrates the use of the UML for specifying such a guide in a specific setting, namely the California projects of IBS Consist. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.