Get access

Educating reflective systems developers

Authors

  • Lars Mathiassen,

    1. *Department of Computer Science, Aalborg University, Frederik Bajers Vej 7E, 9220 Aalborg Ø, Denmark, email: larsm@cs.auc.dk, and
    Search for more papers by this author
  • and * Sandeep Purao 1

    1. *Department of Computer Science, Aalborg University, Frederik Bajers Vej 7E, 9220 Aalborg Ø, Denmark, email: larsm@cs.auc.dk, and
    Search for more papers by this author
    • 1A large part of this manuscript was compiled during a visiting position appointment at the Institutt for Informasjonvitenskap, Agder University College, Kristiansand, Norway.


Abstract

Abstract. Systems development research shows that practitioners seldom follow methods and that the competencies required for successful development of computer-based systems go well beyond those represented in contemporary methods. These insights make us question the role that methods should play in educating would-be developers. Pedagogical theories, such as situated learning and double-loop learning, complement these insights. Integrating the two, we argue that students need to complement the simplified accounts that methods express, with reflections on methods-in-use and on development practice in general. We present operationalizations of this idea in two quite different academic settings. Based on a retrospective analysis of our experiences in these settings, and a comparison and evaluation of the two approaches, we propose a number of lessons that can be used to improve the education of would-be developers.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary