Agile on the Beach – Design a Degree Programme – Beta

We hear from employers and industry all the time that the education system is failing to produce enough high quality IT graduates.  Let’s change that!

What should a future computing related degree look like? Which topics, skills or knowledge areas should be included? How can courses be even better designed/delivered to prepare students with the skills needed by industry?”

The IT industry is developing very quickly. Unlike many most other subjects, a lot of new techniques and knowledge are created and developed within industry including by several businesses and people who are part of Agile on the Beach 2014. Examples include the Agile Manifesto itself, Test Driven Development, Behavioural Driven Development, Selenium as well as, of course, many, many open source projects which play a part in developing how our industry works.

For the first year Agile on the Beach will be seeking ideas from delegates and bringing them together to produce a paper outlining this conference’s view of the future for computing degrees or further education. There will be a whiteboard in the main “coffee” room where post-it notes can be added to the board. If your idea is already on the board then simply add a dot to it. There will also be a number of representatives from various educational institutions – Falmouth and Plymouth Universities, Cornwall and Truro & Penwith Colleges –  around during the conference to discuss any views. Collectively we aim to pull together a diverse and varied range of views and ideas from specific knowledge areas to more practical application approaches that we feel should be part of the future. This will be published for Universities and colleges to use to help inform their course design.

We all naturally accept that computing education is quite varied, and there are specialist focus areas adopted by individual courses. You may also wish to add thoughts on non-technical areas in which you like students/potential employees to have enhanced tuition. This exercise is not to define every specific degree in detail, but to provide an outline of the skills and knowledge areas that industry feels are important and should be considered by institutions as part of a future degree programme.

On Friday lunchtime there will be a discussion over the results collected with particular focus on “what next”. Should we publish asking for a response from Universities? Would evaluating and rating current course offerings against the outcomes be useful? Is it practical to publish a table of top rated courses? Could we produce an accreditation scheme for Universities who we believe are up to the mark? After identifying great courses, how can we drive increased student numbers through those courses? We look forward to receiving your views with interest.



The above content is the first release. It was released 1hr after I started writing it. QA was carried out using Microsoft Word. There will be changes and edits, hopefully lots of them, with frequent releases. Toby