KDU’s Software Engineering Degree Broaden The Horizon Of Future Development

Industrial exhibition visits equip graduates with the most effective learning experience. Here, Laveneswary A/P Krishnan (3rd from left), a Year-2 student in Bachelor of Software Engineering (Hons), visit the International Invention & Innovation Exhibition 2016 at KLCC Convention Centre.  Muhammad Azri Atuf Bin Akashah (right), Year-2 student in Bachelor of Software Engineering (Hons), participating in Software Project Management class activity. 
The term ‘Software Engineering’, first coined in 1968, defines best practices for software grounded in the application of engineering. One might wonder, how is this study field connected to any of the major disciplines, such as civil, chemical, mechanical or electrical, in the traditional engineering field that most of us are familiar with?

After all, is ‘Software Engineering’ an engineering discipline, or not?

Clearing the doubt, Mr Tan Chin Ike, Head of the School of Computing and Creative Media (SCCM) at KDU University College explained, “Software Engineering is one of the core domains of Computing as defined by the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) – the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society.”

Tan said, the term ‘engineering’ here denotes the application of engineering (or principles of engineering) to the design, development, implementation and maintenance of software in a systematic method. The term ‘engineering’ does not mean that it falls under the umbrella of the Engineering Accreditation Council Malaysia (EAC).

To be precise, Software Engineering is one of the four disciplines under the umbrella of Computing, the others of which are Computer Science, Information Systems and Information Technology. Nevertheless, elites in Software Engineering are still known as ‘Engineers’ by profession as they are involved in creating software which are of high-quality in a structured way.  

“Software Engineers are involved in every stage of a life cycle - this includes analysis and design, testing and ensuring that the best product is launched. Apart from that, they ensure that the product is robust and reliable and safe for use by the intended stakeholders,” Tan clarified.

In supplying the industry with a new generation of Software Engineers, who are able to develop and maintain reliable and efficient systems that meet customers’ specifications through each stage of system development lifecycle, KDU’s School of Computing and Creative Media has its designated programme Bachelor of Software Engineering (Hons), which aims to equip students with the relevant knowledge and skills.

The focus of the programme is to establish the connection between theories and practices involved in the various software development stages. Graduates of this programme will acquire critical evaluation skills that would enable them to decide on the best combination of design paradigms, languages, tools and techniques required in the development of the systems required.

Tan pointed out that the programme is best suited for students who have strong organisational mind set accompanied with computational thinking.
In pursuing this degree, students will have access to in-depth knowledge of the design and implementation of software systems as well as the software development processes. These resources are embedded into the curriculum and are used in modules such as Software Design, Software Testing and Quality Assurance, Software Requirement Engineering and so on.

“In ensuring our graduates are able to hit the ground running upon graduation, KDU partners with some of the top leading professional bodies in the world like the IEEE Computer Society.” Tan further stressed on points which makes KDU’s Bachelor of Software Engineering (Hons) stand out from the others. “One of the highlights of this partnership is that students are able to pursue the IEEE’s Software Engineering Knowledge Area certification,” said Tan.

Apart from academic training, there are various initiatives created under industry engagement between the SCCM and IBM, RapidMiner and many others, in offering opportunities like internship, workshops, talks, industry visits and competitions, to equip graduates with the most effective learning experience, which eventually help them to secure more successful future in workforce as they have been trained with industry know-how, knowledge and insights in their respective fields.

“We at the school emphasise in developing students into industry-ready graduates, who finish their courses with a reputable degree while bringing with them a wealth of experience they gained throughout the duration of their studies. Meaning to say, a graduate from the School of Computing and Creative Media has the technical skill-set to undertake tasks required by the job. Besides that, they will also have the communication skills and relevant experience to give them a good head-start gained through their learning environment and experience. Because let’s face it, there is a shortage of software engineering and programmers talents in Malaysia. We need to supply talents not just graduates.” said Tan.

Other than specialised subjects, students will also take subjects like Entrepreneurship where they will learn about other aspects of the economy and related industry. “This module is designed to provide students with a virtual environment in various platforms like business or social enterprise in a Malaysian scenario. They will be trained in various issues like managing crises, planning and launching of businesses, executing strategies, marketing and branding, financial management and some areas of accounting, among many others which reflected the actual world,” Tan continued.

Professions which are ready for Software Engineering graduates to step across include Software Engineer, Programmer, Applications Developer, Software Architect, Software Designer, Software Tester, Business Analyst and System Consultant. For graduates who wish to further their studies in this field, they can always proceed in Master of Software Engineering or Computer Science which leads to PhD level.