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Teaching Team Collaboration: the Human-Side of Software Development

People talk together to work together

Learn how to teach software engineering students effective collaboration

The software engineering textbooks leave stuff out. They cover the lifecycle parts, and will tell you about version control, requirements gathering, scrum and xp practices, plus testing and deployment processes.

The software engineering textbooks provide no guidance on how students should decide to do their work together. They tell you nothing about team charters/agreements, and why these are useful. They tell you nothing about how they should break up the work to be done.

I provide the collaboration parts left out of the textbooks

I’ve found ways to teach students the value of talking to their team members; to work collaboratively. Students tell me they enjoy these classes, and later tell me it helped them land jobs too.

I’m Dr Bruce Scharlau, and I’ve been teaching computing students how to collaborate in teams for software engineering since 2001 at the University of Aberdeen. I’ve tried lots of options, and I have now pulled the parts together that I found consistently work to make this effective. This is teachable, and learnable. You can use it with your students too. Just follow these steps to make use of what’s here.

First, read the blog posts to see if I’ve covered a topic that helps you now. These appear weekly on Wednesday’s.

Second, sign up for the newsletter below so that you never miss a blog post, or subscribe to the version on LinkedIn if you prefer.

Third, if you want to start now, then buy the book. Use Teaching Team Collaboration: The Human-Side of Software Development to guide you in your teaching. You, or your students might  101+ Ideas to Improve Team Collaboration which offers options for better collaboration in their teams.

Let my experience inform your teaching

When you sign up for the mail list you receive a link to the last chapter of ‘Teaching Team Collaboration: the Human Side of Software Development‘, which covers the ‘collaboration rules’. These rules will guide you and your students in software engineering collaboration as you go forward.

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