A Software Engineer’s Competencies: Undergraduate Preconceptions in Contrast to Teaching Intentions

AbstractUnlike numerous scientific disciplines, the field of engineering has rarely been subject to investigations of undergraduate pre-/misconceptions except for STEM subjects within engineering degrees. When it comes to Software Engineering, some special issues have to be taken into account (e.g. novelty of the discipline and immateriality of the product) that make this discipline hard to teach and learn. Additionally, it requires a wide range of different technical competencies as well as soft skills. As a consequence, the goal is to improve learning by using undergraduates’ “right” conceptions as “points of departure” and reduce learning obstacles by facing misconceptions. This paper is giving some first insights into a quantitative study conducted with undergraduates – before and after instruction – as well as two professors using a questionnaire to rate Software Engineering competencies to elicit preconceptions.

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