Department of Computer Science

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Software Maintenance Class Takes on AbOut

Over the past five years the CS department faculty has seen its administrative workload grow, especially in the area of providing our two accreditation bodies, the ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission and the ABET Computing Accreditation Commission, with evidence that we are assessing and satisfying the ABET Student Outcomes for these two programs. About a year and a half ago we decided that automating data gathering and reporting on these outcomes could reduce our workload. Subsequently, several of our classes used this problem as an exercise in requirements specification and data base design. Last summer we received a small amount of funding from the Montana Tech College of Letters, Sciences, and Professional Studies to implement our requirements and designs. The result is now a working database application, AbOut (Abet Outcomes) running on the CS department’s web site.

What we presently have is, in the words of the renowned software engineer, F. P. Brooks, a programming system, not a product. We now need to make it into a product that other engineering or computing departments that are seeking or maintaining ABET accreditation can pick up from our web site, modify, and use in their own programs. This is the challenge that our 2013 Software Maintenance class (pictured below) has taken on. Some of our initial tasks are (1) a prototype Users’ Manual, (2) a catalogue of test data, and (3) an initial start to a Montana Tech Method Software Design Description (SDD).


The 2013 Software Maintenance class from rom left to right: Tom Powell, Jeff Hall, Frank Sholey, Cade Foster, Jacob Jones, Clint Hillerman, Matt Morris, Brian Knopp, and Logan Warner (shoulder only).