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Shivani Kumar

Dr. Guenzel

ENC 1102

March 4, 2018

Research Dossier: Communication Skills in Software Engineering

Dossier Introduction

Communication in computer science helps people communicate their ideas and

explain solutions and foundational concepts on which those solutions are built. Usually

the stronger the foundation of the ideas, the more confident it is for a person to tackle

difficult problems. Communication is so important in computer science not only because

it can help people learn from others mistakes in developing software and make better

software but also by allowing different software engineers to work together to solve


My major is computer science, specifically software engineering, and this topic

will be beneficial for me since it’ll help me be able to communicate with other people in

my same major and share our ideas and foundational concepts. We will be able to benefit

from each other’s software and mistakes that we make while developing different

software. However, how will we be able to do that without someone stealing someone’s

ideas and taking credit for it? My goal is to be able to answer this question and help

others develop software that could help all of us. The types of people in the audience that
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might benefit from my research would most likely be individuals who are majoring in

computer science, focusing on software, and maybe those who are afraid of others

stealing ideas or taking credit for other people. Just in general, individuals in technology.

This is also relevant to other people besides computer science majors because it can show

other people how they are able to work with other people and ask for assistance without

being afraid that they will steal their ideas whether it be a project, research paper, or


The only roadblock I am currently facing right now is that I believe I have too

many research questions in my thesis. I’m not sure how to shorten it so that I don’t go

past the maximum amount of pages I have to have in my final research project. However,

I’m afraid that if I cut it too short, I might not have enough information at the end.

Research Map

Research Question / Thesis : My research is based upon how software engineers or any

computer science majors can ask others for help for their projects or software. How they are able

to communicate with other computer science majors without being afraid of others stealing their

ideas or copying their ideas? How do software engineers communicate with someone outside

their team or company? How do gender roles fit into communicating with others?

Keywords :

computer science
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software engineer

communication skills in computer science

women in computer science

Types of Evidence :

I will be using plan internet research that includes professional articles and field research by

contacting a computer science major to find out more about communication in software


Research Schedule :

March 4 Final Dossier

April 1 Pitch your TED Talk

April 3 Final Draft rhetorical analysis

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April 10 Workshop Draft 1 RP

April 12 Peer-review Workshop Draft 1

April 15 Workshop Draft 2

April 17 Workshop Draft 3

April 17 Peer-review Workshop Draft 3

April 19 Final Draft argumentative RP

April 22 Workshop Draft Self-Assessment

April 22 Peer review sd

April 29 TED Talk

April 29 TED Talk peer review

April 29 E-portfolios
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Annotated Bibliography

Susan Ruff. Michael Carter. “http://web.mit.edu/ruff/www/1290.pdf.” Communication

Learning Outcomes from Software Engineering Professionals: A Basis for

Teaching Communication in the Engineering Curriculum

Content: It is widely acknowledged that employers tend to be dissatisfied with the

communication skills of new engineering graduates, yet research into employers’

expectations has not provided a sufficient foundation for incorporating workplace

communication skills into the engineering curriculum. This study seeks to bridge that
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communication gap. Through focus groups and interviews with software engineers and

managers, we have identified over 35 communication skills that comprise communication

in the software engineering workplace, including a broad range of formal, interpersonal,

professional, and team communication skills. Although the focus of this study is software

engineering, most of the outcomes are applicable to other engineering programs.

Author: Susan Ruff is a part of the Writing Across the Curriculum at the Massachusetts

Institute of Technology. Michael Carter is the Associate Director for Campus Writing and

Speaking Program at the North Carolina State University.

BEAM: This article tries to explain to software engineers why communication is

important and how necessary it is to merge the communication gap that only continues to




ENGINEERS.” 1 Apr. 2006.

Content: The traditional stereotype is that engineers have poor communication skills;

however, studies have shown that communication skills are extremely important for

engineers. Thus, an important question is how to improve the communication skills of

engineering students—through additional communication coursework or through

additional communication activities within technical courses? Students in typical

engineering programs take an introductory composition course, and possibly a speech or

technical writing class.

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Author: Mueller is in the Department of Engineering at the Indiana University-Purdue

University in Fort Wayne.

BEAM: This paper presents a range of additional, somewhat unique communication

activities used by the author in various courses throughout the engineering curriculum.

Goran Bubaš. Željko Hutinski. Dragutin Kermek. “COMMUNICATION PROBLEMS IN


Web. 20 Nov. 2000.

Content: A survey was performed on 227 information technology (IT) professionals to

investigate communication problems related to information system (IS) and software

development. As a result of data analyses a precise estimate was possible of the level of

communication problems associated with various segments of communication in IS and

software development, as well as an identification of the origins of such problems.

Highest degree of difficulty was found in relation to communication with clients / users

that is predominantly caused by their lack of IS and IT related knowledge and experience.

Author: All three authors: Goran Bubaš, Željko Hutinski, Dragutin Kermek are from the

University of Zagreb, Faculty of Organization and Informaties in Varaždin, Croatia

BEAM: This informations will be able to help explain what different problems computer

scientist have in the field of communication.

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Blume, Lillian & M. Baecker, Ronald & Collins, Christopher & Donohue, Aran. (2009). A

“Communication Skills for Computer Scientists ”

Content: This paper describes "Communication Skills for Computer Scientists," a novel

undergraduate course at the University of Toronto. Describes in detail the three major

instructional streams of the course — writing, speaking, and interpersonal

communications. Presents a novel approach to teaching writing, interactive multimedia

web technology to teach public speaking, and specific interpersonal skills training as the

integral parts of the course.

Author: Authors are from different universities but go around and work with different

researchers to finalize papers.

BEAM: Explains writing, speaking, and interpersonal communications between different

computer scientists. There is also a numerous amount of feedback to different opinions.

Riemer, Marc J. "Communication skills for the 21st century engineer." Global J. of

Engng. Educ 11.1 (2007): 89-100.

Content: Communication skills are an essential component in the education of

engineering students to facilitate not just students’ education but also to prepare them for

their future careers. In this article, the author discusses various important communication

skills required of modern engineers, such as foreign language skills. Also discussed are

various elements of communication skills education, such as oral, listening, written,

visual, interdisciplinary and intercultural.

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Author: Marc Jorrit Riemer completed a Bachelor of Arts in 1989 at Chisholm Institute

of Technology, Melbourne, Australia, and finished his Honors year in English at Monash

University in Melbourne, in 1990.

BEAM: Reimer seeks to build a bridge with other disciplines in the development of

engineering education. His research interests include English and communication skills

development and emotional intelligence (EQ) issues in relation to the education of


Polack-Wahl, Jennifer A. "It is time to stand up and communicate [computer science

courses]." 30th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference. Building on A Century

of Progress in Engineering Education. Conference Proceedings (IEEE Cat. No.

00CH37135). Vol. 1. IEEE, 2000

Content: In today’s technological market, job candidates must possess technical and

communication skills to acquire a desired position. Computer Science programs, for the

most part, provide the technological training, but are inconsistent in teaching students all

the necessary communication skills. Many computer science curricula neglect oral

communication, largely because of the amount of class time needed to make

presentations. Several gaps exist between computer science curricula and business world

reality. Computer science curricula must teach students to listen and express themselves

clearly, since getting the maximum utilization of an information resource requires contact

with the user community. This article discusses the importance of incorporating speaking

intensive courses into computer science programs.

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Author: From the University of Mary Washington

BEAM: Biased towards the side that communication skills lack but will be beneficial for

me to explain the points of why the skills lack and how we can work to overcome the gap

that is being portrayed in computer science.

Nguyen, Phong, M. Ali-Baber, and June Verner. "Trust in software outsourcing

relationships: an analysis of Vietnamese practitioners' views." Evaluation and

Assessment in Software Engineering (2006): 10-19.

Content: Trust is considered one of the most important factors for successfully managing

software outsourcing relationships. However, there is lack of research into factors that are

considered important in establishing and maintaining trust between clients and vendors.

The goal of this research is to gain an understanding of vendors’ perceptions of the

importance of factors that are critical to the establishment and maintenance of trust in

software outsourcing projects in Vietnam.

Author: Phong Thanh Nguyen, Muhammad Ali Babar, June M. Verner, all from the

School of Computer Science and Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney

NSW 2052, Australia.

BEAM: Explains how cs majors can understand the meaning of trust and based upon

that, figure out the different discourse communities that they will be able to trust and

which ones they should not base their trust upon.

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Génova, Gonzalo, M. Rosario González, and Anabel Fraga. "Ethical Responsibility of the

Software Engineer." PhiSE.2006. http://ceur-ws.org/Vol-240/paper4.pdf

Content: Among the various contemporary schools of moral thinking, consequence-

based ethics, as opposed to rule-based, seems to have a good acceptance among

professionals such as software engineers. Besides, the complexity of software systems

makes it very hard to know in advance the consequences that will derive from

professional activities in the production of software.

Author: Department of Information at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid in Spain.

BEAM: Explains the ethical responsibility that software engineers have, however, it

doesn’t mean all of them will be ethical and trustworthy. Will help explain why some

people can’t trust other software engineers from using their work.

Zelkowitz, Marvin V. "Perspectives in software engineering." ACM Computing Surveys

(CSUR) 10.2 (1978): 197-216.

Content: Software engineering refers to the process of creating software systems. It

applies loosely to techniques which reduce high software cost and complexity while

increasing reliability. This paper outlines the procedures used in the development of

computer software, emphasizing large-scale software development, and pinpointing areas

where problems exist, and solutions have been proposed. Solutions from both the

management and the programmer points of view are then given for many of these

problem areas.
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Author: Institute for Computer Sciences and Technology, National Bureau of Standards,

Washington, D.C 20234, and Department of Computer Science, University of Maryland,

College Park, Maryland 20742

BEAM: Explains what computer science and software engineering is. Will be unbiased

and beneficial to just explain to the audience what exactly software engineers do.

Wirth, Niklaus. "A brief history of software engineering." IEEE Annals of the History of

Computing 30.3 (2008): 32-39.

Content: We present a personal perspective of the Art of Programming. The term

Software Engineering became known after a conference in 1968, when the difficulties

and pitfalls of designing complex systems were frankly discussed. A search for solutions

began. It concentrated on better methodologies and tools. The most prominent were

programming languages reflecting the procedural, modular, and then object-oriented

styles. Software engineering is intimately tied to their emergence and improvement. Also

of significance were efforts of systematizing, even automating program documentation

and testing.

Author: Not important information included.

BEAM: Explains what computer science and software engineering is. Will be unbiased

and beneficial to just explain to the audience what exactly software engineers do.
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961 X: 258.

Content: The information technology industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in

the world today. Information technology has become an indispensable part of our lives,

possessing the ability to be effectively implemented into virtually every area of life.

However, it has been observed that the information technology field is characterized with

gender inequality as the field is yet to achieve gender equity and equality. This gender

inequality can be attributed to certain factors. All these factors lead to the female gender

being under represented. However, there is no doubt that girls and women have the talent,

drive and the skills to be successful in information technology and other computing

related fields as intuition, patience and diverse perspectives top the list of skills that

women in particular can bring to the technology table.

Author: I.C. Nwakanma, J.E. Awah, B.C. Asiegbu, G.C. Eheduru and I.U. Ajere all from

the Information Management Technology, Federal University of Technology Owerri.

BEAM: Touch in a bit about women working in the CS field and provide evidence of

them working more well and efficiently with or without communication.