Integrating the Personal Software Process (PSP) Across the Undergraduate Curriculum

Author(s): Massood Towhidnejad, Thomas Hilburn
Venue: Frontiers in Education Conference, 1997
Date: November, 1997



This paper mostly presents the experiment of integrating the PSP into Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Computer Science program in the first two terms. The experiment tracks the time put into the PSP in both CS 1 and CS 2.

Initially, for the CS 1 class the students were simply asked to do time tracking without being introduced into the formal software process. This was referred to as simply Do Quality Work (DQW). The reactions documented displayed a negative attitude based on 4 factors: the way DQW was introduced, age and lack of maturity of the students, lack of commitment of some students to computer science/software engineering as a career, the effort required for DQW vs. the apparent reward.

For the CS 2 class, the DQW/PSP program concentrated on software defect management and used the second half of Humprey's introductory text. As such, a simplified version of PSP was incorporated into standard CS 2 topics.

The results of the study are somewhat lackluster; they believe that the DQW/PSP objectives were not fully achieved, but that significant progress was made towards them. They believe further integration will make the process more effective. That said, the empirical data given to an instructor from this process can be quite useful.