Teaching embedded systems engineering in a software-oriented computing degree

By Fernandes, J.M.; Machado, R.J.

Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE

2007

Abstract

Traditional software-oriented computing degrees do not include courses on embedded systems design in their syllabus, since in the past embedded applications were seen as small-sized solutions developed without the need of engineering approaches. This reality has dramatically changed in the last decade and nowadays several embedded systems are quite complex. Embedded systems present several idiosyncrasies that make their development more difficult and complex than desktop solutions, namely when considering non-functional requirements, time-related deadlines, or the correctness of the solution. To be well prepared for their professions, students of software-oriented computing degrees must acquire skills and competencies in embedded systems engineering. Being able to master high-level programming languages and to develop solutions only for desktop computers means that the students cannot consider numerous opportunities, after graduation. This paper discusses which topics in embedded software design to include in a second cycle degree on Software Engineering that was structured to consider the Bologna Declaration that is now being used in Europe to recast all university degrees. The syllabus of a 15-ECTS module dedicated to teach the fundamental concepts of embedded systems engineering and embedded software development is also described.

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