New Credentials Program Developed by SEI Education and Training

NEWS AT SEI

Author

Erin Harper

This article was originally published in News at SEI on: December 1, 2003

Since 1984 the SEI has been identifying, developing, and advocating practices for designing high-quality software and protecting networked systems. To help organizations put these practices in place, the SEI has developed a new Credentials Program. The certificates and certifications developed for this program guide participants through a series of courses chosen to help them develop expertise in a specific area of work.

Certificates are awarded after participants attend a specified series of courses and serve to recognize the successful completion of an educational process. Certificate programs are a good way to build skills and generally do not require testing or follow-up training. Certification is earned after the completion of a specified series of courses and an assessment against a set of industry-relevant standards. Certification often includes ongoing requirements that must be met to keep the certification valid. While SEI certifications do not grant permission to use the intellectual property of the SEI, they do signify that the student has been certified by the SEI to have obtained a specific set of skills and knowledge in a particular area. Certification allows participants to build their credentials through an objective confirmation of their skills.

Currently, the SEI offers seven certificate programs and one certification program, although other programs are in development. “My job at the SEI is to help the technical programs define a logical path through the SEI curriculum for participants,” says Michael Carriger, the team lead for the SEI’s educational programs. “While the SEI’s course offerings have been well received for many years, these programs add value to our courses by showing which work best together.”

SEPM Certificate Programs

Four Software Engineering Process Management (SEPM) certificate programs are designed for those involved in managing, leading, or participating in process improvement efforts.

The SEI Certificate in Software Engineering Process Management is for managers who need a toolbox of approaches to managing and improving the software engineering process, providing the knowledge and skills necessary for a solid foundation in process improvement. The program explores management, metrics, and Personal Software Process (PSP) and Team Software Process (TSP) approaches to process improvement.

For those leading change efforts within their organizations, the SEI Certificate in Software Process Improvement Implementation provides a look at several different methods for implementing change, including the IDEAL model (a high-level description of the phases of process improvement), metrics, and TSP/PSP. This program provides change agents (such as software engineering process group [SEPG] members and leads) with the information they need if their organizations are planning to implement quality initiatives, such as Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI).

Using CMMI, organizations can improve their ability to develop and maintain quality products and services. The SEI Certificate in CMMI guides change agents and managers through the fundamental concepts of CMMI and the relationships among CMMI model components; the IDEAL model; and the use of statistical process control to manage and improve software processes. 

While CMMI provides a powerful improvement framework that helps organizations understand what needs to be done to improve processes, it doesn’t specify how this should be done. The PSP provides a roadmap for organizations and individuals to follow, and the SEI Certificate in Personal Software Process for CMMI helps engineers learn how to implement CMMI using the PSP.

Computer Security Incident Handler Certification Program

Organizations need individuals who can lead computer security incident response teams. The demand is accelerating as technology advances, applications gain complexity, services become more regulated—and as new regulations mandate increasingly disciplined response capabilities. In response to this demand, the SEI CERT Coordination Center (CERT/CC) has introduced a program designed to train and certify computer security incident handlers. Participants must have three years of technical or managerial experience in incident handling and submit an application and a letter of recommendation. In addition to completing the required courses, participants must pass an evaluation exam to become certified.

Software Architecture Certificate Programs

Based on decades of experience with software-intensive systems and supported by four widely acclaimed practitioner books in the SEI Addison-Wesley Series, the SEI has developed three software architecture certificate programs to equip software professionals with state-of-the-art practices for designing, documenting, evaluating, and implementing software architectures.

Beginning with an introduction to software architecture fundamentals, the Software Architecture Professional Certificate helps practitioners gain experience in architecture documentation, design, and analysis techniques. The program also shows how these techniques can be used effectively with a product line approach, in which a set of software-intensive systems are developed from a common set of core assets in a prescribed way.

The Architecture Tradeoff Analysis Method (ATAM) is a method developed by the SEI for evaluating software architectures relative to the quality attributes that are most desirable in a particular system. Qualified participants who complete the ATAM Evaluator Certificate are authorized by the SEI to participate in architecture evaluations using the ATAM.

The ATAM Lead Evaluator Certificate program provides qualified participants with the technical depth, social techniques, and experience they need to effectively lead software architecture evaluations using the ATAM. In addition to completing the required courses, participants must successfully lead an ATAM architecture evaluation observed by an SEI ATAM expert. SEI-authorized lead evaluators must attend yearly ATAM update workshops to maintain their skills and status.

Completing an SEI certification or certificate program gives software engineers and process improvement professionals official recognition of their skills and expertise and costs less than enrolling in the courses individually. For program prices or to get started in a program, please contact the SEI.

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