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November 20, 2012 — Since 2004, the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) has trained professionals from more than 900 organizations in the principles and practices of software architecture. In that period, more than 1,800 individuals have earned the SEI Software Architecture Professional certificate. To reduce costs for students and lower their barriers to entry, the SEI has been working to grow the number of courses it delivers online. Now, with the addition of "Documenting Software Architectures," three of the four courses required for the SEI Software Architecture Professional certificate are available in eLearning format.
"Documenting Software Architectures" is a 12-hour eLearning course that allows software professionals to study effective software architecture documentation practices at their convenience. Available through the SEI eLearning Portal, this self-paced course supports an independent approach to study, and provides the same instructional content as the face-to-face curriculum offered in the SEI classroom. The instruction is provided by Paul Clements, one of the authors of the course's text: Documenting Software Architectures: Views and Beyond.
Software architecture has become a widely accepted conceptual basis for the development of nontrivial software in all application areas and by organizations of all sizes. And effectively documenting an architecture is as important as crafting it: if the architecture is not understood, it cannot effectively support system and software development. "Documenting Software Architectures" details effective software architecture documentation practices that meet the needs of architecture stakeholders.
Employing a variety of media to augment the course's text, "Documenting Software Architectures" is organized into 13 modules, each of which presents an important concept and explores related topics. Course activities help students identify any areas of misunderstanding and confirm their comprehension of course content. Once registered, students can access the course 24 hours per day for three months.
"The eLearning version of the course contains the same instructional content as the classroom version," said Lucille Tambellini, product manager, SEI eLearning. Tambellini noted that the courses "Software Architecture: Principles and Practices" and "Software Product Lines" are also available through the SEI eLearning Portal. Tambellini explained that professionals pursuing the SEI Software Architecture Professional certificate must still take the fourth class, "Software Architecture Design and Analysis," in person.
Feedback on the SEI software architecture eLearning curriculum has been positive. "Students who have taken our eLearning courses tell us they appreciate being able to study this caliber of instruction through distance education," said Tambellini. "Student feedback has helped us shape these courses to enhance their experience and convenience. For instance, because students told us they would like to be able to study when not connected to the internet, the eLearning version of 'Documenting Software Architectures' can be accessed offline by using an offline viewer application."
The SEI eLearning Portal delivers SEI professional development training online, enabling the independent learner to expand his or her skills and continue professional development conveniently. Through expert instruction, topic quizzes, and exercises, SEI eLearning encourages both learning and mastery of the subject matter. Students can focus on aspects in which they are particularly interested, and ponder difficult concepts at their discretion.
To learn more about the course "Documenting Software Architectures" and to view a short course demo, please visit http://www.sei.cmu.edu/training/v18.cfm.
To learn more about the SEI eLearning Portal, please visit http://www.sei.cmu.edu/training/elearning/.