Module Information

Module Identifier
CS38220
Module Title
Professional Issues in the Computing Industry
Academic Year
2015/2016
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 2
External Examiners
  • Dr Hong Wei (Associate Professor - University of Reading)
  • Dr John Hunt (Associated Head of Department - University of the West of England)
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 11 x 1 Hour Lectures
Lecture 22 x 2 Hour Lectures
 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Written exam  70%
Semester Assessment Poster  providing details of major project progress  10%
Semester Assessment Job application:  up to 4 pages  20%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   Exam  70%
Supplementary Assessment Note - Students must resit failed examination and/or resubmission of failed/non-submitted coursework components or ones of equivalent value.  30%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. critically assess the annual report and accounts of a small computing company;

2. apply professional codes of conduct and relevant computing-related legislation to day-to-day situations that arise in business;

3. assess the type of work done by a computer company and infer the types of career opportunities and challenges available within that company;

4. evaluate the management implications for a company of issues in health and safety, green IT, security management and human resources

5. communicate succinctly to higher management the progress made on a computing project

Aims

The purpose of this module is to present material in the key areas of professionalism and careers, finance, health and safety, environmental concerns, law and intellectual property in a unified fashion, in the context of the software industry. Some introductory material of this kind is taught at appropriate points in other modules at lower levels. This module brings all of that material together at an appropriate level for a graduate entering the software industry.

Brief description

This module addresses many of the non-technical issues that are vital for students intending to pursue a professional career in the software industry. The subjects covered in this module will enable students to understand many of the issues that will arise as they pursue a career in computing. In particular, our degrees are accredited by the BCS (the Chartered Institute for IT), and the kinds of topics that are addressed in this module are seen by the BCS as a necessary part of the education of any chartered IT professional.

Content

1. Organisations and their Structures
Legal background. Limited companies, private and public; partnerships; sole traders, statutory bodies. Special features of limited companies; responsibilities of directors.

2. Setting up a New Company
The need for capital; investment and working capital; sources of funds. Cash flow and its importance. Costing: fixed costs and variable costs; overheads; opportunity costs; depreciation. Problems of cost allocation. Budgeting. Financial accounts: balance sheets, profit and loss accounts, cash flow statements. The treatment of software in company accounts. Business Plans.

3. The Computing Industry
The structure of the Computing Industry. Examples of computing companies (guest lectures from industry). Careers in computing. Globalisation.

4. Legislation Relevant to Computing
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Consumer Protection Act 1987, liability and negligence. Intellectual Property and its relevance to the software industry; software contracts. Data protection, privacy and freedom of information, RIPA, PIDA. Computer Misuse Act and international implications. Defamation and spamming.

5. Management
Practising 360 degree management. Effective communication. Sustainability. Human resource issues. Security management. Procurement. Supply chain management.

6. The Engineering Profession
The structure of the engineering profession, both in the UK and abroad. Professional codes of conduct and codes of practice.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Through financial material, assessed in exam
Communication In all practical assignments
Improving own Learning and Performance In job application and poster
Information Technology
Personal Development and Career planning Understanding of organisations important for career; Development of job application skills
Problem solving In all practical assignments
Research skills In Technical report
Subject Specific Skills
Team work

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 6