|Module Title||COMMUNICATIONS AND THE SOFTWARE INDUSTRY|
|Co-ordinator||Mr Christopher W Loftus|
|Semester||Available all semesters|
|Pre-Requisite||Available only to students taking the Diploma/MSc in Computer Science scheme in Singapore.|
|Course delivery||Workload Breakdown||55 hours of contact time; lectures, practicals, workshops.|
|Workload Breakdown||145 hours of private study, practical work and assessment.|
2. History of Communications A brief history of the development of both the technology and regulation of communication systems. Common Carriers; Singaporean carriers: SingTel and the new market entrants.
3. Basics of Data Communication Analogue and digital data transmission; Synchronous and Asynchronous transmission; Parallel and Serial transmission; Modems and the PSTN, concentrators, multiplexors; Co-ax, twisted pair, fibre optic media; Speed, distance, error rates of various transmission media.
4. Local Area Networks Bus, Ring, Star topologies; Cost of attaching devices to networks; Media access and sharing strategies.
5. Wide Area Network technologies and services Public Switched Networks and private lines; Kilostream, Megastream and similar services; N-ISDN; Examples of WANs. Fast Network Technologies.
6. Standards The needs for standards and the areas they cover; Standards setting process; Standards setting bodies; BSI, ISO, ANSI, IEEE, ITU (CCITT), IAB; IETF;De facto standards. The ISO OSI Model.
7. The Internet The Internet, its applications and their history and evolution. Internet standards, control and regulation. Protocols used on the Internet such as: IP, ICMP, TCP, UDP, FTP, Telnet, etc.
1. The Industry The nature and characteristics of the software industry: broad and narrow definitions. Classification of the products of the industry. Treatment of software assets under different accounting regimes. Structure of the software industry: distribution by size, ownership, specialisation. The growth of outsourcing and its effect on the structure of the industry in different countries. Treatment of software in the calculation of GDP.
2. Procurement Bespoke software v. packaged software. Identifying potential suppliers. Procurement strategies: study of a range of strategies used for procuring large systems by governments in different countries. Case studies of some major procurement failures. Problems occasioned by the need for long-term maintenance of large software systems. Contracts for the provision of bespoke software: fixed price, time and materials. Contracts for packaged software. Use of standard terms and conditions. The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977.
3. Management Mission statements, aims and objectives. The need for strategic planning and the problems of doing it in technology-driven industry. Application pull v. technology push. Comparison of the problems of strategic planning in hi-tech products companies and service companies. Special problems of human resource management in the software industry: difficulties caused by a project-based environment; need to keep technical knowledge up to date; effect of strong competition for qualified staff. Motivational theory: application of theories such as Maslow's hierarchy of needs and Herzberg's two factor theory to the software industry. Case study of a medium-sized bespoke software company.
4. Regulation Regulation of the engineering profession in the UK, the USA and continental Europe. The Washington Accord and the Bologna Declaration. Codes of conduct: the BCS code, the IEEE-CS/ACM joint code.
This module is at CQFW Level 7