The software development process has recently changed its focus to favour different from the traditional methodological paradigms and ways of working. The new trends of Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) development and the increasing number of open and free software users and development stakeholders have given rise to new issues for attention in software technologies and software quality. Software quality management is increasingly required to examine and assure the quality (e.g. security, reliability, usability) of FLOSS, which, as a new movement, is often misunderstood and its existence is sceptically viewed.
Adequate examination of these issues will bring useful and practical knowledge for a software developer, who needs to focus on those areas of design and code in use and reuse. A multi-view approach for analysis to FLOSS development paradigm will (i) provide with new information on software quality related activities in FLOSS development, and (ii) increase FLOSS reliability for various stakeholders and end-users.
After completion of this course, the student is expected to be able to:
• Discuss and argue on a variety of Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) communities and practices; • have knowledge of different methods, techniques and tools in FLOSS development through problem-based learning and other ways of learning; • compare and contrast software quality properties and other issues regarding FLOSS and closed source software; • examine and decide on the open/closed source software appropriateness to proprietary/non-proprietary software when in need for holistic sustainable development; • develop and provide high quality software programs and components that integrate state-of-the art FLOSS technologies and best enterprise practices; • support and be a member of FLOSS communities-of-practice through the development of relevant resources; • advise with critical awareness for adopting FLOSS as feasible alternative to proprietary software and as strategic means for advancing society at large; • serve as a software quality consultant/engineer for a range of business and technical innovations and the complex organizational transformations these innovations may require; • understand and accept different software cultures and strategies and provide opportunity for cross fertilization of creative ideas.
The course will refer to the following topics: (i) Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) and its development, examining the methods, processes, techniques and tools utilized for software production. (ii) Software Quality Assurance (SQA)/Software Quality Management (SQM) basic concepts required and techniques applied in FLOSS development, such as software reliability, security, usability and other quality requirements.
Some of the main questions that the course will deal with throughout its delivery are the following: What are FLOSS and FLOSS development? How do they differ from similar and/or different SD paradigms? What can be certified and what not in FLOSS development? How SQA techniques can be used in the context of OSSD? How reliable, secure, and “guaranteed” is OSS and how could these be assured? Is it important to support and use FLOSS; why yes/no? How safe/ethical is it to use FLOSS? Who is in real need for FLOSS? For whom is FLOSS suitable? Who requires/supports FLOSS, who does not and why? Is there a future in FLOSS and Open ICT development in general?
Modes of study
Degree Programme Students
Open University Students
Participation in course work
Selected latest research articles and lecture notes.