2010-01-22

Preparing for Exams...


I have previously talked about my position as extern lecturer at the IT University in Copenhagen teaching model driven development and domain specific languages (course description and the course blog).

Now it is pay back time... The next three days, we will have 35 student up for oral exams based on a written report around the modernization of a fictious bike shop "Noware Bike Shop".

As part of the report, the student had to
  • construct an EMF model (mandatory)
  • a number of OCL constraints (mandatory)
  • design a (E)BNF grammar
  • create an XText editor
  • create an GMF editor
  • do a model-to-model transformation using QVT/O
  • do a model-to-text transformation using Xpand
... and talk about some of the theoretical properties of the MDD/DSL area - it is a university study after all. The first two assignments have been mandatory and the students then had to choose 3 additional assignments.

Based on the turned-in reports, we have noticed a clear trend in the optional assignments they opted to solve:

  • EBNF: 13
  • Xtext: 13
  • GMF: 11
  • Xpand: 6
  • QVT: 0
Some of these numbers are quite obvious - e.g. QVT/O is a rather difficult subject - but other numbers have surprised us a little - e.g. the number of people that opted for GMF.

From the course evaluation, we know that many of the student have considered the Eclipse platform a little too fragile or unstable for the work. A common scenario has been that two or more student had the same installation and workspace... but yet only oner of them could get the tools to work properly.

Will they want Eclipse and/or Modeling in their first real job? We don't know yet, but we do hope that we have showed them all how useful modeling can be in the "real world"... and that Eclipse is a good tool for the job - even it is a little fragile...
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