Date of Original Version

March 2010


Working Paper

Abstract or Description

Given the unique nature of the software business, the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University’s Silicon Valley campus concluded that mid-career software professionals would be better served by a tailored master’s degree focusing on software management and more broadly on the business of software than by a typical MBA. Our software management master’s program integrates business, technical, and soft skills to prepare our students for technical leadership in their current companies or in entrepreneurial ventures. Our initial program built on the strengths of Carnegie Mellon’s world-class software engineering education. We targeted students working in large companies, engaged in large-scale enterprise software projects, employing “high ceremony” software development processes. However, the majority of our students came from Silicon Valley companies which shared a product development focus, engaged in smaller projects, favored agile development processes, and measured development cycles in weeks rather than years. Our program has evolved to align with these interests. It employs a unique team-based and project-based pedagogy which emphasizes practical skills over theory, depth over breadth, and coaching over lecturing. High student satisfaction and growing enrollment have validated our curriculum decisions and have led us to make this program the educational centerpiece of Carnegie Mellon’s Silicon Valley campus.


Proceedings of the 23rd IEEE-CS Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training


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