Sunday, January 22, 2012

University of Texas Software Engineering Master's Degree - My favorite Classes

I hope this ranking of my favorite classes is helpful to other students trying to schedule their classes. I am currently attending the University of Texas Masters Degree program in Software Engineering. When you pay for the program out of your own pocket like I did, it becomes very important to get the most out of each class. I have little enthusiasm for spending 3,500 dollars for a course and not getting much value. Note that this is my opinion.

 
Course
my ranking
time commitment
comments
Professor
Communication Networks
1
heavy
Bard is great. In an Internet world, this is very relevant information, it answered many long time questions that I have had about how the Internet works. Workload is high. Bard is entertaining. He is an ex marine and prides himself in the difficulty of tests. Sometimes his tangents are more interesting than the lectures. He is full of interesting information. He helped build UT's network so he has quite a bit of experience.
Bard
Software Architecture
-
light
Would have liked to taken instead of requirements. Barber teaches both classes.
Barber
Distributed Security
-
heavy
Would like to have taken.
Bard
Embedded Systems
5
medium-heavy
Bard is awesome. We had a guest speaker from ARM which was enlightening. In general, I wish the program had more guest speakers.
Bard
Mobile Computing
3
medium-heavy
Julian is a energetic teacher, and includes humor along with interesting information.
Julien
Distributed systems
2
heavy
Garg is awesome. I was skeptical about this subject, but it was eye opener to learn about the world of distributed systems. With Google and other cloud architectures becoming increasingly important, this is a very relevant topic. This course was a mix of theory and current industry applications. Course load was heavy.
Garg
Data Engineering
-
-
I didn't take but I hear that prof is a bit disorganized.
Miranker
Software Metrics
6
light
Krasner is a dynamic guy, very entertaining. He was a VP at Lockheed Martain and has many good stories to tell. He brings in more interesting guest speakers than any other professor.
Krasner
Engineering Lifecycle
7
medium
Summer course, I enjoyed the architecture conference at the end of the course. The course requires writing several papers. If you know your master's report topic, you can write papers regarding your master's report topic.
Krasner, Julien,
Khursid, Barber
Program Management
-
light
would like to have taken. I hear the professor is dynamic and the workload is light
McCann
Requirements
8
light
 I did not enjoy the topic and feel like Professor Barber lacked enthusiasm at times. But I did very much appreciate the relatively light workload. :). For those who write requirements, this may be quite valuable. Professor Barber definitely knows what she is talking about. I would have liked to see more agile practices integrated. I felt her toolset is a bit antiquated. (It is obvious that she hasn't updated her materials in years)
Barber
Advanced Programming Tools
-
heavy
I didn’t take it, but I hear that some people like it and others did not as it was not well organized. This is a java-centric tools class.
Adnan Aziz
Masters Report
n/a
heavy
_
n/a
Data Mining
4
heavy
Very interesting and relevant topic. Ghosh is a genius and a genuinely nice guy. He has taken out Mathematica in order to focus on more practical topics (I appreciate this). The workload is definitely high. I will know more by the end of the semester, but so far I am convinced this will be useful in my current job and in our information age.
Ghosh
Validation
9
medium-light
Professor Khursid was not as engaging as other professors. It seemed that he focused a bit too much on topics from his own thesis and his graduate professor, rather than the larger Validation industry. The textbook did not do a good job of selling me on why validation is important or getting me excited about the topic (like the other courses did). Other students have expressed similar sentiment.
Khursid