The Education Program for Software Professionals

Note: The information here is intended primarily as a historical reference.

The Education Program for Software Professionals (EPSP) was a diploma program offered by the Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo (circa 1996 to 2005). TRG Computer Consultants served as a curriculum advisor and course designer for two of the six courses in the program: the Database Management course and the Distributed Systems and Computer Networks course.

In 1999, the program was presented as a case study to the Canadian federal goverment's Human Resources Development Canada. The full citation is:

Partnering for Learnware
Case Studies and Critical Success Factors

Lyndsay Green and Anna Stahmer
Auguest 1999

Office of Learning Technologies
Human Resources Development Canada
15 Eddy Street, Ground Floor
Hull, Quebec K1A 0M5

And, EPSP was showcased in the popular press publication IT World Canada in the article University of Waterloo steps up IT skills, published January 14, 1999.

Course EPSP 3: Database Management

The EPSP "databases" course introduced students to the concepts behind database management systems, in particular relational databases and SQL. A significant component of the curriculum was "hands-on" work with WATCOM SQL (now SAP SQL Anywhere). I taught this course in a traditional "face-to-face" lecture format 10 times between 1996 and 2003. I taught it twice in 2004 as a "distance ed" offering. And, I supervised presentation of the course by other instructors another six times in 1998 and 1999.

Course EPSP 5: Distributed Systems and Computer Networks

The "networks" course was build around the ISO OSI 7-layer reference model, with the discussion of TCP/IP based on a comparison to the OSI (TCP/IP was still somewhat new outside academia in those days). Implicitly, the course provided an extensive discussion of a layered-system architectures, "black-box" interfaces and the separation of functional descriptions from implementation. Along the way there was plenty of discussion of networking-specific concepts. There was some hands-on work with Java and other web-based application protocols.

I taught this course in a traditional lecture format eight times from 1997 to 2002, and in a distance format twice (2004 and 2005). I supervised other instructors' delivery of the course six times in 1998 and 1999.

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