The NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, nestled amongst the global headquarters of Google, LinkedIn, Yahoo and Symantec, is home to Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley. At this campus, graduate students prepare to become the technical leaders of the Fortune 100 companies that surround them.
Professor Cécile Péraire teaches courses out of the CMU ECE Master Program in Software Engineering. With a PhD in software testing, she has a robust background working with the world’s leading software companies.
In the past, Professor Péraire’s classes used Word documents to write and manage requirements and used basic Kanban boards to track work. But those traditional processes didn’t reflect the complex, critical work students would do after graduation. She sought out a SaaS, cloud-based solution that students could use to write, manage and trace requirements. It needed to be user friendly, so students could find value in it quickly and accomplish their work within the term. After in-depth evaluation of five requirements management tools, Professor Péraire selected Jama Software and became a member of Jama’s Innovator Partner Program. “Overall,” she said, “Jama was the one that performed the best and satisfied all the criteria on my list.”
At the start of the term, Professor Péraire introduced the Jama solution to her class and provided an overview of the tool. Thanks in part to Jama eLearning, she quickly learned the basics of the tool to help her students hit the ground running. Students used Jama to collaborate on their term project, which involved developing an application to assist real-life local first responder teams. Students reported that the tool has helped them work in teams more effectively. One student noted: “Jama is a great collaboration platform.”
Students weren’t the only ones to benefit from the introduction of a modern requirements solution. “I used Jama’s Review Center to evaluate my students’ work and provide more frequent and actionable feedback,” says Professor Péraire. She used item-based reviews to comment on specific elements of the students’ projects and help them improve their work throughout the semester. She concluded: “Overall, as the faculty, a tool like Jama provides me with an improved visibility into the students work, and also improves my ability to effectively collaborate with students outside the classroom, for both mentoring and evaluation purposes. For students, the tool reduces overhead in terms of structuring the information so they can focus on content creation and hence maximize learning.”
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