Should end user computing be in the computing curriculum?
Increasingly end users in organisations are having to become more responsible for their own computing. Many of their applications are developed using standard business packages, especially spreadsheets and database managers, rather than being produced as customised software by the company's IS team. While most university computing courses still devote considerable resources to teaching aspects of software development in the traditional style (analysis, design, programming, software engineering, HCI), few teach these same concepts in the context of application software, apart from the universal "introductory computing" paper. For the last six years Lincoln University has offered advanced papers in end user computing. A recent survey was undertaken to assess the usefulness of these papers for graduates in the workforce and to obtain suggestions for the way the curriculum should evolve. The survey revealed that our graduates consider these university subjects to have been among the most beneficial for coping with the workplace. Surprisingly, this perception was true both for graduates who classed themselves as "computer professionals" and also for those who used computers in another career.... [Show full abstract]