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Sutcliffe, Richard J., Kowarsch, Benjamin.  2016.  Closing the Barn Door: Re-Prioritizing Safety, Security, and Reliability. Proceedings of the 21st Western Canadian Conference on Computing Education. :1:1–1:15.

Past generations of software developers were well on the way to building a software engineering mindset/gestalt, preferring tools and techniques that concentrated on safety, security, reliability, and code re-usability. Computing education reflected these priorities and was, to a great extent organized around these themes, providing beginning software developers a basis for professional practice. In more recent times, economic and deadline pressures and the de-professionalism of practitioners have combined to drive a development agenda that retains little respect for quality considerations. As a result, we are now deep into a new and severe software crisis. Scarcely a day passes without news of either a debilitating data or website hack, or the failure of a mega-software project. Vendors, individual developers, and possibly educators can anticipate an equally destructive flood of malpractice litigation, for the argument that they systematically and recklessly ignored known best development practice of long standing is irrefutable. Yet we continue to instruct using methods and to employ development tools we know, or ought to know, are inherently insecure, unreliable, and unsafe, and that produce software of like ilk. The authors call for a renewed professional and educational focus on software quality, focusing on redesigned tools that enable and encourage known best practice, combined with reformed educational practices that emphasize writing human readable, safe, secure, and reliable software. Practitioners can only deploy sound management techniques, appropriate tool choice, and best practice development methodologies such as thorough planning and specification, scope management, factorization, modularity, safety, appropriate team and testing strategies, if those ideas and techniques are embedded in the curriculum from the beginning. The authors have instantiated their ideas in the form of their highly disciplined new version of Niklaus Wirth's 1980s Modula-2 programming notation under the working moniker Modula-2 R10. They are now working on an implementation that will be released under a liberal open source license in the hope that it will assist in reforming the CS curriculum around a best practices core so as to empower would-be professionals with the intellectual and practical mindset to begin resolving the software crisis. They acknowledge there is no single software engineering silver bullet, but assert that professional techniques can be inculcated throughout a student's four-year university tenure, and if implemented in the workplace, these can greatly reduce the likelihood of multiplied IT failures at the hands of our graduates. The authors maintain that professional excellence is a necessary mindset, a habit of self-discipline that must be intentionally embedded in all aspects of one's education, and subsequently drive all aspects of one's practice, including, but by no means limited to, the choice and use of programming tools.