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ETHistory 1855-2005 | Living memory | Departements | D-INFK | Impediments and Challenges | D-INFK | Software School of Switzerland | 
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Software School of Switzerland

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By the end of the 1970s, business circles demanded - for the universities in an unexpected extent - "computer specialists: data processing specialists, system analysts, programmers, software engineers, whatever the name of the profession may now be."

Incited by this call, a panel discussion was organised on October 30, 1978, at the ETH with representatives of the ETH as well as the economy, for which the companies FIDES, Hasler (today Ascom) and BBC (today ABB) were invited. Soon a point of agreement was found in the sense that in Switzerland "an occupational image of the «computer scientists» did not exist". The discussion following made clear, though, that the requirements and intentions of a future curriculum in computer science were very disparate, even among the representatives of the industry themselves.

The only point one could agree on for the short term was "the need to develop auickly applicable measures to ease the present lack of knowledge in the field of software development among employed engineers. [...] For the long term the problem has to be solved at the university, on the one hand by establishing new graduate courses for computer scientists, on the other hand to offer a systematic education in the basics of computer science to engineers of all branches of study."

(RZ-Bulletin 33/1978, 7.)

The Software School of Switzerland was one of these short term measures which was already established a short time after this event, in Augsut of 1979. Finances for this school were provided by a special promotion program of the federal government under the supervision of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs. The new course for software system engineer took seven months and appealed to graduates of technical colleges. The syllabus was defined by the college and the industry together. The course, which was offered two times a year, was well received, with many participants being sent by their employees.

With the support of the universities another school was set up in 1982, the Information Management School of Switzerland.

The Software School of Switzerland still exists today as a part of the technical college of Berne, which it became after the initial funding by the federal government ended in 1983.

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© 2005 ETH Zurich | May 27, 2005 | !!! This document is stored in the ETH Web archive and is no longer maintained !!!