Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Carnegie Mellon West

I get a surprising number of questions about my school. So I thought I would share a little information with you.
I'm getting a Masters of Science in Information Technology from Carnegie Mellon University (West Coast Campus) in a program called "Software Development Management." The way I like to explain it is like this: Its everything about developing software except writing the actual code.
The school itself is a "startup" school in two senses of the word:
  1. It hasn't been open for long.
  2. Its nestled in among all the Silicon Valley technology startups
It has several well-known establishments backing it though:
  1. It is Carnegie Mellon University. One of the best computer science (and technology in general) school in the world.
  2. Companies like Lockheed-Martin and Boeing help develop the curriculum.
Just like any school, its had its ups and its downs... but overall, it has been a very worth-while experience (of course, I can only say this because I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel).

The school is based in Moutainview California, and I live in Seattle. How has that worked out? Well, all of the classes are over the phone with LiveMeeting sessions. All of the classes are team-based, and as a team we're given a project and told to go do it. The professors (or "coaches") help us along the way... but we really "learn by doing." I, initially, was really skeptical of this method of school, but it has turned out to be very effective.

News Articles about Carnegie Mellon West

And... if you do have any questions, feel free to email me (or leave a comment here)


Anonymous said...

Looks cool... good thing you're taking advantage of the free education. Are there (m)any non-CS undergads in your classes?

Adam Phillabaum said...

Seems like everyone that I've taken classes with have been developers at some point in their careers. I don't know whether or not they got the CS degrees though. On my original team, we had a girl (Nikki will always be a girl to me, regardless of age) who had a degree in Informatics from the Information School at University of Washington.

I definitely don't think a CS degree is required.

Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley said...

Hi Adam,

Its so cool that you're blogging about our school! Glad you're enjoying the program so much. Just thought I'd answer the question regarding CS degrees - you're absolutely right, no CS undergrad is required to be in the program at CMU West. In fact, many of our students don't have a CS undergrad - they either studied it on their own or learned it on the job.

If anyone has any other questions about the program, feel free to contact me directly at sylvia.leong@west.cmu.edu or 650-335-2808. We're still accepting applications for this Fall 2007 enrollment. Go to http://west.cmu.edu to apply!

Sylvia Leong
Director of Admissions
Carnegie Mellon West

mmandg said...

This is indicative of a trend. I'm with Artifact Software and we've been trying to get the market to embrace a new product category called "Software Development Management." We've even released a free product called Lighthouse designed just to address the kinds of problems your class seems to be focusing on. Anyway, just thought I'd mention it. Check out www.artifactsoftware.com, or our blog http://whysdm.blogspot.com/ (SDM - Software Development Management). Lots of info there about this emerging space.


Joris said...

Thanks for the info Adam -- (I asked about the non-CS stuff).


lifestudent said...

Adam -
I have a Boeing question for you :) I am a PhD student working on a project and wanted to use Boeing as an example - through googling I came upon you!

Basically, I am looking for case studies / books / etc that talks about how Boeing innovates - specifically how they use teams to innovate. (i.e. who is involved, how teams are organized, tools used in communication, etc). Some companies love to talk about that stuff and so their employees know all the references...others don't. But I figured an employee knows a lot more that I can find out in random google searches no matter what!