Minnesota State U Tech Students To Use Alpha Software To Build Databases

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Technology of Minnesota State University, Mankato has selected Alpha Software's Alpha Five Platinum as the standard programming tool for its engineering curriculum. Engineering students are now using Alpha Five to develop databases that support hardware design, system integration, project management, budget management, verification plans and reports, and engineering tools.

"The software development skills our students are learning with Alpha Five will be crucial to their future success as engineers," said Bill Hudson, chair of the electrical and computer engineering and technology department "We looked long and hard at several popular programming platforms, such as .NET, Java, PHP, and so on. But the learning curves were steep, and would have required an excessive amount of time teaching programming instead of engineering. With Alpha Five's agile development approach, our students need very little time to become productive. They can quickly focus on solving their specific problems with software solutions they can rapidly create."

The Department's curriculum balances theory and application to keep students and faculty up to date on industry trends and toolsets. This philosophy was one of the principal reasons the department standardized on Alpha Five.

"We have to prepare students for how software will be developed in the future, not how it was developed 10 or 20 or 30 years ago," Hudson said. "Alpha Five's contemporary methodology encourages agile development practices that get ideas into action quickly, and makes it easier to evolve applications as engineering requirements evolve. That's a competitive edge they'll be able to take advantage of for years to come."

Alpha Five Platinum is a development tool that allows users to visually build AJAX Web applications and integrate SQL databases through drag and drop.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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