Software Engineering Grads Lack the Skills Startups Need

Study shows university software engineering programs focus too much on the needs of large companies

4 min read
Headshot of Nitish Devadiga with his arms crossed in front of a bookcase.
IEEE Senior Member Nitish M. Devadiga, a principal engineer at startup Datarista, conducted the study.
Photo: Pooja Kumar

THE INSTITUTEToday’s software engineering programs teach students traditional skills tailored to large employers—subjects like software processes, software analysis, project management, and software management. But startups and next-gen technology companies expect a dynamic and in-depth understanding of the software ecosystem and its tools from new graduates. They want grads who can build scalable systems and program for large-scale, distributed, data-intensive systems that leverage cloud computing.

Unfortunately, the standard software engineering curriculum—even at top-tier schools—places little emphasis on these skills, according to IEEE Senior Member Nitish M. Devadiga.

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3D-Stacked CMOS Takes Moore’s Law to New Heights

When transistors can’t get any smaller, the only direction is up

10 min read
An image of stacked squares with yellow flat bars through them.
Emily Cooper
Green

Perhaps the most far-reaching technological achievement over the last 50 years has been the steady march toward ever smaller transistors, fitting them more tightly together, and reducing their power consumption. And yet, ever since the two of us started our careers at Intel more than 20 years ago, we’ve been hearing the alarms that the descent into the infinitesimal was about to end. Yet year after year, brilliant new innovations continue to propel the semiconductor industry further.

Along this journey, we engineers had to change the transistor’s architecture as we continued to scale down area and power consumption while boosting performance. The “planar” transistor designs that took us through the last half of the 20th century gave way to 3D fin-shaped devices by the first half of the 2010s. Now, these too have an end date in sight, with a new gate-all-around (GAA) structure rolling into production soon. But we have to look even further ahead because our ability to scale down even this new transistor architecture, which we call RibbonFET, has its limits.

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