8 Finding and reading academic articles
The area of software development is fast-moving and as a software development professional you cannot rely only on prepared materials to perform your role, but must have strategies for finding materials that track the leading edge of your subject. Finding relevant material is not a trivial task. There are myriad sources, including academic and professional journals, conferences, technical reports, blogs, podcasts, newspaper and magazine articles – the list is almost endless. Once your information resources have been found, there’s still the investment of time needed to sift through the various resources, which will be of varying relevance, so as to extract the best information in the least amount of time. Then the task of understanding begins. Even once you’ve understood the information contained in a resource (or think you’ve understood it), much of this information’s value comes from relationships it will allow you to build between other resources. Recording and developing those relationships – building your own literature – is therefore also worthwhile.
In this last part of the course you will learn about a simple workflow for interacting with the published academic literature on software development so as to underpin your professional development and practice.