James D. Herbsleb

James D. Herbsleb

Professor, Institute for Software Research
School of Computer Science
Carnegie Mellon University

COS Practicum 2010 Resources

Herbsleb, J. D., Muller-Birn, C., & Towne, W. B. (2010). The VistA Ecosystem: Current Status and Future Directions (No. CMU‐ISR‐10‐124). Pittsburgh,PA: Carnegie Mellon University.

U.S. Senate Committee on Veteran's Affairs Oversight Hearing:
    -- VA's IT Program: Looking Ahead, Oct. 6, 2010
    -- (begins around 24:00)

Industry Advisory Council Working Group report and links

Project:
You will prepare and deliver testimony to the Senate Committee.  Each student will take one of the following 4 positions on VA and open souirce:

1. OSS is best for national health care.  VA should change its policies to support a vibrant VistA open source community because this would be the best thing for improving national health care. 

2. OSS is best for VA.  VA should change its policies to support a vibrant VistA open source community because this would be the best policy to promote high qualtiy information technology for VA.

3. Commercial software is best for VA.  VA should change its policies to move toward acquiring all of its information technology from commercial IT firms, and should spend no resources to promote or deter an open source VistA community.

4. In-house software development is best for VA.  VA should change its policies to enhance its internal software devleopment capability, buidling the software it needs, and should spend no resources to promote or deter an open source VistA community.

Deliverables:


1. Due in 11/10.  Each student will prepare first drafts of two short esssays (1-2 pages total). 

Essay 1 will be an analysis of the interests affected by your position.  Which specific classes of people, groups, and firms will be gain or lose from your position?  This should allow you to identify you key constituents and key adversaries.  What elements of your potential policy will each affected group care about most?  While we will discuss these in class, and your fellow classmates will see them, it will be up to you how much of this you reveal "publicly."  In other words, your public positions can offer different motivations rather than just advancing the interests of your constuents. 

Essay 2 will be your official policy recommendations to the Senate Committee, with reasons.   These will be the arguments you reveal and may be called on to defend in the hearing.

Both of these essays will be placed in an electronic forum.

2. Due  11/12 5PM.  Each student will comment on the public positions of each other student, using the online system we set up.

3. Due 11/16 2PM.  Final essays (3 page max, total) due, posted in online. 

4. Class 11/17.  Hearing will be held.  Each student will have 15 minutes to present a position, followed by questions from the floor. 

James D. Herbsleb's bio page, ISR, SIC, SCS, CMU

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