5.15 - Train - Software Training Plan

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1. Minimum Recommended Content

Minimum recommended content for the Software Training Plan. 

    1. Responsibilities.
    2. Implementation.
    3. Records and forms.
    4. Training resources.
    5. Minimum training requirements for software personnel.
    6. Training class availabilities.

It is anticipated that there will be one Software Training Plan per Center.

This plan should be maintained, which means updated and reissued as appropriate. 


2. Rationale

The requirement lists the minimum content needed for each Center Software Training Plan. The plan needs to communicate the roles and responsibilities to the appropriate personnel to assure needed training content is acquired and delivered in a timely manner. The collection in one place of available resources, class availabilities, and minimum training requirements makes the communication of this information more efficient. These elements of the plan will assure its usefulness to all who use it, not just to the author. Specifying content items also assures a degree of common software knowledge across Centers.

3. Guidance

Each Center typically plans for its training on an annual cycle. Training plan input requests often occur during and as a part of the annual budget cycle. The Center produces a plan that integrates software training needs for organizations and individual career development. On rare occasions, additional plans or plan supplements may be developed to address unique or new needs.

Software training planning often is performed as part of the overall Center training plan development cycle. Center "calls" may be used by Center Training Offices, Agency Offices, engineering organizations, and the Center's Software Engineering Process Group (SEPG) to elicit and develop specific plans for software training for in-house work and to assist in software acquisition activities. Typically, such "calls" result in requests for training and resources that exceed the available funding that will be dedicated to software training activities. The SEPG and the Center engineering organization(s) will collaborate to determine the priority and selection of training activities. These selections are based on known and anticipated software development activities needs, known shortfalls in resident expertise, and projections of future losses in expertise, e.g., retirements or reassignments.

Once the inputs have been obtained and analyzed, the Center responds to the "calls" and captures approved training in an organized manner according to the six topical sections discussed below. This arrangement will enable comparisons to previous and future plans. It will also enable the Office of the Chief Engineer (OCE) to compare and make selections from among all the Centers to assure the Agency perspectives on training needs are included in funding distribution decisions.

The Center training plan document usually includes the following sections:

  • Responsibilities. This section lists what each Center, organization, or committee/working group needs to accomplish to develop, maintain, and implement the training activities.
  • Implementation. This section presents the strategy and organization for acquiring the appropriate training needs, for scheduling classes, and for soliciting and approving participants. Course materials and course presenters may be discussed in specific or general terms.
  • Records and forms. This section describes the manner in which course material will be presented and preserved. It covers selection documentation and attendance documentation, e.g., sign-in sheets. It also covers forms for course and presenter surveys and evaluations.
  • Training resources. This section describes training venues, classroom support resource requirements, and handouts. It includes supplies, courses, Learning Center opportunities, university programs, and availability of on-the-job training. It may also provide expected funding resource information, if available.
  • Minimum training requirements for software personnel. This section describes minimum levels of training needed for specific roles or positions. It may reflect differences among levels for beginner-, journeyman-, and senior-level positions. Center tasks and projects will be the primary determinant of these requirements. Consideration for unique project or customer needs may be a part of the overall determination of minimum levels. The Headquarters OCE maintains a Software Engineering Excellence Training (SWEET) curriculum, and the Headquarters Office of Safety and Mission Assurance (SMA) maintains an SMA Technical Excellence Program (STEP) 294 containing software courses. These can be helpful in setting minimum Center training requirements for software personnel.
  • Training class availabilities. This refers to schedules posted on the web sites training curricula releases, restricted enrollment levels, email announcements, and information on availabilities at other Centers.

Additional guidance related to software training may be found in the following related requirements in this Handbook:


Project and Software Training


Software Training Funding


Center SW Training Plans

4. Small Projects

The responsibility for the software training plan resides with the Center and, therefore, does not apply at the project level.

5. Resources

5.1 References

5.2 Tools

Tools to aid in compliance with this SWE, if any, may be found in the Tools Library in the NASA Engineering Network (NEN). 

NASA users find this in the Tools Library in the Software Processes Across NASA (SPAN) site of the Software Engineering Community in NEN. 

The list is informational only and does not represent an “approved tool list”, nor does it represent an endorsement of any particular tool.  The purpose is to provide examples of tools being used across the Agency and to help projects and centers decide what tools to consider.

 6. Lessons Learned

6.1 NASA Lessons Learned

  • Lack of Education and Training in the Use and Processes of Independent Verification & Validation (IV&V) for Software Within NASA (2001). Lesson Number 1173 544: "While NASA has made major changes to emphasize the need to utilize IV&V on safety critical projects, the technology is not well understood by program managers and other relevant NASA personnel."

6.2 Other Lessons Learned

No other Lessons Learned have currently been identified for this requirement.

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