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Jeremy Frens - Atomic Object


Atomic Object, a software development company

Spring 2006

Grand Rapids, MI

My research interests are in Programming Languages (PL), the study of how best to express computer programs, and in Software Engineering (SE), the practice of building software solutions. In particular, I am interested in an intersection of PL and SE: agile software development. I am interested in agile software development in 3 ways:

- in terms of its theoretical foundations,

- as a practical way to write software, and

- as an instructional technique.

The last interest has resulted in some great research possibilities for me. However, my experience with agile software development has been mainly theoretical and self-taught. My externship at Atomic Object is providing a practical view of agile software development as learned from actual practitioners. This is strengthening my theoretical research and teaching.

The externship is also strengthening me as an advisor, since I am now better able to relate to students who would like to go directly into the business world rather than graduate school.


Benefits to the College
Agile software development is playing a larger and larger role in Computer Science today, and few of the professors in the Computer Science Department have training in this area. It is important for some of us to have knowledge and experience in this area. Another benefit is establishing a relationship with a local company that has employed Calvin graduates, both as interns and full-time employees. Finally, agile software may hold pedagogical answers that will make our department stronger as we take advantage of this opportunity.


This opportunity has been beneficial to me professionally, to Calvin College, and to Atomic Object, and I thank the Spoelhofs for making it possible.