As goes a philosophical dictum first argued by Parmenides: “De nihilo nihil” (from nothing nothing is produced). Even though 12 of July 2017 is considered to be the HITs birthday, the school did not come out of the blue. To tell its complete story one should start from 2006, when the Department of Software Engineering was set at the Faculty of Informatics of TSU. If you search well enough, then probably somewhere in the university's archives you can find a rationale for opening a department of engineering at a classical university, even if it was for software engineering only. What was more important, the team of the department was initially aimed at high-quality professional training of its graduates in close cooperation with IT companies.
The fact that most of the department's staff had already combined their professional activities with the development of real software projects made it possible to form very quickly a certain set of techniques, which became our trademark. A thesis in a form of a project, a special workshop, which was more difficult to pass than to defend your thesis against the State Examination Board, all that formed the image of the Department of Software Engineering demanding to comply with the highest standards for its students. At that time, the students came up with an informal motto for the department: "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here." (Italian: "Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch'entrate"). The gloominess of the motto was compensated for by its interpretation: either you become a graduate of the department (and stay in the domain of software engineering), or you leave it for good. Naturally, such thorough work pays off and our department helped with about half of the thesis works that were defended at the Faculty of Informatics. All our students are dear to us, that is why we made the "Alumni" section on the HITs website. We remember them and hold affection for every one of them.
Back then it seemed that we had built an ideal system for software engineers training, and this will continue for ages, but as time went on, our approach began to falter. Suddenly, we began to understand that our projects did not let our students show their qualities as full-fledged software engineers. The thing we were proud to say, "We can choose any students of the department and participate with them in a project of any complexity as a team " became far from reality. The time when we figured out this problem coincided with the beginning of TSU's participation in the “5-100” project. At this point, the university begins to actively cooperate with the team of the SKOLKOVO Moscow School of Management led by Andrey E. Volkov. By means of several tream brainstorming sessions, workshops with academic professionals, the University transformation projects were developed.
As a result of all those heated discussions, in 2015 a team was formed and began to work actively on a project for transforming what we then believed to be the Faculty of Computer Science. Certain pointed questions were raised, such as, the training and educational model quality, the state of research in the field of computer science, relations with IT companies, personnel policy, etc. On June 15, 2017, during the strategic session, a new model of software engineering training was successfully presented and defended. (This somewhat legendary presentation you can watch following this link). About a month later, on July 12, 2017, an order was issued to launch two pilot academic programmes (or rather one programme, but in two languages - Russian and English) based on this model. On September 1, 2017, the first students of HITs (though not yet HITs) put on the first green T-shirts. Thus, the Higher IT School (HITs) of TSU was born.
September 1, 2017. The first cohort of freshman in Higher IT School.
Presentations about School:
*When designing the page, epigraphs from Robert Asprin's Myth Adventures series were used.