Bridging The Gap Between Theory And Real Life
Wouldn't it be good to have a reality check for what is being taught at Schools? Yes, for sure. But it wouldn't happen if Academia doesn't respect people who really work and come back to teach.
If my opinion counted, I'd argue that any academic department worthy of note should include a group of faculty with a long experience of the day-to-day of industrial software development. They would be valued on how they had reflected on this experience and drew from the lessons to inform their teaching and research. I'd like to see a regular rotation of people from the academic to the industrial world, where it's common to see people spend several years in industry, then academia, then industry again, and so on. This problem isn't only in software.
A friend of mine had the chief engineer role in one of the most challenging engineering projects in the world. He fancied a stint in academia, but was only able to get a second-class position reserved for people who weren't considered to be real academics, certainly not something that was tenured or would lead to tenure. I find it hard to believe that students wouldn't gain an enormous amount from being taught by people with a long and thoughtful experience in the profession they are entering.
I always believed that 'it doesn't matter how much you know, but how much you can apply' in real life. And unfortunately, many a times, what is being taught in school is too far away from real life (already outdated or doesn't reflect what is relevant). So, it would be worthwhile for Professors and Teachers to go to the real world and take feedback from real life experiences into their teachings.