Hands-on software development can teach us more than any textbook. Working on real-world projects instills in-depth understanding of theory based on practice.
SOFTENG761, Agile and Lean Software Development, is an advanced software engineering course that invites local software industry representatives to partner with student teams to produce software prototypes. Using agile and lean software development practices, student teams collaborate closely with their ‘clients’ to understand their requirements and deliver increments of working software every work cycle or iteration.
When I launched it in 2013, I wasn’t sure how the local industry would react. Will they support such an endeavour? How will they learn to work with students? Will students be able to handle real-world scenarios? How will I reconcile academic metrics with project success criteria? These were some of the unknowns starting out.
Four years later, I may not have sorted all these concerns but a few fact stands out:
- There is no dearth of individuals and companies willing to invest time and effort in our software engineering students.
- Our students put in their very best into making the most of this opportunity to work on real projects.
- The pleasure and pride of seeing our students deliver to industry standards has been one of the most rewarding experiences for me as an academic.
So far 180 students have successfully delivered 26 software projects to industry partners such as Deloitte, Orion Health, Fiserv, GetSkills, Datacom, Assuirty, Comvita, Cantovation, MYOB and the National Institute of Health Innovations. Some of the projects are running on live customer environments while others have triggered further R&D projects with the Auckland District Health Boards.
I am proud of our students who continue to amaze us with their efforts in this course. I also thank our industry representatives who make this possible every year. Last but not the least, I am indebted to my Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Auckland for encouraging new and innovative teaching models.
Info for Industry: propose a project in 2017: https://goo.gl/forms/vqbW7OFL1dMhI1H43
Info for Students: SOFTENG761 runs in semester 2 each year and is open to final year Bachelor of Engineering and Masters of Engineering Studies students specializing in Software Engineering.
Feel free to contact me, Dr Rashina Hoda, for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org