Connecting industrial partners with student talent.

More information

Potential partners please contact:-
Dr. Daniel Schien, Lecturer

Tel: +44 (0)117 3315105
Department of Computer Science
University of Bristol 
Merchant Venturers Building
Woodland Road
Bristol BS8 1UB

SPE: Software Product Engineering

Summary

We are currently looking for project proposals to our software engineering unit. You could have a group of our talented students design and build a software system for you.

Within this unit a team of students develop their software engineering skills in a simulated software consultancy role for a real world client.

This is fantastic opportunity to get involved with the Department of Computer Science. We welcome your project ideas from individuals and organisations, from the public and the private sector, in and outside the IT sector. Read on to find out if your project is suitable.

The Projects

Within the second-year of our Bachelor and Master programs in the Department of Computer Science our students are working as a group on a problem for a real-world client. Within this project the students develop a solution to a problem or an opportunity that the client presents.

There are lots of reasons to get involved in SPE.

You can make your organisation known as a potential future employer and you can establish a relationship with some of our students, for example, to advertise internship positions.

It is also an opportunity for someone in your organisation to develop mentoring skills or experience as a product owner.

You might use the project to create engagement in your organisation on a new topic or technology. The project is great for trying out new ideas and explore technologies.

Plus, of course, you can support our students in their learning.

There is also the possibility that the system the students build is itself of value. While we have very talented students, it's important to set appropriate exceptions. The purpose of the unit is to enable student learning. Many features and aspects of the implementation will remain prototypical.

There is no direct financial cost. The main investment from the client side is to meet (online is possible) with the students every couple of weeks to feed back on their progress. 

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The Groups

Each group contains five to six students and works on their project during 22 weeks of study from beginning of October until around April of the next year. On average each student works about 6 hours per week on the project.

Once a group has been allocated to the project, the team meets their client and begins by understanding the motivation and solution space. The requirements gathering stage is part of the project itself.

Suitable Projects

These are software engineering projects and thus must always involve the construction of a software solution. While the software is the ultimate output of the project, in the process leading up to it the students will also investigate different designs to the solution. These designs form another type of project output.

Projects should be incremental in scope. Meaning that at the core is a minimum functionality that all student groups will be able to implement. Depending on progress, the team will increase the scope over time.

As these are second year students it is important to allow for a spectrum of abilities. The best approach would be to have an exciting vision but to break it down into incrementally scoped packages that the students can work on in an agile fashion.

Projects should not include a significant degree in investigative system modelling or any research. For example, any data science, machine learning or computer vision aspects need to be very minimal and be straightforward to implement with high level APIs.

This year, all backend systems will have to be implemented in Java and mobile applications will be Android only.

Among the type of projects that work well are web applications to support a specific task. However, many other types of systems will be suitable as well.

Responsibilities and Involvement

The work is completely free. We do expect, however, that the client meets regular (every few of weeks) with the students to feed back on their progress. These meetings can be online.

The students will be applying an agile development method. This involves that they meet with their client in regular intervals to present their progress and discuss next steps. The purpose of these meetings is to steer the projects towards more relevant outcomes.

The length of these intervals depends on the progress of the groups but should be within 2 to 3 weeks.

The duration of these meetings depends on the progress but presumable an hour should be sufficient.

Besides these meetings with the students, the teaching staff we will be in contact from time to time to get feedback on the relationship with the students.

If you get involved, in the future we would like to be able to mention you as a project partner on the web. By default, the project brief you submit would not be publicly shared. Speak to us with any specific concerns.

Project Timeline

The Proposal Brief

To propose a project, submit a brief via the webform below. The brief should be directed at the students. At the start of the semester, the students will chose their projects based on the briefs. If you choose, you can include your contact details in the brief so that students can contact in the first week of the semester (w/c 26th of September) before they make their choice.

These are the recommended elements of the brief

  • Client Description - Please describe yourself.
  • Motivation - What is the opportunity/problem?
  • Solution - What do you think the solution might look like? Just set a frame that allows for a variety of solutions. Part of the project is to find the best among several alternative solutions.
  • Constraints - Are there any constraints that the students should be aware of?
  • IP - Per default the solutions will be open sourced and the students maintain the IP. Get in touch now if you have specific requirements.

Please, try to stay within 2 pages of A4.

Submission

This year submission takes place via Google Forms.

After you submitted the form, on the acknowledgement page, please copy the URL of the link titled "Edit your response". You can use this link to edit your brief at a later time.

Submit Application via Google Forms

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