Collaborating with industrial customers in a capstone project course: The customers' perspective

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Using capstone projects to teach software development in practice has become increasingly popular. To make the projects as realistic as possible, collaboration with industrial customers is preferable. However, we are lacking information on how this collaboration should take place in practice. Especially the customer's point of view on the collaboration is missing. In this paper, we first report how we have arranged the collaboration with the industrial customers in our yearly capstone project of around 120 students forming 7-9 person Scrum teams.Second, we performed 13 semi-structured interviews with the customer companies from the last instance of the course to collected their perspective. The main reasons for companies to participate in the course were: recruiting, getting the software developed and researching new technologies. A good project topic, according to our customer companies, has a clear vision, is suitably important for the customer company, is realistic with enough challenge, is motivating and illustrates the work at the company. Customers emphasized the importance of spending enough time with the teams and actively collaborating and communicating with them especially in the beginning, as the students might be too shy to ask enough questions. Typically, a customer representative used a few hours per week for the project and mostly collaborated with the team on the customer's premises.Overall, the companies were happy with the results: most accomplished their recruiting goals and all projects finished with a functioning product.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2019 IEEE/ACM 41st International Conference on Software Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationSoftware Engineering Education and Training, ICSE-SEET 2019
PublisherIEEE
Pages12-22
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781728110004
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering Education and Training - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 25 May 201931 May 2019
Conference number: 41

Publication series

NameProceedings - 2019 IEEE/ACM 41st International Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering Education and Training, ICSE-SEET 2019

Conference

ConferenceInternational Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering Education and Training
Abbreviated titleICSE-SEET
CountryCanada
CityMontreal
Period25/05/201931/05/2019

Keywords

  • Capstone course
  • Customer
  • Product Owner
  • Scrum
  • Software engineering education

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  • Cite this

    Paasivaara, M., Vanhanen, J., & Lassenius, C. (2019). Collaborating with industrial customers in a capstone project course: The customers' perspective. In Proceedings - 2019 IEEE/ACM 41st International Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering Education and Training, ICSE-SEET 2019 (pp. 12-22). [8802091] (Proceedings - 2019 IEEE/ACM 41st International Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering Education and Training, ICSE-SEET 2019). IEEE. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICSE-SEET.2019.00010