Software Engineering Capstone Project Course: Rules for Projects
1. Group size
Students will work in groups of between 2 and 6.
2. Kinds of projects that are acceptable
All the projects must involve serious software engineering work. You must do requirements analysis, design, implementation, testing and deployment. However the details will depend heavily on the project. A project could be a prototype of a more complex system, or a final version of a simpler system. It could also be an enhancement to an existing system. The waterfall model is not acceptable; an iterative approach should be used, and agile methods are highly recommended. All aspects of quality will be important, including maintainability, usability and reliability. You will also have to use project management skills to estimate costs, plan schedules, make sure you don't try to do too much etc.
Each project has to have at least one defined customer -- the person who has the problem you are solving. This could be a professor, somebody from a company, or the 'open market'. In the latter case, you have to do a market analysis and actually find some people who will review requirements and prototypes and beta-test your product (these people should not be students in SITE). You will spend a lot of time interacting with your customer(s); they will be asked to read your final report, act as beta testers and complete two questionnaires that will be used to help determine your final mark. The professor in charge of the course will give you some suggested projects in the first class.
4. Type of software
5. Team structure
The SEG project coordinator will act as if he were the CEO of a small company, where each team is a unit of that company. The co-coordinator will veto things of which he or she disapproves, and also give students general advice, etc. One member of each team will normally be elected 'project manager'. This does not mean that that person can order the others around, just that he has the prime responsibility for project management. Others on the team may take other specialized responsibilities such as 'chief programmer', 'user interface expert', 'documentation manager/technical writer/configuration manager', 'quality assurance manager', or 'requirements manager'. Part of your final report will be a section describing the work each person performed.
6. How will projects be found?
This can occur in several ways. Firstly, if any group of students has a project in mind, they can suggest it to the co-ordinator. Secondly, the coordinator will approach industry and faculty members to see if they have any ideas. The co-ordinator will accept projects that relate to a student's existing employer, provided: a) All team members work for the same employer, b) the SEG project coordinator retains the ability to direct your work, with your employer being considered the customer, c) you can stick to the same schedule as other students, and d) the employer declares in writing that the students will be able to manage their own project according to these rules, and that the project can continue even if the employer changes plans regarding for what it is willing to pay financial compensation.
7. Financial compensation and intellectual property
Unless the students and customer have an agreement (explicit or implicit) to the contrary, SEG project students retain the intellectual property rights to their project (but only those aspects of the project they actually worked on). They may therefore sell it or derivatives of it for profit. Students have a responsibility to let their customers know this, and give the customers the opportunity to negotiate some alternative arrangement. Students may, for example, receive financial compensation for their project work; if they receive such compensation then the customer will normally retain the intellectual property rights. Any intellectual property arrangements must be disclosed to the SEG project supervisor. In all cases, the SEG project supervisor must be granted rights to read and run results of the project.
Note: SEG490 and SEG4911 are held concurrently. SEG4910 is the start of the project and SEG4911 is the conclusion. All students in both SEG4910 and SEG4911 attend all student presentations for both courses. The professor in charge of each course will post the schedule of meetings. Some meetings will be organizational in nature (for either SEG4910 or for SEG4911. Others will be presentations, where both groups attend.
SEG4910 (Sept-Dec for regular students; Jan-April for co-op students)
SEG4911 (Jan-April for regular students; Sept-Dec for co-op students
9. On peut faire le projet en fran¨ais.
Each person to put in about 3-4 person-weeks of work (full-time equivalent) for each of the two semesters of the project. This is the normal workload for a 1 semester 3-credit course.
Your grade will be determined as follows.
The following items will be judged by the coordinator, based on the six deliverables (three each semester).
Please note that the above grading scheme provides 100% for the project. A mark will be assigned to each of the two courses based on half of the project grading, that is, the grade for SEG4910 will be based on the first half of project grade, while the grade for SEG4911 will be based on the second half of the project grade.
In order to officially start work on your project, the SEG project coordinator must accept a written proposal. This should be reasonably detailed and must be accepted by the project start date. You should submit it as soon as possible, preferably by Sept 8 for non-co-op and Jan 8 for co-op students. This gives time for feedback and resubmission before the final Sept 23 (or Jan 20) deadline. The proposal must include:
You will be permitted to make changes to the above as you develop the project, although the original proposal, and any changes, is subject to approval by the coordinator.
13. Delivery dates
You will be expected to deliver to the coordinator six reports, spaced about a month apart. Co-op students will have a 5-month gap between the third and fourth report. You will not be reminded to deliver the reports, you will simply be penalized on the project management component of your mark if you do not deliver reports on a regular monthly basis. Each report should, as a minimum contain:
14. Meetings with customers
Groups should meet with their customers on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, and more often when requirements are being gathered and prototypes are being evaluated. If the customer is at a distant location, then email communication is acceptable, as long as there are monthly telephone communications and at least two physical visits.
15. Scheduled meetings with the SEG project coordinator(s)
These will be held on a regular basis and will be compulsory for all students as indicated in the tables below. The following will be the general schedule for the meetings. Students from both streams are encouraged to attend all meetings. Each meeting will fit into a 1.5 hour pre-assigned time slot.
The specific dates for the present or coming semester will be as follows. This is subject to change, so attend class and check your emails for details
16. Presentation I
You will have 30 minutes to present to the class: a) An overview of your project's problem and requirements; b) Your project plan; c) Your plan and approach for addressing quality assurance in your project; d) Any design you have created so far; e) traceability of your requirements to the design and architecture of the system; and f) the test plan, testing strategies and process, and test tools that will be used to verify the requirements and validate the design. Allow for up to 5 minutes of questions during your presentation.
17. Presentation II
You will have 30 minutes in which you should highlight the main difficulties you encountered, and how you overcame them. The objective will be to help the other class members learn something from your experiences. You will be expected to define the progress and quality of what you have developed in terms of a Quality Assurance Report (that is done for each milestone in second semester). Allow for up to 5 minutes of questions during your presentation.
18. Presentations in general:
Consider the following to help improve your presentations:
19. Individual Group Meetings
Groups may also meet with the coordinator individually on an ad-hoc basis. Generally speaking, it is expected that groups will schedule such a meeting at least once a month in addition to regularly scheduled meetings when good progress is being made, and that they will schedule even more meetings, as needed, if problems arise. Please try to give 5 days notice of a desired meeting, but if problems occur the coordinator should be contacted immediately by email, if not in person. If the coordinator is not satisfied with any report, then he or she may request a meeting.
Last update to this page: Monday, 20-Dec-2010 09:36:13 EST