Experiences from a research and development project course in ICT
2011 (English)In: INTED2011: 5TH INTERNATIONAL TECHNOLOGY, EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE, 1755-1761 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In this paper I reflect on my experiences from involvement in numerous Research and Development (R&D) projects. While observing teams of students working on various challenges in projects, I discovered that a surprising number of students seemed more or less unaware of common methodologies, tools and practices used in modern software development - newer ones in general and about collaborative development and regarding open source software in particular. These observations have led to ideas for improvements in the course, such as teaching about and requiring the use of revision control systems and wikis. The science of project management is evolving, especially regarding software development. In my opinion, there is an untapped potential that may be released by putting increased effort in supporting students in learning about and applying modern project methodology, such as Agile methods. There are two roles in project management that stand in particular contrast to each other, the coach and the principal. While the principal is at times a quite nasty guy making "impossible" demands, the coach is the good guy the team can turn to for help in dealing with a difficult situation. There is also a third role that acts as a sort of mix between coach and principal, which could be called the domain expert. It is important that roles are well defined and understood by the teams. Senior students can assist the projects in various ways while gaining useful knowledge. However, it is important that they start training well before the projects, allowing coaches to study relevant project methodology well in advance of coaching the teams. Applying the suggestions in this paper gives many benefits, including improved project results, higher efficiency, fewer mistakes, and students learning valuable knowledge about useful modern tools and methodologies that will be immediately useful when graduating and starting to work in the project-driven industry.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. 1755-1761 p.
ICT, R&D, experiences, open source, software development, methodology, project management, roles, coaching, course
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-153471ISI: 000326447701108OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-153471DiVA: diva2:752663
5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference (INTED), MAR 07-09, 2011, Valencia, SPAIN