Putting the magic in the machine since 1980.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Software Engineering Projects

I am often surprised at what a small group of our Senior Computer majors can accomplish in one semester, while taking four other classes, looking for a full time job and, in many cases, also working a part time job. But, they do some pretty amazing things in my CSCE 492 class.

The first group this semester decided to build an iphone app. None of them had any experience with the Mac, or objective-C, or the xcode IDE, nor did any one of them even own a Mac! Still, none of this matters much. They quickly came up to speed on objective-C (which has similarities to many of the languages they learned in other classes) and managed to build a game that is better than many of the games in the app store. I expect their skills will be much in demand. In fact, I know they are.

The second group built a Ruby on Rails applications that interfaced with the Amazon and the Facebook API's and used mysql, jQuery and had other javascript niceties. Only one of the students had experience with Ruby on Rails, and none had used web APIs before. It was another large learning and doing experience.

Still, aside from the technical knowledge they acquired, what they always tell me they learned most is how to work in a team and coordinate their time so as to get large projects like these done. That is not something that can be learned in a lecture.

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