Collaboration with software companies an important part of the education
One of the main ideas in the Bachelor's programme Software Engineering and Management is collaboration, and the students are introduced to a network of software companies already as first year's students.
Richard Berntsson Svensson, programme manager for the international bachelor’s programme Software Engineering and Management, describes collaboration as a natural part of the education.
Hi Richard – how do you work with collaboration in your programme?
– In general we have a very close collaboration with different companies in our bachelor's programme and the cooperation is there from start to finish. The students are introduced to a large network of companies in the software industry already in their first year. The companies then take part in several courses during the three years of the programme. They can for example give guest lectures, participate in projects in the education, or be supervisors during the students' degree projects.
A majority of the bachelor theses are carried out in collaboration with industry
– When it comes to degree projects, we have a large number of companies involved – the largest proportion of our degree projects are carried out in the industry. On the one hand, it may be the students themselves who arrange a theses collaboration by contacting the companies or responding to theses advertisements. The staff – as researchers – also have various projects in the companies where we often bring students to take part. Quite often students get ideas on thesis work when they meet people from the industry during our guest lectures and similar occasions. There are many possible contact areas.
Partner companies a new venture
– Last autumn we started something completely new, associating companies as "partner companies". This means closer cooperation and a more continuous commitment, where a company is following us throughout the academic year. As a pilot company we have Tibco Software, that participates in one course yearly during all three years of education. First year, Tibco takes part in a course in requirements management with two guest lectures and an assignment that is based on a case from Tibco. In the second year they participate in the course “Software Quality and Testing” by giving a guest lecture. Third year they are giving another guest lecture in the course “Startups and Software Product Management”. As a partner company, Tibco presented themselves on the first day of the education, when the students also got their own student license for Tibco's tools.
– The partner company idea will be evaluated after the first year. My goal as programme manager is to find three or four companies from different domains that would like to serve as partner companies for our education. Preferably I would like to also find some smaller companies to be able to broaden our network of software companies.
Hackatons: an appreciated and important part of the education
– Our hackatons are an important part of the education that the students greatly appreciate. We have our own hackathon "C&SE" with different themes every year, where the ideas and assignments derive from companies and organizations. In 2019, the clients were Ericsson AB, Västtrafik and Openhack – one of the largest hackathon organizations in Sweden. In 2019 we had Sustainable and Smart Cities and Coding for Humanity as the theme. And one of our teachers, Francisco Gomes, arranges hackatons together with various companies, where the hackathon AstaZero Challenge is an example, which was organized together with AstaZero and Inceptive.
2020 marked the start of closer collaboration with the association "DataTjej"
– Another collaboration that is important to us is what we have started together with the association DataTjej (TechGirl). Although we have a relatively large number of female students already, we would prefer to have an even larger proportion. Sometimes our female students have told us that they would like to have some kind of network with other women in the IT area. We therefore arranged a lunch seminar with the DataTjej where all students from the department's programmes were invited. The association also now have the opportunity to use our premise “Alfons” to organize various events in the evening. This way we can support them and it will be a win-win as they can now organize more events that our students can participate in. From this autumn and on DataTjej will be represented on the students' introduction day, so that the students will have some knowledge about them from day one of the education.
Interview: Catharina Jerkbrant, 2020