Categorizing Projects for Software Engineering Capstone Courses


  • Attiqa Rehman NTNU, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Monica Divitini NTNU, Norwegian University of Science and Technology


Capstone Project, Software Engineering, Customer, Classification, Competencies, Trends, Challenges


Courses centered around a capstone project are common in Computer Science (CS) and Software Engineering (SE) programs. They are normally offered towards the end of the study program and give students the possibility to work on realistic and engaging projects, at the same time giving them hands-on experience of working with external actors, hereafter customers. In this paper we investigate the type of projects that are proposed by external customers. The study is based on a specific course at our university, where capstone projects are proposed by external customers from industry, start-ups, non-governmental organizations, and research organizations. In the scope of this work, we analyzed the 134 project proposals that were submit-ted for our course over the last five years, 2018-2022.
The research question that we are addressing is: Which type of projects are proposed by external customers? To answer this question, we categorize the submitted project proposals into nine categories: compulsory or volunteer system, product driven or goal oriented, new product or enhancement, gen-eral audience or specific target group, information system or embedded sys-tem, sustainability aspects, type of license and competency-based classifica-tion. By classifying the proposals, we identify trends that might be used as a starting point to reflect on course and program organization. Based on our study, we suggest classifying projects from external customers as an important strategic tool for helping teachers to reflect on their work.


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