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Queen's Computing Students Building Software for Free

Can you think of how some custom-made computer software could make your professional life easier? Are you willing to interact with smart, energetic 4th-year Computing students, describe your software needs to them, and serve as a “client” till April next year? If so, then you might just get that software for FREE...

 The final year of the undergraduate program in Software Design in the School of Computing features a full-year 6 unit software project development course, CISC 498. Students are asked to put what they have learned into practice by designing and implementing a substantial piece of software from scratch. For this to work well, they need ideas for projects that address a real need and in which the software produced is actually going to be used (or at least serves as a prototype). Have an idea for a program that you'd use? Email a brief description of your idea to the course coordinator Mohammad Zulkernine (mzulker@cs.queensu.ca).



Your project should fall within the following parameters:

  • Size: CISC498 is a full-year course. Each project involves a group of 4-6 students.
  • Timing: Projects run from September to April; software would be delivered to you in mid-April.
  • Contents: To allow students to practice all their skills, your project should involve not only implementation, but also analysis and design. In other words, the required system should have somewhat interesting “requirements” (what the system is supposed to do) and require a somewhat interesting “architecture” (the high-level structure of the system). The point is that projects which consist solely of, for instance, software upgrades or installations, or web design, are not suitable, because they do not allow students to gather first-hand experience about the pitfalls and intricacies of collecting requirements and doing architectural design.



You do not have to be an expert in computers or software design. Your role basically is to act as the “customer,” that is, as somebody who needs something implemented, has a relatively good idea of what the software is supposed to do, but does not know/care about the details of the realization. However, you must be willing to:

  • Interact with the students with an appropriate frequency. Initially, these interactions typically would take the form of meetings. Later, it may be appropriate to replace some of these meetings with email correspondence.
  • Attend few project presentations during the year. The presentation schedule will be available in the beginning of the Fall term. However, if that turns out to be difficult for you, it might be possible to schedule alternative presentation time
  • Provide input to the CISC498 coordinator with respect to grading.


If you have a suitable project, please send Mohammad Zulkernine a short description by email (mzulker@cs.queensu.ca). Also, please feel free to ask if you have any questions.

More information is available on the course website: http://cs.queensu.ca/home/cisc498 

Expiry Date