Collaborating with Industrial Customers in a Capstone Project Course: The Customers’ Perspective
Using capstone projects to teach software development in practice has become increasingly popular. To make the projects as realistic as possible, collaboration with industrial customers is preferable. However, we are lacking information on how this collaboration should take place in practice, and especially the customer’s point of view on the collaboration is missing. In this paper we first report how we have arranged the collaboration with the industrial customers in our yearly capstone project of around 130 students forming 7-9 person Scrum teams.
Second, we performed 13 semi-structure interviews with the customer companies from the last instance of the course to collected their perspective.
The main reasons for companies to participate in the course were: recruiting, getting the software developed and researching new technologies. A good project topic, according to our customer companies, has a clear vision, is suitably important for the company, is realistic with enough challenge, is motivating and illustrates the work at the company.