Do you need some software developing?

The Department of Computer Science is looking for project proposals for its long-standing Software Hut module, in which teams of four to five undergraduates will work during the second semester to develop software systems to meet clients' requirements.

Specifically, three or four teams, occasionally only two, work on each project, competing with each other to build a system which best meets the client's requirements.

So, if you need some software to be developed which might be appropriate for this module, and you would be willing to act as client for it, then they would like to hear from you.

What they mean by appropriate is any software system that uses a set of web pages to allow data (almost any sort of data) to be input, stored and then processed in some form.

Just building a plain website would not be appropriate, as it would be rather too simple a task. On the other hand, if the processing of the data involved using a lot of code that already exists, or interacting with specialised bits of equipment, then it might be too complicated. If you are not sure, you are welcome to contact to enquire - the team have a lot of experience of assessing whether or not project proposals are likely to be suitable.

The other constraint is that the software system should not be mission critical. While the feature of teams competing with each other means that they have a very good track record of success in these projects, realistically you should take this as an opportunity to develop a (highly functional) prototype for your system. It is possible that you will receive a product that appears to fully meet your requirements, but they cannot make any guarantees in this respect. Particularly if your product includes security and/or data confidentiality concerns, you would need to ensure that further testing and evaluation was undertaken to ensure compliance.

If you would like to find out more about how these projects run, or whether a possible idea for a project might be suitable, please contact module leader Dr Emma Norling at e.j.norling@sheffield.ac.uk.

Please note, they will try to respond to all proposals, but if they receive lots will have to prioritise the ones that look most likely to be usable.

Projects are certainly not limited to internal ones. They have a long track record of running projects successfully with external organisations, and particularly charities and other not-for-profit organisations. So, if you have contacts with any such organisations who you think might be interested, you are welcome to pass this message on to them.