Software Engineering Showcase | Whakaaturanga Hanga Pūmanawa

Latest SE Showcase: SE Showcase 2020

About theSoftware Engineering Showcase

Students in SENG302 and SENG402 (the capstone project for the BE) are involved in a year-long software engineering project. SENG302 is done in teams while SENG402 can be done in teams or individually. All teams in SENG302 follow a similar backlog (i.e. the overall project is the same with a few differences between teams) while the SENG402 projects are all different. SENG402 projects might be done in conjunction with a business. At the end of the year, each individual/group gets a chance to present to the whole department. The SENG402 presentations will usually be about their projects and what they have learnt. SENG302 students do technical presentations and demos at their reviews every sprint, so the Software Engineering Showcase is more of a celebration of their year and what they have learnt. These presentations form part of the SENG302/SENG402 course requirements. Usually the SENG302 and SENG402 presentations occur on different days.

The Software Engineering Showcase is open to everyone including parents, friends, industry representatives, and the wider community. Everyone is invited to join us as we showcase the fruits of the hard work and effort that goes into each one of these projects.

The Software Engineering Research Project is a required course for all graduating software engineering students. The research project provides the opportunity for students to demonstrate their preparedness to work as professional software engineers on challenging projects. Students build on the skills learned through projects they have undertaken in earlier years of the programme where these projects offer a specific research-focused venue for students to explore advanced methods or late breaking results into new problems.

The department offers final year students the opportunity to engage with industry on company-sponsored projects. These company-based opportunities complement the range of projects offered each year by academics in the department. Each year, roughly 50% of the students are engaging with the industry where cutting edge research expertise can be applied to an industrial context.

Brief history

To understand the history of the Software Engineering Showcase, one needs to know a little bit about the history of the project course. The third year project course has been taught under various course codes using various methods over the years. However, a year-long project was taught at CSSE for a few decades. Historically, most of the focus in the course was on the end product; the intent was that focusing on the end result would build and test the technical performance of the team. The side effect of this, unfortunately was, that in reality, it meant that the quality of the product was much more important than the learning gained by the team. It promoted “hero culture”, where one or a few developers pulled the project through to completion by doing a heroic effort. In terms of presentations/demos, it meant that students had only one presentation close to the end of the year where the team presented their product to the class.

Over the years, the field of software engineering grew and more process-oriented frameworks and methods were being used in industry to develop software. As in other fields, experts (software engineers in the field and occupational psychologists) discovered the importance of qualitative (“soft”) skills in software development projects. Various studies into project management highlighted the significance of human factors in the failure or success of software projects. The project course changed to include these aspects. The course moved from more of an RUP process to spiral (with iterations) to XP. With each change, more of the process and team skills were brought into the project course.

Today, SENG302 students use the Scrum framework to develop software in their teams. The emphasis now is not on the technical skills (which are taught and assessed in other courses) but on the skills required to build “larger” pieces of software over a longer period within a team of developers in the context of an organisation with stakeholders. Students have to learn to communicate with people in various contexts (e.g. technical, business, and laypeople). They also need to understand the business’ strategy and help with prioritising and grooming the backlog. At every review (at the end of each sprint), teams do a technical presentation and demo their product to the rest of the class who actively provide feedback. Retrospectives at the end of each sprint enable students to reflect and make changes to continually improve. Apart from the usual software deliverables each sprint, students also have to do in-depth self-reflections and provide feedback for all the peers in their team. The emphasis is on learning. Students learn to embrace failure and use it as a stepping stone towards learning.

In 2006, Moffat Mathews with Neville Churcher and Warwick Irwin officially changed the final presentation to the Software Engineering Showcase. SE Showcase has had several changes over the years to reflect the purpose and goals of the presentations. The SE Showcase is now a public event, i.e. the teams need to communicate to a wide audience that contains lay and technical people. The SE Showcase is not a technical presentation (like at the reviews), neither is it a marketing presentation. At this presentation, the students present to the wider community (wider set of stakeholders), letting them know what they achieved in items they were tasked with over the year and what they learnt. Their achievements are not just the product, but their “personal portfolio” of skills required to work in a team. It is also a celebration of the fairly intense work and learning that each student goes through over the year.


23 September 2019

We are very excited to have our SE Showcase in the new Haere-roa UCSA building (90 Ilam Rd). The date for SE Showcase is Friday 11th October.

30 September 2018

This year we have 8 student teams working on the Organ Donation System. The projects have now been submitted and we are in the middle of end-of-year interviews. The date for SE Showcase is Friday 12th October. It will be held at The Foundry in the UCSA Events Centre.

29 September 2017

The student teams have been working very hard to complete their project course. The date and venue for SE Showcase 2017 has now been confirmed: Friday 13th October at Bentleys.

29 August 2016

The date and venue for SE Showcase 2016 has now been confirmed: Friday 7th October at Bentleys. Please put this into your calendar! We're also excited to announce that for the first time this year, SENG402 students will also be presenting at SE Showcase!

28 September 2015

The final projects have been submitted! We are onto the week of the demos where each team has a final demonstration with the assessment team highlighting their achievements and learning during the year. SE Showcase 2015! will be held Friday the 9th of October starting at 10:30am in Undercroft 101. See you there!

29 September 2014

The final projects have been submitted! We are onto the week of the demos where each team has a final demonstration with the assessment team highlighting their achievements and learning during the year. SE Showcase 2014 will be held next Wednesday 8th October starting at 3pm in Erskine 111. See you there!

30 July 2014

We're just over half way through the year. We have five very enthusiastic and hard-working teams working on projects this year. It is great watching them immerse themselves in this practical learning experience. So many ah-ha! moments already as they learn practical skills (not simply programming skills!) required to be a useful, efficient, and productive software engineer working within a team.

23 September 2013

The final projects have been submitted. The demo sessions (with the examiners) are now under way. We are now preparing for SE Showcase 2013!

SE Showcase 2013 will be held on Friday 4th October in Erskine Rm101, starting at 10am. Everyone is invited!

16 April 2013

An enthusiastic cohort of students are under way with their projects this year. We are looking forward to seeing the fruits of their efforts at SE Showcase 2013. Details will be put up closer to the event. Stay tuned!

31 August 2012

As we get closer to the end of the year, preparations are starting for SE Showcase 2012.

SE Showcase 2012 will be held on Friday 28th September 2012 in Erskine 031.
All are invited!

4 October 2011

Your special invite ... just for you

We are getting quite excited as we draw near to SE Showcase 2011. "Stress is in the air, everywhere I look around; stress is in the air, every sight and every sound ...." No, it isn't that bad, at least I don't think so. The students might disagree as they also have to submit their final projects as well (oh, and all their other assignments as well).

See you all on Friday!

21 September 2011

Thanks to Brent, we have sorted out the time/date and venue for the SE Showcase 2011. It will be held 9am - 12pm in LAW108 on Friday 7 October 2011. We are getting excited to see what the students are presenting, primarily as we are heading towards more of a marketing styled presentation. If you have an Android phone, bring it with you ... it will be an interactive session!

1 September 2011

After a very disrupted year (thanks to earthquakes!), we are happy to say that we have a great bunch of students who have managed very well under the circumstances (Agile methodologies tested to the extreme!) and are gearing up for their final sprints. We are currently planning the location and exact date/time for SE Showcase 2011 (having a lot fewer options for locations this year!) and we'll post this out as soon as the arrangements have been made. Please watch this space.

27 August 2010

We are pleased to announce that the date for SE Showcase 2010 has been confirmed for Friday October 8th, 10am-3pm (in Erskine Rm 031), with a one-hour lunch break from 12pm-1pm. We look forward to seeing you there!

03 March 2010

Another group of enthusiastic students has just started their year! We look forward to the project launch this Friday (5 March 2010). The dates for SE Showcase 2010 will be announced later in the year. Please stay posted.

14 October 2009

The end of year CSSE BBQ will be held at 4pm this Friday (16 October 2009) on the grass outside the main entrance to the Erskine building. The SE Showcase 2009 and Haiku awards will be presented then.

7 October 2009

We have been able to get Rm031 for SE Showcase 2009. Slight changes have been made to the schedule.

22 September 2009

The date for SE Showcase 2009 has been set for Friday 9 October 2009. There will be two sessions: 9-11am and 12-2pm, with a break in between. Both sessions will take place in Erskine Rm 101. Everyone is invited. All participants are invited to mingle over snacks during the break in the staff tea room. We look forward to seeing you all there!

2 March 2009

The academic year has not long started. The groups are in the early stages of forming. We're hoping to have this year's showcase (SE Showcase 2009) around mid October. More details will be posted here closer to that date.

Watch this space!

18 September 2008

The sessions for SE Showcase 2008 will be on:

  • Friday 10th October, 10am - 12pm in Erskine Rm.031 ... and
  • Wednesday 15th October, 9am - 11am in Erskine Rm.031.

"Awards" will be presented at the COSC BBQ, Thursday 16th October, 1pm at the Staff Club.