On Wednesday 21st of August, students, staff and external customers had gathered for the 40th startup of the TDT4290 - Customer Driven Project. The course was kick started with an inspirational talk from Head of department, Letizia Jaccheri, followed by a talk from one of project's pioneers - Professor Reidar Conradi.
The project course that became the Customer Driven Project was first initiated in 1973. In the first iteration there were no external customer. Professor Arne Sølvberg was both a supervisor and "customer", offering three project assignments to the students.
In the beginning the course focused on teaching the students how to make software requirement specifications for the development of information systems. In the years to follow they separated the supervisor and customer roles and expanded the "customer list" to include external firms. The focus was also expanded to all types of computer science projects, not just focusing on information systems.
This year a total of 55 project assignments were submitted to the project staff. After a careful evaluation, 18 projects were selected for this year's course.
There are many prominent firms among the customers this year; The Directorate of Health - Department of the Health Portal, Software Innovation, Acando AS, Adresseavisen AS, Gridmedia Technologies AS, Fundator AS and The Norwegian Coastal Administration, Helgelandskraft, SINTEF / SIMLINK, and the Police's Data and Material Service, to name a few.
Project based learning has become popular since the early days in 1973. Today there are several project courses for our ICT students; Realstart, Teknostart, Experts in Teamwork, "Fellesprosjektet", the Informatics project I and II, and the Computer Design project, but the Custormer Driven project has been the forerunner for all of these.
The practical project courses give a glimpse into the real world that they students will face after their education, and it teaches the students the know-how of teamwork.