The 2014 AMOS Projects are off to a Good Start!

We formed the student teams, met the industry partners, and set up shop. This semester, we are looking forward to a Sailing Race Course Designer app (SAP), a Hospital Wound Management app on multiple mobile devices (Develop Group), a Key Figures Management Dashboard service (Solyp), the Green Energy Cockpit for the manufacturing industry (collaboration with FAPS), and a novel Document Management System (OSRG).

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NYT Research Report: Enough Technical Debt Already?! (In German)

For the last Winter Semester, a large German software vendor had posed the following question to us:

Please help us determine whether we have accumulated too much technical debt (and should invested now in quality improvement) or whether we can keep focusing on developing new functionality first.

To answer this question, the software vendor supplied us with relevant project management data. Under the guidance of Prof. Riehle, the student team consisting of Informatik Master students Marvin Kampf and Florian Wittmann got to work. The result is now available as a presentation (in German) and (separately) a final full report supplied to the industry partner. You may be surprised by the results!

This work is an example of a student research project that an industry partner initiated as part of our Nailing your Thesis (NYT) course, a course where students learn how to perform research. Applying quantitative analysis methods is one aspect of this research. Qualitative methods like interview analysis are another.

Coming Winter Semester 2014/15, industry partners will be able once again to initiate interesting research and have questions answered they never really find the time to dig in themselves! If you would like to learn more, please contact us.

Talk on a Day in the Life of a Product Manager by Michael Hausmann of DATEV eG

Today, we had the pleasure of listening to Michael Hausmann of DATEV eG talk about his experiences as a product manager. He used the pattern of “a day in the life of …” to show to us how varied and interesting the work of a product manager is. Despite the following abstract being in German, the talk was held in English:

Abstract: Das Unternehmen DATEV ist 4.-größter IT-Dienstleister Deutschlands mit über 200 Produkten – im Wesentlichen Standardsoftware für die Mitglieder der DATEV (Steuerberater, Wirtschaftsprüfer und Rechtsanwälte) sowie deren Mandanten. Der Disziplin Produktmanagement kommt dabei ein entscheidender Beitrag zu diese Produkte erfolgreich – d.h. an den Bedürfnissen der Kunden ausgerichtet und wirtschaftlich – zu gestalten und im Markt zu platzieren. Als Produktmanager bei DATEV ist man dabei eng mit anderen am Softwareprodukt arbeitenden Disziplinen verzahnt, hat stets den gesamten Prozess von der Produktidee bis hin zur Einrichtung beim Endkunden im Blick und ist für dessen Koordination zuständig.

Thank you, Mr. Hausmann, for teaching us!

Upcoming Talk: Open Source in Universitätsprojekten

Prof. Riehle will give a talk on “open source in university projects” as part of the FAU lecture series “Faszination Technik” on June 16th, 2014, at 4pm, at the Fraunhofer IIS location in Erlangen. Here is the abstract:

Ich werde häufig gefragt: “Ich möchte mein Projekt zu einem Open-Source-Projekt machen. Welche Lizenz soll ich wählen?” Oder: “Wie erzeuge ich eine Open-Source-Gemeinde, welche meine Arbeit fortführt?” Bevor ein Projektleiter den Schritt zu einem Open-Source-Projekt erwägt und sich diese Fragen stellt, sollte er oder sie sich Klarheit über das Geschäftsmodell schaffen, welches das Projekt zu den erhofften Zielen führen soll. In diesem Vortrag erkläre ich zwei archetypische Geschäftsmodelle von Softwareprojekten im Universitätsbereich und wie Open-Source-Strategien ihnen zum Erfolg verhelfen können: die studentische Start-up mit Profitmotiv und das wissenschaftliche Gemeinschaftsprojekt zum Wohle der Allgemeinheit.

More information can be found in the series flyer.

Final Thesis: Teaching Open Source Competency

Abstract: The concept of competencies started to grow over the last years and has now arrived in the fast growing field of Free/Libre/Open Source software development (FLOSS). Competencies have been defined, which are necessary for an successful career as an FLOSS developer and also became important to general software development enterprises. To close this gap between FLOSS developers and software developers without experience in FLOSS, a survey was created and conducted, which is described and analyzed in this thesis to see how FLOSS developers have gained their competencies in the past and if there is a difference between FLOSS and non-FLOSS developers. The results show that both groups have learned their competencies mostly through informal methods and that the most important method is “learning by doing”. Also no difference in learning those competencies in the past between FLOSS developers and software developers without participation in FLOSS could be determined, which leads to the conclusion that there are possibilities to develop such competencies outside of FLOSS communities, so software developers in general can keep up with the FLOSS developers.

Keywords: Open Source Competency, Open Source Skills, Informal Learning

PDFs: Bachelor Thesis, Work Description

Reference: Sabrina Jahn. Teaching Open Source Competency. Bachelor Thesis, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg: 2014.

We would like to thank JDownloader and the JDownloader community for participating in the survey which formed the basis of this research.

Student Feedback on Previous AMOS Projects

As we are gearing up for the 2014 AMOS Projects, here are some positive comments from the student evaluations from prior years. AMOS was held as a lecture in 2009 and as a lab course four times thereafter. In 2013 we started adding industry partners to the projects. The comments are about the lab course version.

AMOS 2013

  • Kooperation mit Firmen.
  • Reelles Szenario.
  • Man kann Eigeninitiative zeigen und arbeitet mit Firmen zusammen an einem Projekt.
  • Professor und Mitarbeiter stehen jederzeit beratend zur Seite.
  • Working with an industry partner. Doing things that are new and weren’t done by hundreds of students before. Work on projects that might be really used and not be thrown away after the semester.
  • Working incrementally, not having a new assignement every week with totally new code but to build on the work done up to there.
  • Tolle Projekte – Guter Kontakt zu Industrie Partnern – Super SCRUM Einführung für spätere Berufswelt.

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Colloquium (KOLL) in Summer Semester 2014

In summer semester of 2014 we are introducing some changes to our weekly colloquium, which begins on April 7, 2014.

Previously, the colloquium was held weekly during the term. Starting summer semester 2014, the colloquium will not be held every week but only when we have live presentations. The time slot of Mondays at 12:15 (in Martensstraße 3, room 11.150) will be held open each week for possible talks. Students should check the colloquium schedule on Sundays to see if a presentation is planned for the following day. Colloquium attendance is mandatory for computer science students working on a bachelor or master’s thesis, but we welcome other students as well.

If no presentation is scheduled, we will hold open office hours for thesis discussions with coffee and cookies in the 11th floor kitchen starting at 13:15.

The colloquium is designed as an opportunity to hear about research and topics related to applied software development and open source. The presentations will be a mix of thesis defences (30 minutes plus questions), guest lectures (variable length), conference dry-runs (25 minutes plus questions), and intermediate student thesis work where peer input is requested (variable length). This term we plan to only allocate one presentation per colloquium to give more time for questions. Students who would like to reserve a colloquium presentation slot should contact their thesis supervisor or Ann Barcomb.

Netdosis is Sold, Long Live Makarapa!

Netdosis AG, the 2010 AMOS Project and the first student-created start-up from our Startup-Informatik initiative, sold its assets to Berlin-based ID Berlin late last year. It will be closing its doors later this year. Not to miss a beat, Markus Stipp, the leading student, is on to his next adventure, the Makarapa hat. The photo below gives an idea of the hat, but a better idea you can get by watching their promotional video on YouTube. And the best thing you can do for now is to support our entrepreneurial students on StartNext. Gooooooaaalll!!!