Five years ago, College Days guest Joe Gengarella attended the senior Software Expo, a three-day hands-on exhibit showcasing students’ creative work. Now, Gengarella (Sr., RI), a computer science and software engineering major, along with his class, hosted the 2016 Software Expo. “It’s treated like a job situation, so our teacher is our CEO,” Joe explained. “He gave us the task and then separated us into teams. Each team has a leader, and we worked with that team to get our project finished.”
Their task was to design, create, test, implement, and maintain a large software system from start to finish. This year, the teams designed three projects: ClockWork Conquest, a Risk-based game that allows students to engage each other as they race to conquer the world; FASTickets, a program enabling students, faculty, staff, and guests to select and purchase tickets to Fine Arts Series events; and eVal, a method for students to evaluate and rate their teachers and classes online.
For two long semesters, the three teams worked, finalizing every detail, logging nearly 4,000 hours, and reporting to their “CEO.” Dr. Michael Geary, computer science faculty, said, “The Software Expo is rather unique. It’s predominantly to provide students with as practical a workplace experience as possible.”
The teams’ efforts paid off as they watched others experiment with their final products at the Expo. The exhibit was open to the public with over 250 students, staff, faculty, and College Days guests attending. “This is my second year going,” said David Bell, a senior graphic design major from Antigua. “First I came out just to support my friends, but then I got really interested in how these projects can actually be implemented into our school.”
Get more information about the software engineering program and how it prepares students for today’s technology-driven world.