The 7digital and Esendex prize for Software Quality

Topic: Developers

Over the past few years Esendex has been giving guest lectures to computer science students at the University of Nottingham. We’ve been working with the university to highlight the benefits of Agile software development to the undergraduates.
This year Esendex had the opportunity to take part in the group project open day and help select the winners of the best group project. In partnership with 7digital (a leading global open digital content platform), we were also sponsoring and awarding an additional prize for Software Quality. What were we looking for?

  • Code quality & architecture
  • Testing
  • Team organisation
  • Knowledge sharing
…evidence of the principles and practices that we know help us make good quality software. Code quality is important but software quality is about more than well written code; it’s about people and collaboration too.
The open day was held in the main computer science lab and we made our way around the projects with the rest of the judges. The groups had just a small amount of time to demo the software they’d been working on for the past few months and hopefully impress us. The projects ranged from mobile applications used to monitor and reduce fuel consumption, through to fuzzy logic inference systems written in R. The quality of the software being demonstrated impressed us and the agile methodologies used in the projects (pair programming, short iterations etc.) delighted us.
And the winner is…
After much deliberation, coffee and cake the judges finally agreed on the winners. Following some alumni talks given from Facebook, Google and the BBC it was time to present the prizes.
The prize for best project went to ‘HEX’; an impressive chain reactive music generator written in Java. The software was well presented by the group, allowing users to interact via a touchscreen and play a grid of hexagons based upon the harmonic table. The group produced a professional and addictive piece of working software and overcame some interesting challenges around playing simultaneous notes at correct points in time to win the prize.
The Software Quality award went to ‘Auto Grower’; software for simulating, monitoring, controlling and automating essential greenhouse functions. The project was well researched, unit tested and the team worked in short iterations to deliver regular updates to the stakeholders. The resulting software was well written, well architected and fit for purpose. They also worked well as a team and presented the project excellently on the day too. The deserved winners were each presented with prizes that included the book ‘Clean Code’ by Bob Martin, a Raspberry Pi and high-quality ATK headphones.

Congratulations to the winning groups, the staff and students involved in a successful day; looking forward to more of the same next year.
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