On Friday the 26th of November, AJ and I visited Curtin University to attend the Student Poster Presentation that marks the culmination of one year of hard work by our student project team. As part of their final year course work each student participates in a 1 year long “real-world” project with an industry partner.
The Department of Computing has been running project based units with industry partners since 2003 with the aim of providing their students with an opportunity to work on a large scale commercial software project as a team. This unit gives the students an opportunity to apply the knowledge that they have learned over the duration of their degree in a non-academic environment. Students participating in the project often have to very quickly learn how to manage a large software project, new programming languages and of course maintain a healthy team dynamic. The students were supported by Dr Tele Tan and Dr Aneesh Krishna from Curtin University with AJ and myself as their industry partners.
This year, the students were tasked to enhance Earth 2.0 by creating a mobile component that would
- Download survey information from Earth 2.0,
- Collect species observations while running offline in the field, and
- Upload collected sightings, performing any final tweaks and species identification before releasing the data to Earth 2.0
From our perspective, any potential enhancement to Earth 2.0 from this project is far secondary to our primary goal which is to give something back to the IT community by supporting the university and guiding our future colleagues. It gives us an opportunity to keep in touch with the latest concepts being taught at university and it also gives the students the opportunity to learn from our experience in industry. One year is a long time in the IT industry and who knows, perhaps when they graduate we may be in the market for a sharp young developer or two.