Open-source programming: Project initiated to help IT students

NU-FAST collaborates with govt organisations.

APP September 03, 2014


A project has been completed that focuses on developing an open-source approach for making students more learned about the skills required for developing industrial strength software.

Costing Rs35 million, the project is aimed at providing training to IT students with respect to requirements by prospective employers in the software industry.

Other objectives were to allow students understand good programming practices through high-quality coding and feedback from professionals who write them. It was also made to address (and resolve) the lack of quality in computer science/software engineering teachers in most universities.

The National ICT Research and Development Fund, Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications completed the project in collaboration with the National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (NU-FAST), in Lahore.

Official sources said education in Software Engineering aims at preparing students for their utilisation of services in the software industry. This could ideally be achieved by involving the students in realistic projects.

They said several attempts have been made to emulate such real life scenario in the classroom environment. However, unavailability of such projects in large number on a continuous basis has resulted in experiments which could not be repeated on large scale, if at all, the sources added.

According to them, the project focused on student participation in developing open-source software which has emerged as a mainstream activity over the last 10 years, and can help in achieving the objectives of practical software engineering.

Open source software development is a very well-coordinated and properly engineered practice on a larger scale as typically, an individual or a small group of people start work on a project. After reaching a certain maturity level, the project is floated as open-source and volunteers are invited to participate in the development effort.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2014.

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