Agile software development methods are employed, in which students perform a series of development iterations each of which culminates in a demonstration of working software to their clients. Clients provide feedback at the end of each iteration to prioritise their needs and help guide students. A ShowCase at the end of the HackCamp provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate and present their finished solution to clients and others.
The HackCamp itself runs as an intensive 3-week activity during an inter-trimester assessment period, halfway through Year 2 of the Salford computing Honours degree portfolio. The academic calendar is cleared during the HackCamp, so students work on the project full-time. This gives the project a more realistic, industry focused, feel. Students report that the HackCamp has successfully helped them gain a 12-month industry placement between Year 2 and Year 3 of their honours degree. The HackCamp also integrates skills and knowledge gained from across the computing syllabus. Additionally, Students report finding the open-ended nature of the project and working with external clients an energising and motivating part of the degree programme.
Prior to the HackCamp students attend preparatory classes as part of the module. The preparation encourages students to learn about agile methods, object-oriented modelling and design as well as modern coding and deployment techniques such as source code integration and automated testing. Students work as self-organising teams and appoint their own scrum master and are responsible for defining requirements, usually in the form of user stories. The teams perform their own estimation and sprint planning.
A 2 minute video is available in which some students and a client describe their experience.