Client Commitment

Students standing in front of table with computers ad paper at an academic expo

These projects benefit the client by providing low costs proof of concept or prototypes for the computer science solutions that they want or need. Many non-profits work with student teams to upgrade current systems or practices. Basically, the students are gaining real world experience by working with a client and the client is given whatever the students produce for their use. Overall, the company or community member acts as a client and the students will meet with them at least 3-4 times/semester. These projects are two semesters long and the meetings can be in person or virtual. Clients are invited to presentations and the public facing expo at the end of the second semester, but never required to attend. Students are typically required to provide video recordings of all presentations to clients. At the end of each semester, clients are contacted by the professors for the course in order to evaluate the students/project–this accounts for a portion of the students overall grade in the course.

 

As a client, please remember that:

  1. The projects are designed and implemented by a 5-person team of CS students.  Students select and bid on projects. There is no guarantee that a student team will select your project.
  1.   Students do not provide a warranty or maintenance for the software  applications developed. After customer delivery, there is no guarantee of further support for the software. Requests for further development and enhancements should be conducted between the customer and the student team.
  1. Students are responsible for developing the requirements and for scoping the project — not the instructor. Therefore, it is important to stay in communication with your team if your project is selected.
  1. In order to propose a project, all you need to provide is a one or two paragraph description of the project along with any specialized skills you would need the students to possess at day one of the project. We also need the name and email for the person will act as the primary point of contact for the students.  
  1. The IP for software developed by students remains with the students. All other IP, including client provided code, business ideas, and processes, remains with the client. The intellectual property rights to the software are handled between clients and students. Georgia Tech claims no ownership. The students will release the source code to the customer under an open source license of their choice. 
  1. You or the person you have designated as the primary contact from your organization must agree to provide guidance to any student team(s) throughout the two-semester project. While students are responsible for establishing and maintaining contact with you or your designee, you are expected to respond to reasonable student correspondence and feedback requests in a reasonable time. You must also agree to provide feedback on the performance of your student team(s) to course instructors during the course of each semester.

Cost: There is no charge to participate as a client. However, any costs for materials, development, equipment, web hosting, etc. will be borne by the client. 

In regards to the curriculum, during each semester the students will present you with a client charter. The client charter template reflects the deliverables that the students must complete for the course and should share with their client. A more comprehensive explanation of the course details can be found in this article.

A group of five people in professional clothing engaging in discussion next to a table with blue tablecloth

 

Project Submission

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of projects have been done before?

Students have completed games, cell phone applications, web based scheduling platforms, data collection platforms with digital visualization of data, interactive databases, additional plug-ins for established applications, image recognition software, and many more!

When will I hear back about whether or not my project was chosen by a student team?

Projects are usually awarded the second or third week of any given semester. As a prospective client, you should receive an introductory email from your student team during the third or fourth week of the semester to set up an initial meeting. If the project is not selected by a student team, then you will receive a notification email during the fourth week of the semester.

How are student teams put together?

Ultimately, the co-instructors of each course section decide how to establish teams within the first two weeks of the semester–ususally based on complementary skillsets. 

Can I choose my team?

Unfortunately, no. Because there are approximately 500 CS or CM majors involved in this course series at any given time, we cannot arrange client interviews for specific projects.

How are projects awarded to teams?

Each team has to write and present a project bid to the entire class and both professors about why they are best suited to work on the project that they want the most. Then all six professors who teach the first semester of this course series meet to discuss which team would be best for which client/project.

What is a Serve-Learn-Sustain partner? How do I become one?
Serve-Learn-Sustain (SLS) is a campus-wide initiative at Georgia Tech that supports community-engaged sustainability projects that equip students to create sustainable communities while at GT and in their careers. Serve-Learn-Sustain partners are partners that have worked with Serve-Learn-Sustain previously OR are community-based organizations and nonprofits with sustainability and social impact missions that align with Serve-Learn-Sustain’s work. SLS community partners participating in Junior Capstone Design receive a small stipend for the time and energy it requires to mentor their student team.  If you would like to become an SLS partner because you feel your organization is aligned with SLS, please contact Ruthie Yow, SLS’s Service Learning and Partnerships Specialist (ruth.yow@gatech.edu).