A. de Haro-Garcia, J.A. Romero-del Castillo

University of Cordoba (SPAIN)
It is widely known that the application development background is highly dynamic. Not a day goes by without the appearance of fresh innovations such as new development environments and platforms, improved programming tools and languages or even the invention of new devices that create new market opportunities. As a consequence, educating software developers is a complex task that requires facing new challenges every day.

As far as the training process of software developers is concerned, some important issues should be taken into account: maximising students’ creative potential, encouraging them to work collaboratively and preparing students to face future challenges. Unfortunately, due to the limited time available in undergraduate courses, it is not always possible to pay those facts the attention required.

In this article we will describe the key points and benefits of an extracurricular event that develops the previously mentioned skills. This event invites students to briefly present the software applications they are working on in front of other students, teachers and computer engineers from different software companies. At the end of each presentation any attendee to the event can ask for further information and suggest improvements based on his/ her experience.

Some of the main benefits for the students include making a first contact with software companies as well as receiving guidance from more experienced developers on how to improve software applications and their marketing opportunities. On the one hand, workers from the companies assisting the event are also able to get their work known and even offer job opportunities to the most remarkable students. On the other hand, teachers will get information about the new trends in the development field and will be able to keep the content of their courses up to date.

All in all, in this article we will give some guidelines on how an event involving software companies can help students improve their practical skills in software development and at the same time shorten the distance between higher education and competitive job markets.