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Computer Science capstone programs in many universities provide students with the opportunity to develop software systems/tools for industrial companies. These projects are often completed using processes that can be considered “heavy weight” in order to provide students the experience of using the same tools and practices found in industry. For example, North Dakota State University uses a set of processes modeled after CMMI level 2. However, over the past several years, many sponsoring companies have transitioned towards agile software development processes. In order to better prepare students for this, it is necessary to provide capstone projects offering an agile option as well as the more traditional methods. Interviews were conducted with developers and managers from five sponsoring companies using agile processes. The results of these interviews and feedback from student teams that have used agile are being used to create an agile software development process designed for capstone projects. This paper describes the agile methodology, a summary of suggestions from interviews and student feedback, and plans for incorporating agile processes in the capstone course.
Date of Conference: 22-24 May 2011