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International Student Projects by School of Business Informatics and Hogeschool Rotterdam

Project cooperation between the HSE School of Business Informatics and the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (Hogeschool Rotterdam) started in 2016, and for the last two years, undergraduate students of Business Informatics have successfully participated in the development of information systems for Dutch companies.

From February to June of this year, HSE students of Business Informatics were involved in joint projects with students from Rotterdam University. In teams of 7-8 people, HSE students were responsible for developing the systems, while Hogeschool students interacted with the clients and formalized the requirements of the systems. The implemented projects included a task control and reporting system for Goedegebuur, an internal surveying system for ISS Facility Services, mobile apps for recording the equipment on ships for Alphatron Marine, and a mobile app for getting product info via NFC and QR scanners for Produvar B.V.

According to the terms of the project, the Dutch companies for whom the development is carried out make an initial investment, which covers the expenses for student visits to the Netherlands.

From February 20th to 24th, the development team leaders, second- and third-year undergraduate students of Business Informatics, Ekaterina Liubimova, Ilya Gromov, Sergey Buchko, and Daniil Levin, attended a three-day workshop at Rotterdam University. It included teaching the methods of interaction between commissioners and developers of information systems, and agile software development, as well as meetings with Dutch companies and informal communication events for Russian and Dutch students.

Kirill Mayboroda, Visiting Lecturer at the Department of Information Systems and Digital Infrastructure Management:

‘The project with Dutch partners has considerably changed compared to last year. Not only has the number of project grown, but the cooperation with companies has changed. Last year, companies had limited participation in the negotiations with students who were developing the project. They only suggested meeting their representatives at Hogeschool Rotterdam to clarify initial issues. This year, however, development team leaders met the heads of client companies at their premises, which helped them better understand the organizational processes and discuss all relevant questions directly’.

From March to June 2018, the teams were working on the projects with the use of Scrum technology. Each week, they clarified the requirements with the companies, and revised the apps under development.

The responsibility of delivering to people who expect results in a given time and are dependent on them makes you take the project implementation very seriously.

Sergey Efremov, project manager, head of the HSE and University of London Parallel Degree Programme in Management and Digital Innovation, Associate Professor at the Department of Information Systems and Digital Infrastructure Management:

‘The second year of our cooperation proved to be even more productive and useful. Project work is valuable not only because students apply the skills and knowledge in information system development they get at university, but they also learn various project management approaches. To achieve results, students sometimes have to take the initiative and even insist on certain things in order to solve the tasks. Sometimes, a company’s representatives don’t completely understand the details of IT project development, and expect results within an impossible timeframe, or set requirements that can’t be implemented in a short period of time. I believe this is a valuable experience which will certainly be useful for the project participants in their careers. International project work will be an integral part of our new undergraduate programme in Management and Digital Innovation (parallel degree programme with the University of London), so the number of participants from HSE will certainly be growing’.

Ekaterina Liubimova, 2nd-year student:

‘I was keen to take part in this project because I wanted to create a solution for a real company, which would be used. We had a three-day practical introductory Scrum course at Rotterdam Business School, where we learned to work with the Dutch team by using this technology.

I particularly liked that the teams were offered a choice of several projects, so that we could choose one which was interesting for us. The opportunity to use a big stack of creative technology and the opportunity to learn something new is an advantage. As a result, my team developed an app in Python, something we hardly knew before we started. My team’s project was to computerize the processes and reporting in the company. During the meeting with company representatives, we went on a tour around their industrial venues to look at the processes and the tasks with our own eyes. After that, we discussed and agreed on certain aspects of the project. I got experience of developing an app and working in a team, experience of planning sprints (iterations in Scrum) and collaboration with the Dutch team and the company representatives. This is something that is very different from study tasks: the responsibility of delivering to people who expect results in a given time and are dependent on them makes you take the project implementation very seriously’.

Ilya Gromov, 2nd-year student:

‘Participation in this international project was undoubtedly one of the highlights of my university studies. It all started with a trip to the partner university in Rotterdam. There, we met the commissioners of our projects, representatives of big Dutch companies, and our peers – second-year students of the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences. As a team leader, I took part in a three-day course, which included a workshop on Scrum, a development technology. As soon as we came back to Moscow, the teams started developing their ideas. As part of our project, we developed two mobile apps and a server. During this project, I learned to develop Android apps from scratch, and got a huge amount of experience in management and international team work’.

Photos provided by the project participants

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