Student Engagement

University of Salford HackCamp 2024: Industry-Driven Projects

The University of Salford HackCamp, led by Professor Julian Bass, enables second-year Computer Science and Software Engineer students to collaborate in teams on an intensive software development project. The program involves engaging with industry partners, including Matillion, Morsons, ABL, Competa, Red Ocelot, BCS Manchester, the Chartered Institute for IT, Chippy Digital and IRIS Software Group. Over 150 students took part in the programme where they approached a range of challenges, including dynamic user experience, customer feedback aggregation and placement search, which is then assessed and judged by the industry experts and academics. 

‘Our HackCamp partners, play a vital role in helping students understand how software projects work in practice’ said Prof Bass. The projects ‘provide a fantastic opportunity to work with industrial partners and experienced practitioners, applying the agile software development methods they learn about in class’ he said.

Kate Whitmore, Talent Programme Manager, and John Ferguson, Head of Architecture and Engineering from IRIS Software Group took part in the programme again this year and their brief was for the students, ‘to create solutions that could help us calculate, analyse and report our cloud carbon footprint.’ They were both extremely impressed with our students, commenting, ‘the student presentations were excellent, and the amount of work each of the teams had managed to achieve in just a few short weeks was impressive. What was particularly interesting was how each of the three teams approached the brief in different (yet complementary) ways: one focusing on automation; one on installation, and the other on data visualisation. It’s been fantastic working with the students; giving them some experienced of real-world problem solving and get their fresh and unique perspectives on issues we’re working on in the business.’

The value of participating in HackCamp is immeasurable for our students, providing them with practical industry exposure and opportunities to network with actual employers. One of the HackCamp participants, Sheikh Atif, a Second Year Software Engineering Student said, ‘Hackcamp is a great opportunity to challenge yourself. Not everything will go to plan when you’re working in the industry, Hackcamp will introduce realistic challenges and difficulties for the team to develop their skills collectively as well as individually. Hackcamp will benefit your technical skills, interpersonal skills, and a variety of other areas. IRIS has been a fantastic partner to work with. Our group had John Ferguson as our contact, who was incredibly useful and supportive with all the information we needed. He provided us with prompt feedback, alongside useful guidance. We definitely recommend getting involved with IRIS for future projects.’

Academic colleagues are now tirelessly working through the awarding process, and we can’t wait to celebrate the winning students.