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Why it is important that all students in CITS majors do this unit

The viewpoint of CITS3200 is squarely toward the computing industry, where many of the students taking this unit will shortly be heading. In that spirit, this unit is unlike most others you have undertaken in the Computer Science or Data Science majors; rather than focussing on labs and assignments, the focus here is one a significant group project in which you get to sample a range of roles: team/project manager, coder, documenter and tester. There is also a short, industrially oriented lecture programme. It is precisely because of the experience you will gain in the project, the ethics-oriented lecture stream, and, more generally, the inustrial orientation of the unit, that the Australian Computer Society has mandated this unit for their acceditation of the Computer Science and Data Science majors.

About the project

While group projects are pretty common these days, the projects you will be working on are proposed by clients from the University community, and from industry – real clients with real problems they want solutions for, and sytems they want to have written. As such, the projects are more open-ended than you are perhaps used to, and may require you to rapdily acquire new skills, e.g. Javascript or the Django module in Python. (Bear this in mind when your team looks at the list of projects.) Project teams of 5-6 people will be created randomly, though we also then try to balance the compositions of the teams, so they reflect a range of skills and aptitudes. Each team of will have its own project, which will be different from other teams' projects, or may also be done by at most one other team.

The project is set up, and will be assessed, based on an Agile methodology, Scrum, or at least as close as we can get to an Agile methodology given the University's requirement that all assessment dates be fixed and that students are notified about those dates well in advance. There is also the obvious fact that the projects (and the unit) must fit within the standard 12-week semester.

If you have not come across the Scrum methodology before, please view the video presentation Scrum in 13 Minutes. There is also a good discussion on WikiPedia. Team work is essential, so while a portion of the marks will reflect what you personally contributed, a portion of the marks will also reflect how how well you worked with others to achieve the aims of the project. In addition, a portion of the marks will be contributed via the client, reflecting the quality of the product your group has created. In accordance with University policy, all members of a team will get the same mark for the group-based assessments.

Contacting me (unit coordinator)

Unit Co-ordinator:Assoc. Prof. Michael Wise
Email: [email protected]
Consultation Hours: Wednesdays 11am
Rm 1.18, CSSE Bldg
Other times available, just email me first, please, to arrange a mutually convenient time.
Please note that I am employed half-time at UWA, so generally unavailable on Tuesdays or Thursdays

If you are starting the unit after the first lecture

If you enrol after the start of semester please let me know as soon as possible using the above email so I can ensure you are placed in a team, and you can rapidly get up to speed with your team's project.


The unit has the following aims (developed from Clear et al 2001)
  • To develop awareness of the ethical and social responsibilities of computing professionals
  • To develop experience using professional practices in a teamwork setting
  • To provide a "programming in the large" experience as far as practical
  • To allow for the integration of and reflection on previous computer science knowledge
  • To develop student capability, confidence and maturity
  • To model industrial practice regarding commercial software development, and effective client relationships


The overall assessment scheme is:
  • A group project worth 80%, with both group-based components and indvidually-assessed components. This is further disussed on the project page.
  • A Professional Development Portfolio 20%, where you reflect on what you have learnt from the lecture programme.
  • There are no labs or assignments; nor is there a final exam.


It is expected that:
  • The role of Project/Team Manager will be rotated between Team members, so at least 3 Team members will have the opportunity to act in that capacity.
  • Teams will meet at least once per week, and those meetings will be documented via minutes. (Of course, this does not preclude many informal interactions, e.g. using Slack.) Certain of the Team meetings, on weeks, denoted by a green ball on the timetable, will also include the Team Auditor.
  • There will be 4 additional Team meetings, in weeks indicated on the timetable, with Team Mentors from industry.
  • Team members will each record the time they personally spend on project activities, including Team meetings and Mentor meetings.
  • While there is generally considerable flexibility about when meetings are organised, all Team meetings are compulsory, particularly those involving project Mentors or Auditors.
  • As denoted on the timetable, Teams are expected to provide each week, on Friday (but certainly no later than Sunday evening), the following documents:
    • A set of Minutes for each Team meeting held that week (PDF or MS-Word doc),
    • A time-sheet summarising the work that has gone on that week (Spreadsheet) based on Booked_hours spreadsheets from Team members, and
    • A tar or zip file containing the Booked_hours spreadsheet submitted by EACH Team member.
    (Minutes, TimeSheets and the Booked Hours will be discussed in the Introduction lecture. Also see note on the Project Timetable page. The Project page has templates for the Timesheets, Minutes and Booked Hours.)

    The three items are to be emailed to the Project Auditors directly. Please observe the file naming convention mentioned on the Project page.

  • It is expected that you will act professionally at all times, both face to face and via electronic media. Please see UWA Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct.
  • Finally, while School and University policy governs the major deliverables (and in particular late penalties), the following will apply to the weekly deliverables.
    • If a group's Minutes (both weekly meetings and Mentor meetings), Booked-hours spreadsheets file or Timesheets are later than Sunday evening, the Professionalism mark for the responsible Team Manager will be penalised.
    • By the same token, it is not up to the Team Manager to chase Booked Hours spreadsheets from Team members, so if these are late, then the Team Manager is within his/her rights to submit that week's data without the missing person's hours, and that person's Professionalism mark will be penalised.
    • The weeks when there will be meetings with mentors are known well in advance. Therefore, there is no excuse other than illness or misadventure, or the unavailability of the mentor, for you not to attend a mentor meeting, so there will be penalty against the Professionalism mark for each Mentor meeting missed.

Department of Computer Science & Software Engineering
The University of Western Australia
Last modified: 24 July 2019
Modified By: Michael Wise