In general, we work with nonprofits, NGOs, and campus units.
Please read the FAQs below to know what to expect before you apply. While we work free of charge, we do need a commitment from customers to be able to meet with the student teams. And we want to set expectations about what happens after the course projects are turned in.
At the end of the FAQ is a link to apply as a customer to have our students work on your project. Please do read the FAQ to make sure your project and constraints are a good fit.
How do students work on projects?
The team of 4-6 students works for four two-week iterations. Each iteration begins with a meeting between the customer and the team (which can be online or in person). These meetings are structured to elicit the customer's feedback on desired new features and desired changes/improvements to existing features. The idea is that each iteration makes the app a little better.
What kinds of projects are a good match for this course?
What time commitment is expected from the customer?
Who owns the IP (intellectual property) associated with the project?
Berkeley's official policy is that undergraduate students (who are the usual project teams in this course) own their own coursework. We encourage the students to make their projects available under a liberal open-source license, specifically a license that (a) allows the customer to use and further develop the software on their own without paying any fee, and (b) allows future students in the next offering of the course to further develop the project, such as the Modified BSD License, MIT License, or one of the Creative Commons licenses. While we cannot force the students to do this, historically there has never been resistance to making project code open source.What if my organization's intellectual property or confidential data is part of the project?
The students would have to keep all of the project data in private repositories, which we would ask you to pay for since for open source projects there would be no charge. Also, the instructional staff and their supporting staff would need access to the project data throughout the course, and we cannot bind the university to an NDA for this purpose, so you'll have to trust us.
What happens after the course is over?
We make every effort to ensure you end up with a usable project, even if it does not have all the features you want. In most cases, this project is deployed on the cloud provider service Heroku, which is free for low-volume applications; so if your app is running there, you can probably just continue to use it.
What if I want further enhancements or changes to the app after the course is over?
You're free to negotiate with the student team, or if you want to hire your own developer to enhance the app or migrate it to a different hosting environment, this handoff guide aimed at developers tells them what to expect.
We will also poll you at the end of the class to see if you want another team of students to take over. The class is offered every semester and may soon be offered in summer.
How do I submit a project?
Please sign up and submit your project with the student organization BluePrint: Technology for Nonprofits, which handles project ingress. (BluePrint is itself a spin-off from an earlier offering of CS169!)