/ Computer Science Department

Hope Software Institute

The Hope Software Institute (HSI) provides a rich, real-world software development experience to students interested in pursuing careers in industry as software developers.

Student teams work closely with a faculty member to design, develop, test and deliver a real software application for a real client — typically a local non-profit organization that couldn't afford to have their application developed by professional software developers

Picture of Victoria Gonda, '16As an HSI participant, I learned about what it is like to develop in an agile development environment, how to design in respect to someone else's ideas, and how to carry a larger project from start to finish.
Victoria Gonda ’16, now a software developer for Collective Idea

The highlights of the HSI program include:

  • Participants in the program design and implement a complete software application. The goal here is to have a usable, working software application at the end of the nine-week summer session. This is not intended to be part of an on-going research project or to contribute to something that others will complete later. This is a self-contained application meant for release.  
  • Design and implementation are done for a real customer. The point of HSI is to design and implement software that will actually be used. This implies that the software application would be implemented for a real customer with real needs.
  • The results of the program are expected to be (1) a usable software application, (2) a set of documentation and (3) a satisfied customer. 
  • Time is required before and after the summer program. Participants will spend time in April interacting with the customer to learn about the problem domain and begin the design process. Several weeks are spent in the fall semester interacting with the customer to train users and fix bugs that come up and to navigate the app store application process.

Picture of Brennan Sieck, '14I completed the HSI summer program and really liked it, because it taught me how to communicate my work as a programmer to a client who did not know anything about programming. It also really inspired me to pursue a career in software development.
— Brennan Sieck ’14, now a software developer for Stevens Advertising