Software Factory Project (period III)

Software Systems
Advanced studies
Software Factory Project is an intensive software development course. Participants are directly involved in all aspects of the project, from design and programming to project management and quality assurance. The course is typically done in cooperation with an external partner. The course also includes participation as a research subject. Participants are automatically enrolled to the course 582516 Software Factory Work Experience (5-7 cr) and get a total of 11-13 cr. The primary teaching language is English. The number of participants is limited. Candidates are invited to an online interview after registering.
Year Semester Date Period Language In charge
2013 spring 14.01-01.03. 3-3 English Jürgen Münch

Software Factory Project on tietojenkäsittelytieteen maisteriopintojen valinnainen ohjelmistojärjestelmien erikoistumislinjan kurssi. Kurssille otetaan rajoitettu määrä opiskelijoita. Valinta perustuu haastatteluun (sähköpostitse tai henkilökohtaisesti).

During period III. Software Factory Project is an advanced (master"s level) optional course in the software systems subprogramme. Only a limited number of participants are admitted. Admission is based on an interview (by email or in person) to which participants are invited after registering.


Latest news:

1.1.2013: Selection has been finished and the project will start 14.1.2013!

18.1.2013: Kickoff Hackathon at Facebook in Menlo Park, California.

22.1.2013: Project continues in home locations.


Project description

During the spring of 2013, the Software Factory at the University of Helsinki will participate in a large-scale open source software development collaboration coordinated by Stanford University and supported by Facebook. Project participants will work together on cutting-edge open source projects with other student teams from around the globe, guided by expert mentors from the open source communities. 

As a part of the project, all team memebers will be flown to Facebook (Menlo Park) in California for a three-day kickoff hackathon during the weekend of 18-21.1.2013. Participation in the hackathon is mandatory for all project participants. After this session, the team will return to Finland and contribute to the open-source projects from the comfort of the Software Factory.

Since the international collaboration effort will continue for some time, this project can be extended to last until 30.6.2013. The student team and the open source project they work with can benefit maximally if there is an opportunity to work for an extended period of time after the initial on-boarding process has completed. This also allows students to gain very deep knowledge of programming technology, architecture, testing, open source project management, and other aspects of real-life software development. 



The project has three phases, of which the first is mandatory. Students can then choose to join one or both of the following phases. During Phase 1, team members will visit Facebook for the kickoff hackathon, after which they will return to Finland and the Software Factory. Please note that even the visit to the US is mandatory for all team members. Travel and lodging expenses are covered by Facebook.

Phases 2 and 3 are voluntary. Students willing to participate in these periods of the project will receive more credits as a result.

    Event Date
Applications and interviews   Info session (see above) 14.11.2012
  Deadline for applications 22.11.2012
  Interviews (primarily week 48) 26.11 - 5.12.2012
  Final team announcement (projected) 15.12.2012
Mandatory participation   Phase 1 start 14.1.2013
Kickoff Hackathon start 18.1.2013
Kickoff Hackathon end 20.1.2013
Phase 1 end 8.3.2013
Voluntary participation   Phase 2 start 11.3.2013
Phase 2 end 10.5.2013
Voluntary participation   Phase 3 start 13.5.2013
Phase 3 end 30.6.2013



Registration & Admission

Only a limited number of participants can be admitted to this project.  Admission is based on pre-screening via a questionnaire and a series of interviews.

Project applicant must have

  • completed Software Engineering Lab (Ohtuprojekti), or equivalent work experience or studies

We also value

  • availabilty to participate in project work during periods IV and V
  • other relevant courses and activities
  • prior open-source and work experience
  • programming skills 
  • abillity to work in a team
  • exellent spoken and written english


After pre-screening applicants based on a questionnaire, candidates for further interviews will be contacted by the course instructors. After these interviews, the final team members are selected.



The first phase yields 10-12 credits (4 days/week = 10 cr, 5 days/week = 12 cr) of which 5-7 are given as Software Factory Work Experience.The final number of credits awarded for completing the project depends on the number of phases a student works for. The exact number of credits, as well as the divide (Majors studies / Other studies), will be announced shortly.




Frequently Asked Questions

Q: The project seems to take up a lot of time. Will my studies be delayed if I participate?
A: Although participation does take up a lot of time, it is possible to complete some other studies at the same time. You can choose the 4-day-per-week option, and arrange the time table flexibly so that you can attend, for instance, a seminar during one or two days of the week.

Q: I cannot participate in the kickoff hackathon in California. Can I still join the project?
A: No. The kickoff hackathon is mandatory because all teams need to meet and agree on working methods and other process- and tool-related questions for the distributed development to work properly.

Q: How many students will be admitted to this course?
A: 5-8 students are expected to participate in the project work.

Q: Which are the open source projects involved?
A: Projects are selected based on relevance to the current software ecosystem, and their ability to provide mentoring and accept contributions from new participants. The following projects are confirmed:

Q: Which project will my team work on?
A: Accepted student teams will indicate their preferences during the Hackathon session, and Stanford will match teams and projects based on these preferences.

Q: The project seems very ambitious and I am not sure I have the necessary skills. What kinds of tasks will I do as part of the project?
A: The team will agree with the Open Source mentor on the tasks. To begin with, there is a period of familiarisation with the project and the code base, for example, by fixing known bugs. As the team gets more familiar with the project, more complicated tasks are considered, such as implementation of new features.


If you have questions that are not answered here, please contact Fabian Fagerholm <>.

Past news and events


Info session

Date: 14.11.2012
Time: 12-14
Location: Exactum D122

This info session will expand on the information given below and adress issues that have been raised, to the extent that these are known at the time. This page will also be updated with relevant details as they become available.

For more information, we invite all interested students to enter the info session.