Software startup within a university - producing industry-ready graduates
Previous research has demonstrated that preparing students for life in software engineering is not a trivial task. Authentic learning experiences are challenging to provide, and there are gaps between what students have done at the university and what they are expected to master when getting into the industry after graduation. To address this challenge, we present a novel way of teaching industry-relevant skills in a university-led internal software startup called Software Development Academy (SDA). In addition to describing the SDA concept in detail, we have investigated what educational mechanisms characterise SDA and how it compares to capstone projects. The questions are answered based on 15 semi-structured interviews with alumni of SDA. Working with production-quality software and having a wide range of responsibilities were perceived as the most integral aspects of SDA and provided students with a comprehensive skill set for the future.