At CODE, projects are at the core of every student’s learning experience.
Project-based learning is very similar to problem-based learning. However, it allows for more freedom and flexibility. While problem-based learning has more controlled conditions because the students face open-ended problems that are based on predefined scenarios, project-based learning is broader and can involve multiple, not that well-defined problems. It requires teamwork, communication, and self-reflection.
Our projects are an integral part of CODE’s learning concept. You will work in a team that is interdisciplinary and comprises two to six team members. Projects allow you to gather professional skills during your study program. Project challenges can be centred on a customer-driven problem, a commercial opportunity, or simply as an open-ended exploratory question allowing you to research, experiment and prototype.
Project work at CODE is different. You aren’t doing a project for three months just to present it in the end. CODE gives you the opportunity to work on a real-life problem that YOU are curious about. By that you not only learn how to do state-of-the-art product development but also how to work in an interdisciplinary team, you can learn from real customers and maybe you even launch your product in the end and found your own startup.LUKAS MENZEL, Product Management student
The projects available to you are based on ideas handed in before the PPP. They can be handed in by students, CODE partners, and professors. In the first week, these project ideas are pitched in Stage Announcements; students interested in specific ideas join one-hour Interest Meetings to discuss them and possibly join the project team. During this time, lecturers will be moving from one meeting to another, ready to answer questions and help you move forward in case you get stuck. By the end, one student should be the dedicated project owner to drive the idea forward and build a team around it.
In the remaining two weeks of the Project Pre-Phase, you work with your teammates to make sure you have a clear idea of how you’ll spend the rest of the semester. The Project Outline which you need to fill out during this can guide you to topics worth thinking about. like time commitment, learning goals, module overlaps, and communication guidelines. Starting the first week, lecturers are available for Consulting Sessions. Your Project Pre-Phase ends when a lecturer signs off your Project Outline. That’s the moment when you enter your Project-Phase and all the exciting things that will happen in the coming weeks!
Students, professors and partners can pitch project ideas. Listen to the presentations and meet for several interest meetings, until you find your perfect team and idea.
Project challenges can be centered around a customer-driven problem, an interesting technology, or simply as an open-ended exploratory question allowing you to research, experiment and prototype.
Choose your modules and learning units according to the competencies and skills that you want to learn in your project. Your mentor and the professors will help you to identify them.
All sorts of things can happen when you’re open to new ideas and playing around with things.Stephanie Kwolek, American chemist who invented synthetic fibres
Between The Lines is a non-profit organization that helps teenagers in difficult life situations. In the last semester, a team of CODE students developed an app for Between the Lines, which provides teenagers in need with individual information and shows regional and national help institutions, contact and advice centers.
Sozo Robotics is an autonomous robot that can locate people who are buried under rubble after an earthquake. The project started when a team of 10 students wanted to work on a technology that would have an impact on human lives.
Rowa is a product that enables offices to effortlessly green their space by growing their food on-site. It is a soilless indoor farm (hydroponics) that can grow different types of lettuce. The mission was to create an actionable solution to the world’s food supply and meet the needs of the future.
Goodbuy.official is a web-app that allows users to scan grocery items and get direct feedback as to whether it belongs to one of the top 10 corporations or not. The idea behind this web-app is to enable users to consume sustainable and ethical goods and avoid the 10 corporations as they are responsible for the adverse effects on our society and nature.
Artify is a project from the orientation semester and was created in only four weeks. The #nextgen team created an algorithm that reproduces the music you listen to on Spotify in an artistic and visual way. Artify transforms personal Spotify playlists into a unique work of art over a long period of time. The color and frequency of the elements depicted adjust depending on the tempo or pitch of the songs. You can see an example of the art in the picture!
Ocelot is a core-semester project as well, developed by a team of #firstclass students. This project involves the development of an iOS application aimed at making the lives of GraphQL API developers easier. It allows users to enter queries and immediately see the resulting JSON. Additionally, they can look through the API’s documentation. Ocelot is completely open-source so that anyone interested can read, use and extend the code. The Ocelot team’s goal is to create an easily scalable, well-written application.
Shindig is an Augmented Reality (AR) drawing application that allows creative minds to draw anywhere without pens or papers. The app was developed by four CODE students for their core-semester project. Shindig enables users and their friends to interact, become more creative together through daily challenges and to be a part of the artsy community. They can save, share and discover other creators’ drawings by following the integrated map to the exact location.
Social Record showcases how social media platforms are exploiting the lacking knowledge about data privacy and how users can protect themselves. The student project created an immersive exhibition where all active social media users could experience what public data social media providers expose about the visitors.
Once all students have choosen their projects for the coming semester, the project-based learning begins.
In the first step everyone starts preparing for their roles and responsibilities. Whether to rely on books, or different online resources for your preparation is a decision you have to make for yourself. Talk to your fellow students or get together with members from other teams with similar roles and responsibilities. Our teaching staff offers advice and any help you need.
About once a week the teams will meet with their team coach, who is part of our teaching staff. His or her responsibility is not to give you technical advice or assist you in managing your tasks. Instead, they will discuss with you the quality of your collaboration and communication as an interdisciplinary team, conflicts between team members and how to resolve them and how you can improve as a team. This is the second part of the challenge-based learning.
During term time, students can attend weekly expert meetups, each one focussing on an important technology, framework, product-management topic or design aspect. Each guild, which represents the third part of our challenge-based learning approach, has a designated expert who organizes and moderates their meetup sessions. The meetups do not have a fixed agenda or curriculum. Instead, students can present a case, a question or a problem they are facing with their project.
Once a year we invite everyone who is interested in our student’s semester work to our Demo Day.
Demo Day was one of those days where I realized how lucky we are to be at CODE and to be surrounded by so many ambitious, smart and hard-working people every day.Selma Illig, #nextgen Software Engineering
Our Demo Days are very special days for us. Every semester we are surprised and excited by the projects our students come up with — either with our partners or in their student project groups.
This is why we have decided to give our students their very own stage on which to show the world the digital solutions they have come up with.
Several student projects get the chance to present on stage in front of a large crowd and all projects are presented in a booth during an exhibition.