How RIT reverses your education.

So, I'm finally a Senior at RIT, doing my last year, which basically consists of one class that spans two quarters, known as Senior Project. On the first day we were shown a pretty powerpoint that discussed how we're suppose to use all of our knowledge and training over the past 4 years (yes, it's a 5 year program), and incorporate everything into one big project. 

Sounds great right? Well not so much. For this class we're giving a real-world customer and a product they want us to create. We start out by gathering requirements from the customer, then we have to design, architect, build, and, finally, deploy the product. It all starts off great, we meet the customer, start gathering requirements, and respond back with some decent offers for what we can do.

Next, we start talking about how we can actually go about doing this, and what type of software we can build in the next 22 weeks. Since we're only a team of 5, and we have 22 weeks to build the entire system from scratch, scope is very important. We limit down what we're going to do and present a counter-proposal to the customer for what we think we can get done given our time constraints. 

During the meeting, the client keeps talking about how he wants a nice user interface, we explain that we're focused on the core system, but we can help his people develop a decent one, and provide a very simple interface. We discuss our plans to architect the system in such a way that it will be expandable later on and should easily scale and be able to run on multiple systems. We're designing the system to be a proper 3-tier Presentation, Application, Data, system (web service). After the meeting, our faculty advisor turns to us and says "You don't need to worry about architecting the system like that, just give him a nice GUI and he'll be happy, we don't care if it's scalable".

As it turns out, RIT is really only interested in making the customer happy for the time-being, and not really producing decent software. I once again show my distain for RIT's policies. Instead of actually teaching us things and then testing us on them as they said, they want to throw us into the world and tell us "Just forget about your training and try to make the other guy happy."

Good job RIT.