The 10th March marked the completion of the Digital Skills Partnership’s National Student Software Development Competition, a groundbreaking programme which takes action to address the skills gap in Scotland’s digital technologies industry by delivering work-ready tech talent.

The Digital Skills Partnership, a ScotlandIS initiative, supported by the Scottish Funding Council and Skills Development Scotland developed the competition to improve collaboration between industry and academia. It gives students experience of real-world challenges in the software development process by bringing together learners with different levels of experience and expertise in small teams to respond to an industry brief, which this year was provided by CGI.

The student teams, from colleges and universities, worked together and remotely to develop a prototype of a secure and dynamic data management system.  At the competition’s closing event on the 10th March the ten student teams, which were mentored throughout by representatives from CGI and CAS Ltd, presented a delivery plan, commercialisation strategy and project deliverables to industry judges and their peers.

All of the teams delivered exceptional presentations and it was difficult to determine an outright winner.  However, this year’s winning team from North East Scotland College and the University of Aberdeen raised the bar slightly higher than their competitors and were named the ultimate winners.  First runners up were students from Edinburgh College and the University of Glasgow with third place awarded to Fife College and Heriot-Watt University.

All of the winning teams were presented with cash prizes kindly donated by Royal London.

Lesley Broadwood, the Digital Skills Partnership’s Project Development Manager at ScotlandIS, says:

“It was fantastic to see the level of interest and engagement we had from students during the competition.  All of the teams made impressive responses to the brief.  They gained experience beyond what can be taught in the classroom, by responding to an industry brief with a multi-skilled team and access to real-world tools. This initiative is aimed specifically at making sure our tech graduates are as well-equipped as possible to hit the ground running when they join the workforce and this mixed experience level competition helps prepare them in a more realistic way for the software development process in industry.”