Winter 2004, CSE 403 - Software Engineering

Portfolio Assignment

Getting a job or a position in the graduate school of your choice is about marketing: how can you demonstrate your worth to the people who will make the decisions? One tactic is to include a portfolio of your work. This helps you stand out - a significant step in itself. Conveying some personal information about you makes you less a piece of paper and more a person - another step forward. Finally, a skilled reader can gleam a lot about you in a 30-second scan of your portfolio, even if they don't read most of it. 

During the quarter, you will be assembling a portfolio of your work. The goal of this portfolio is to demonstrate your value to a particular audience (someone not in this course). A portfolio is a collection of your works, each annotated so that it demonstrates how the various pieces fit together into a single message of who you are and what value you have to offer. If you want to include artifacts from non-computer domains in your life, that will provide a fuller picture of you and your capabilities.

It also is a place where you will link your understanding of software engineering to domains. Finding analogies to another domain will help you learn the material more deeply, since it connects it to your existing mental models. 

It is your responsibility to choose the audience for your portfolio, the message you want the portfolio to convey, the type and form of items to include, and the portfolio's format.  If you wish, you may deliver your portfolio via the University of Washington's portfolio system:

Your portfolio must include the following parts:

  1. An overview:
    1. Describe your audience for your portfolio. You must choose someone other than the instructors or students of CSE 403.
    2. Describe the message or story that you want to convey via your portfolio.
  2. A set of items.  Each item must contain:
    1. An example of your work.
    2. A description of that item.
    3. A description of how that item relates to your portfolio's message.
    4. A description of how that item relates to software engineering.

Here are example areas for items:

In order to learn how to do portfolios, you will submit your portfolio three times (see course schedule).   

The instructors will provide feedback on the first two submissions. We will grade each submission, with the final grade being a weighted average of the three submissions: 10% for submission 1, 30% for submission 2, and 60% for submission 3.  Note that, historically, students have benefited substantially from the feedback they get from us, so not submitting a portfolio assignment hurts in at least two ways.

We will use, at least, the following criteria to grade your portfolio: