FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Team composition

Q) How large must a team participating to SCORE be?

The minimum number of people in a team is 3, in order to guarantee that project development involves real teamwork. The maximum number of people in a team is not restricted, but we strongly encourage teams to have no more than 5 members.

Q) Do I have to be a student to take part in SCORE? What kind of student?

Yes, you must be a full-time student, and you must provide a proof of this fact when submitting your project. We allow both undergraduate and Master's students, but no PhD students. Teams can mix undergraduate and graduate students.

Q) Why not PhD students?

It is a matter of fairness, as PhD students are usually well versed in software engineering theory and practice, having studied the subject in great depth both in classes and during their research activity, which gives them an unfair advantage over much less experienced competitors.

Q) I am currently a student at Master’s level, but I will receive my degree in the year 2015, then I will start a PhD program. Can I still be part of a team participating in SCORE?

Q) I am currently a student at undergraduate/Master’s level, but I will graduate in the year 2015, then I will start working for a company. Can I still be part of a team participating in SCORE?

It depends on when the summary report is submitted. We will check the status of the members of a participating team at the time of the submission of the summary report (which can be any time between July 2015 and January 2016). If you are still a student at the undergraduate/Master’s level at that time, then you (and your team) will be allowed to participate in SCORE 2016.

Q) Can members of the same team come from different institutions or countries?

Yes they can. Diverse teams are very welcome, although SCORE does not provide any mechanism to form or facilitate the interaction in such teams, so the team formation and management is up to the team members themselves.

Q) Is it required for each team to have a reference faculty member? Is it advised? What is their role?

There is no mandatory requirement on having a reference faculty member, although it is fine (and probably useful) if teams have one. It has to be understood that the faculty referent must be at most a general advisor, and must not participate actively in the development of the project by the team.

Q) What happens if a team composition changes after the team has registered?

A limited amount of changes in the team composition are allowed even after registration. For instance, the team may grow in size, or one person may be replaced. The contact person, however, is constrained not to be changed. We also require that changes in team composition be promptly reported by updating the registration data in EasyChair.

On the synergy between SCORE and Software Engineering courses

Q) I teach a Software Engineering course at my University. Can my students develop SCORE projects within the course framework and timeline?

Absolutely! This is allowed and encouraged, is an excellent way to reach a large base of potential (and talented!) participants, and it is a great way for instructors to provide challenging projects to their students.

Q) How can I accommodate SCORE within my course schedule?

The SCORE timeline is designed to allow a project to be undertaken anywhere in the 2015 calendar year, in order to allow Spring 2015 or Fall 2015 implementations of a SCORE project, which should match well with most university course schedules. The target SCORE project size is approximately a standard one-term team project.

Q) My Software Engineer class ends in [Summer 2015]: can my students submit their projects at the end of the course (or a little later), well in advance of January 2016?

Yes, they can. The submission procedure will open in summer 2015 (in June 2015), and will remain open until 15 January 2016. Teams can submit their project (the summary report) at any time in that window.

On project submission and evaluation

Q) How is the evaluation process managed?

The evaluation is a two-phase process. First a summary report is delivered (the deadline is 15 January 2016, but reports can be delivered earlier; see here for suggestions on the production of the report). The report will be evaluated by members of SCORE's Program Committee. Based on this first evaluation, a selection of the teams will be invited to submit full project documentation (see here), which will be used by the PC to select the finalists (to be invited to ICSE) and the winners among them. The final evaluation may also depend on the teams' oral presentations given at ICSE: suggestions will be given to the finalists on how to organize their presentations.

Q) Can my team send the application code/test results/verification results, instead of (or in addition to) a 20-page document, as the summary report?

No, you will be allowed to submit only the 20-page report. You will be asked additional, more in-depth information and deliverales about your project only if you are selected as semi-finalist for the second phase of the evaluation process.

Q) Does this mean that we can delay doing the implementation until we are selected as semi-finalists for the second phase of the evaluation process?

No. Given the short time (about a month and a half, from mid-January to March 2016) between the summary report and the final deliverable, it is expected that your project will be completed in all its aspects and fully documented by the time you submit the summary report. The report also documents your development process, which must have actually occurred.

Q) We are registered for the SCORE contest; do we have to wait until January 2016 to submit our project, even if we have finished it well in advance?

No, you don’t have to wait until January 2016 to submit the project (the summary report). If your project is completed earlier than the submission deadline, you can submit it when you are finished. When you are ready, please submit to EasyChair.

Q) We have already submitted the summary report for our project, but submissions are still open: can we submit a new version of the report?

Yes, you can modify your submission and send us a new, revised summary report as long as submissions are still open. Only your latest submission will be considered for evaluation (and will have to respect all criteria for eligibility for evaluation, including those on team composition).

Q) We have submitted the summary report well in advance of the January 2016 closing date for submission: will you evaluate our project before January/February 2016, and notify us if we have been selected to send the final deliverable before 4 March 2016?

No. To coordinate the program committee (PC) work and to be considerate to the PC members' own need to schedule their reviewing, and to be sure that all reviews are equitable, all reviewing will take place between the report submission deadline and the notification deadline (4 March 2016).

Q) Does our team have more chances to win the contest if we carry out a lot of work and produce lots of artifacts?

It all depends on the overall quality of the artifacts you produce. In evaluating submitted projects we will emphasize quality over quantity (provided, of course, that quantity is sufficient).

Lots of confused and poorly organized artifacts will be evaluated worse than selected ones of good quality (provided, of course, these cover all aspects of software development, as mentioned in the Call for Participation).

Q) If our team is selected as finalist in April 2016, we’ll have a relatively short time to arrange our trip to Austin, Texas. In particular, we may have trouble getting visas. What can we do about that?

If your team is selected for submitting the final deliverable, you have a good (approximately 50%) chance of being selected as finalist. Hence, we suggest that you tentatively start making your travel arrangements as soon as you are selected as semi-finalist in March 2016. In addition, if you think the process for getting your visas may be particularly long, notify us as soon as possible, possibly when submitting your first summary report. ACM issues visa support letters after conference registration. We will do our best to notify the finalists as soon as possible, and to help making their travel arrangements in time. More information about this issue will be made available when the submission deadlines are approaching.