A cloud in a cupboard: how to teach modern technologies in a resource-constrained environment

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Abstract

It is highly desirable to provide our computer science and software engineering students with hands-on
exposure to currently industry techniques and technologies. One area of extreme growth and skills shortage
is cloud computing which led to a curriculum redesign and a new module to teach these skills to final year
students. Cloud computing products are available from a number of vendors, but their academic
programmes often leave much to be desired, with limited credits and features. In the resource-constrained
university sector simply buying vendor credits for students would be expensive but also wasteful as there
is no capital investment. In an attempt to provide hands-on experience with the latest technologies an inhouse “cloud in a cupboard” was designed and created at Queen’s University Belfast. This took advantage
of the wide range of free open-source software systems which underpin modern cloud vendors and, for very
little cost thanks to re-purposed equipment, was able to support a large final-year module and several
undergraduate dissertation projects successfully. Student feedback was very positive, and plans continue to
grow this system further to support the current functionality and add more in the coming years.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Education and New Developments Conference 2020
Subtitle of host publication27-29 June 2020
Publication statusEarly online date - 2020

Publication series

NameEducation and New Developments Conference: Proceedings
ISSN (Print)2184-1489

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