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COMP 523: Software Engineering

Demo Videos

After Assignment 8: Walking Skeleton, demo videos will be due each week at the usual weekly deadline. These are short videos demonstrating features that have been developed and are now ready for client review. These videos will be graded on the same 2 point scale used for assignments.

Most of the time, demos should only be used for features that are substantially finished. In some cases, you may benefit from including in-progress features in your demo to solicit client feedback on that feature before it’s finished. In such cases, clearly indicate that the feature is in progress and that you’re only including it to get client feedback of the in-progress work.

If you finished several features in a week, feel free to demo all of them if you wish. You may do so in one video or several. But demoing a single feature is sufficient.

Deployed features

For the best client feedback, the client should be able to exercise the demonstrated features in the same way as is done in the video. Thus, videos of deployed features are recommended.

This is more challenging for mobile apps. Depending on your technology stack, there may be a way to deploy your app without actually releasing it on the app store. For example:

A client should be able to do the same steps in a production environment as you show in your video to exercise the feature in the same way.


A video earning the full 2 points is clear and demonstrates the feature as it is deployed. A video earning 1 point is not clear or demonstrates a feature in a development environment. Zero points are awarded for missing or late videos.


Link videos from your web site. You can either link to a video file directly (e.g. in MP4 format) or upload your video to YouTube (or similar) and link to it there.


In most cases, Zoom is an easy way to create such videos. Join a meeting (even by yourself), share the appropriate window, and record to your computer. Upload the recording to YouTube or elsewhere and you’re done.

For mobile apps, a recording of an emulator window is sufficient so long as the client can access the feature and the emulator doesn’t introduce important differences from a real phone.

If recording a real phone is needed, I think Zoom might still be a decent option, although I haven’t tried it myself. If all else fails, a video recording of the app running on a physical phone suffices.

Videos don’t have to be long or verbose. In many cases, a 10 second video is enough to demonstrate a feature. You may even choose to create a (silent) animated GIF of the feature, which is fine so long as there is sufficient context around the GIF for the client/mentor/TA to know what’s being demonstrated.