Below are the modules that comprise the course content.
Each module consists of a series of activities.
Not every assigned activity requires you to submit something for grading. Nonetheless, you are expected to do them all.
Do not skip or delay doing the labs just because they are ungraded. Most of them introduce skills (and sometimes set up specific data) used in a subsequent assignment or in the project.
If no due date is specified, you are supposed to complete the assigned activity by the end of the final day allotted for that entire module.
Where a due date is given with no time, you have the entire day (until 11:59:59PM ET of the due date).
KEYS TO SUCCESS IN THIS COURSE:
READ THE SYLLABUS
The syllabus lays out the basic course policies. It tells you what you need
to do to earn a passing grade. It tells you when you need to have done that by.
It tells you how to get in touch with me if you run into problems.
HAVE A SCHEDULE
You have the freedom to schedule your own time in this course, but you DO
need to set up a schedule. Do not forget that this course exists and that you
are registered for it. Do not think you can repeatedly set it aside for weeks
at a time and make up the time later.
IF YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND SOMETHING, ASK QUESTIONS
In a web course, my role as Instructor changes from “lecturer” to “tutor”.
You can ask questions in the course Forums. You can send me email. You can
also contact me during office hours. You’ll find more information on these
options in the syllabus and other documents on the Course Policies page.
Some people are too shy to ask questions. Some are too proud to ask
questions. My advice to both groups is to get over it! Part of being educated
is knowing how to exploit your available information resources. In this course,
I am one of those resources.
This module introduces you to the course organization, policies, and mechanics. We’ll review the structure of the course website and give you an opportunity to get set up for the semester to come.
We’ll take a brief look at the major themes and areas of emphasis that you can expect to hear more about through the coming semester.
An understanding of the tools used in an online course is fundamental in becoming a successful online learner. It is also important to identify the expectations for participation, assignment submission, and the time management skills required in the online format.
You can expect that professional software development will be quite different from typical academic programming assignments. This course will emphasize the tools and techniques that developers use on a daily basis, with an emphasis on automating best practices of software engineering.
In your recitation section
Every development organization settles into a process that they use to produce new software. Although the component activities are largely the same, different processes place different levels of emphasis on the components and arrange those components differently.
We’ll look at the more common and the more influential models for software development processes and will examine the interaction between the development model and the organization and composition of development teams.
A development model establishes the context in which we can consider more specific best practices. At the same time, the more modern and trendy development models take for granted that team members will have a high level of familiarity with common best practices.
SSH & SSH Keys
In your recitation section
We will look at the processes of eliciting and analyzing requirements, and at common forms of documents for recording them. We will look at how these documents vary depending on whether we are doing requirements analysis “up front” or incrementally. We will discuss the characteristics that contribute to the quality of requirements statements.
All software development projects begin with a statement of requirements. All subsequent software construction must refer back to those requirements. It is therefore essential that all developers be able to read and understand requirements documents, even if they were not actively engaged in writing those documents.
Eliciting and Writing Requirements
In your recitation section
At the end of the module
Software construction is the term used for the development activities that follow requirements and lead up to the final system and acceptance tests. In this module, we will take a high-level look at the component activities of software construction and will discuss some of the critical decisions that need to be made at the start of construction.
Students will begin the process of building their personal development environment by installing and practicing with a modern IDE (Integrated Development Environment).
This module sets the stage for the exploration of more detailed construction topics to follow in the remainder of the course.
Organizing Incremental Construction
In Your Recitation Section
In this section we will review the basic principles of unit testing, and then we will look at the problem of automating the testing oracle, the procedure of determining when our code has passed or failed each test.
This will lead us to the world of modern Unit test frameworks, which seek to make running tests so effortless that there is no longer any excuse to defer testing.
On the cutting edge of testing practice, we will look at mock objects as a means of further automating our tests.
Unit testing has always been seen as a critical part of software construction, but modern best practices place more emphasis on it than ever. “Test first” is a mantra in modern software development, and common practice integrates testing so tightly into the build process that it’s more trouble to avoid tests than to re-run them at each step.
Verification & Validation
Getting Acquainted with JUnit
Self-Checking Test Drivers
Putting JUnit to Use
Stubbing and Mocking
(Optional) Unit Testing in Python & Rust
Version control is concerned with managing the history of changes made to the software by the development team. A good version control system offers a team control over the history, exploration, and collaboration on a project. We’ll look at the issues and approaches to local, centralized, and distributed version control, and explore how to work with a distributed version control system from an IDE.
Version control has rescued many a project from utter disaster of having lost or destroyed critical code. Probably the only practice that has done so more often would be regular backups. But version control is also central to managing collaboration among team members, allowing confidence that developers working independently need not fear overwriting or interfering with one another’s work.
Whirlwind Introduction to Git
Git in Eclipse
Working with Git
A build manager has the task of performing any automated steps required to rebuild a software project after programmers have made changes. We will look at the primary models for build management, file dependencies and task dependencies, and the most commonly used managers for each model. We’ll also look at how to replace an IDE’s built-in builder with a more flexible manager.
Modern projects now rely on build managers for much more than just the basic operations of compiling and linking. Build managers are also called upon to run tests, to prepare software packages for deployment, to deploy them, and to prepare project reports and post those reports to project web sites. These demands go far beyond the capabilities of the simple manager included in your IDE. Used properly, a build manger can save a team a lot of tedious work.
Overview & Perspective
Introduction to Gradle
Working with Gradle
(Optional) Maven & Ant In Detail
Software Configuration Management (SCM) addresses a wide variety of issues in the development of software. These include version control, studied earlier, but also the problems of coping with portability to multiple target platforms and the incorporation of externally developed code libraries into a project. We’ll explore these new issues of SCM and will look at how configuration management tools can aid in keeping all the components of a project compatible with one another.
With an increasingly rich universe of open-source and commercial libraries available, development teams are increasingly encouraged to avoid wasting effort by resolving problems already solved by someone else. Discovery of useful libraries can be difficult, however, and the possibility that a useful library may itself incorporate still other libraries raises the very real problem of inconsistency among a project’s components.
In this module, we will review some of the basic lessons on source code documentation that you may have learned as beginning programmers and will consider how well they translate to more professional practice. In accord with current best practice, we will look more closely at API documentation and the tools for building and maintaining that documentation. We will also look at some common project reports and how they might be posted to a project website.
Modern practice places far less emphasis on source code documentation than beginning programmers are often led to believe. At the same time, developers are commonly expected to conform to a higher standard in preparing API documentation and project reports.
Documentation & Documentation Tools
Project Reports & Websites
All deadlines and modules below this point will be updated (e.g., assignments and Module pacing).
This module will examine some of the validation tools that lie outside the realm of testing, including analysis for dead code, for overly complex code, and for violation of coding standards and practices.
Also, with our now content-rich, automated builds, we will examine the practice of continuous integration as a means of keeping project status information up to date.
Many clients require the use of code analysis tools on delivered code, treating the reports from these tools as part of the acceptance test for the system. Developers need to understand both the abilities and limitations of the analysis performed by these tools. With so many reports being produced by projects, automating not just the build but the launching of new builds is an increasingly common practice.
Static & Dynamic Analysis
System testing often involves inputs that are hard to supply or outputs that are hard to capture (e.g., graphics on a screen). Some regression tests can face the same problem. We’ll examine the possibilities of automating tests at this level to a degree similar to what we achieved earlier with unit testing.
The rise of GUI interfaces as the most common way for users to interact with programs created a huge problem for system testing that, decades later, is still a source of difficulty for development teams. Developers need to know what can be done automatically about this and how they can design or plan around the problems when automated solutions are unworkable.
Agile development is a set of practices centered on an incremental development model. Agile methods are threatening to topple the Waterfall as the most commonly used development process model.
We will explore the principles and practices that comprise agile development. We will see how many of the practices studied in the earlier modules lie at the heart of agile practice. We will look at some of the primary development models within the agile movement.
Agile development is not only a set of development practices and process models, but also a social/political movement in the world of software development.
The Agile Manifesto calls for non-technical managers to properly respect software developers by adopting a hands-off attitude to technical decisions. This call would be unforgivably arrogant if the Manifesto did not also call for developers to demonstrate their professionalism by knowing and adopting the profession’s best practices, independent of any mandates from management requiring them to do so.
This semester we focused on Java. However, the TDD process and tools we discussed are not unique to Java. If we look at Python and Rust we can find unit testing frameworks, analysis tools, configuration management, and even Hamcrest Matchers.
This module will revisit selected previous topics, but in Python (and Rust). This module is meant as a Future Work module. Everything covered in this module is meant for perspective, or a guide on where to start in other languages (e.g., Python or Rust).
You will not be required to write Python or Rust code on the Final Exam.
References - Python
References - Rust
References - Modern C++
All times in this schedule are given in Eastern Time.
|Event or important date|
|In your recitation section:|