Principles of Software Construction Objects, Design, and Concurrency


Software engineers today are less likely to design data structures and algorithms from scratch and more likely to build systems from library and framework components. In this course, students engage with concepts related to the construction of software systems at scale, building on their understanding of the basic building blocks of data structures, algorithms, program structures, and computer structures. The course covers technical topics in four areas: (1) concepts of design for complex systems, (2) object oriented programming, (3) techniques for robustness, including testing and static and dynamic analysis for programs, and (4) concurrent software. Students will gain concrete experience designing and building medium-sized systems. This course substantially improves its students' ability to apply general computer science knowledge to real-world problems using real-world tools and techniques.

After completing this course, students will:


Tu/Th 12:00 - 1:20 p.m. in Wean 7500

Josh Bloch
WEH 5311
Charlie Garrod
WEH 5120
Darya Melicher
WEH 4105

The instructors have an open door policy: If the instructors' office doors are open and no-one else is meeting with us, we are happy to answer any course-related questions. For appointments, email the instructors.

Course Syllabus and Policies

The syllabus covers course overview and objectives, evaluation, time management, recommended books, late work policy, and collaboration policy.

Learning Goals

The learning goals describe what we want students to know or be able to do by the end of the semester. We evaluate whether learning goals have been achieved through assignments and exams.

Course Calendar


We are expecting several changes to the course this semester. The schedule below is a draft based on previous instances of the course and is likely to change.

Date Topic Reading assignments* Assignments due*
Tue, Aug 28 Course introduction and course infrastructure
Wed, Aug 29 rec 1 Introduction to course infrastructure
Thu, Aug 30 Introduction to Java + Design for change: Information hiding Optional: Java Precisely (e.g., Sec. 4, 9, 10, 22)
Tue, Sep 4 Design for change, information hiding Effective Java, Items 15 and 16
Wed, Sep 5 rec 2 Unit testing, continuous integration
Thu, Sep 6 Specification and unit testing Optional: Effective Java, Items 10, 11, 68; UML and Patterns, Ch. 16 hw1 Intro to OO and course infrastructure
Tue, Sep 11 Design for reuse: Delegation and inheritance Effective Java, Items 17 and 50
Wed, Sep 12 rec 3 Behavioral subtyping
Thu, Sep 13 Introduction to design patterns, and design patterns for reuse Optional: Effective Java, Items 18, 19, and 20 hw2 Polymorphism, unit testing
Tue, Sep 18 Design patterns for reuse, continued UML and Patterns, Ch. 9 and 10
Wed, Sep 19 rec 4 Inheritance and delegation
Thu, Sep 20 Object-oriented analysis: Modeling a problem domain Optional: UML and Patterns, Ch. 17; Effective Java, Item 49, 54, and 69 hw3 Inheritance and delegation
Tue, Sep 25 Object-oriented design: Responsibility assignment UML and Patterns, Ch. 14, 15, and 16
Wed, Sep 26 rec 5 Design process
Thu, Sep 27 Midterm exam 1
Tue, Oct 2 Tis a gift to be simple
Wed, Oct 3 rec 6 Design patterns
Thu, Oct 4 Defensive programming, immutability, and more testing hw4a Designing complex software
Tue, Oct 9 Introduction to multi-threading and GUIs UML and Patterns, Ch. 26.1 and 26.4
Wed, Oct 10 rec 7 Introduction to GUIs
Thu, Oct 11 Design case study: Java Collections Optional: Effective Java, Item 1
Tue, Oct 16 Design case study: Java I/O, maybe reflection Effective Java, Items 6, 7, and 63
Wed, Oct 17 rec 8 GUIs++
Thu, Oct 18 Design for large-scale reuse: Libraries & frameworks hw4b Design to implementation
Tue, Oct 23 Designing APIs Effective Java, Items 51, 60, 62, and 64
Wed, Oct 24 rec 9 Frameworks
Thu, Oct 25 Designing APIs, continued Optional: Effective Java, Items 52 and 53 hw4c GUI implementation
Tue, Oct 30 Concurrency: Java Primitives
Wed, Oct 31 rec 10 Git and Github++
Thu, Nov 1 Midterm exam 2
Tue, Nov 6 Concurrency: Java Primitives, continued Java Concurrency in Practice, Ch. 11.3 and 11.4 hw5a Framework design
Wed, Nov 7 rec 11 Framework presentations
Thu, Nov 8 Concurrency: Safety, Structuring applications Optional: Java Concurrency in Practice, Ch. 10
Tue, Nov 13 Concurrency: Parallelizing algorithms, concurrency frameworks Optional: Java Concurrency in Practice, Ch. 12 hw5b Framework and plugin implementation
Wed, Nov 14 rec 12 Concurrency
Thu, Nov 15 Design case study: Java functional APIs and streams
Mon, Nov 19 No lecture Monday, but homework is due: hw5c Plugins for others' frameworks
Tue, Nov 20 Toward software engineering in practice
Wed, Nov 21 No recitation: Thanksgiving
Thu, Nov 22 No lecture: Thanksgiving
Tue, Nov 27 Developer tools and devops
Wed, Nov 28 rec 13 Java concurrency framework
Thu, Nov 29 Developer tools and devops 2
Tue, Dec 4 Design pattern tour
Wed, Dec 5 rec 14 Java functional APIs and streams hw6 Concurrency
Thu, Dec 6 A puzzling finale
Sun, Dec 16 Final exam
* = For details, see assignment on Piazza or your GitHub repository.

Our final exam may be as late as Sunday, December 16th, and we do not schedule make-up exams before the officially-scheduled exam time. If you must schedule travel before the final exam schedule is published, please do not plan to leave campus until at least Monday, December 17th.