- When is a program good enough to ship? Have you built what the customer wanted?
- Why (and how) does NetFlix deliberately and randomly take down its own servers?
- How did Twitter eradicate the Fail Whale? And what does it have to do with Ruby?
- How do you get a patch accepted into an open-source project?
- You can write code. Can you build software?
Successful software projects require more than just technical expertise. Figuring out what the client wants, collaborating in a team, managing complexity, mitigating risks, staying on time and budget, and determining under various constraints when a product is good enough to be shipped are at least equally important topics that often have a significant human component. 15-313 explores these issues broadly covering the fundamentals of modern software engineering.
Assuming a solid technical foundation of 15-214 (Java programming, unit testing, and object-oriented analysis and design with UML, design patterns, and frameworks) we will explore the following topics:
- Process consideration for software development
(How do avoid problems early? When and how much to design? When and how much to test? When and how to involve the customers? Agile methods...)
- Requirements elicitation, documentation, and evaluation
(How to figure out what the customer really wants? Who else has an interest? How can we measure success objectively? How can we reliably document expectations? ...)
- Design for quality attributes
(How can we design a system to be able to scale to millions of users? How can we design security into a system? ...)
- Strategies for quality assurance, including measurement, inspection, and static and dynamic analysis
(What quality assurance strategy is best for a given system? What can we automate and when should we keep humans in the loop? How much testing and what kind of testing should we do? What qualities are important to assure beyond functional correctness? Can we evaluate usability, scalability, reliability, performance? How can we statically guarantee the absence of certain security issues? ...)
- Empirical methods in software engineering
(How can we measure quality attributes such as performance, security, and reliability? How can we measure how users interact with the system? How can we know whether the difference matters? ...)
- Time and team management
(How to estimate the duration and costs of a project? How to monitor progress and risks to recognize issues early? How to coordinate developers in a team? How to form and develop teams? How to select and motivate team members? How to deal with team dynamics such as social loafing? ...)
- Economics of software development
(business models, outsourcing, open source, ...)
This course has a strong technical focus, and will include assignments with and without programming. Students will get experience with team management and modern software-engineering tools. The course puts students on a fast track toward project management positions.
Assignments (mostly team assignments) will include:
- A term project in which each team contributes to an open source project of their choice. This involves identifying an issue in the existing project, understanding the development process of that project and how to contribute, and actually making a contribution such as fixing a bug or adding a feature. Extra credit will be awarded if the contribution is merged into the project.
- A requirements project in which each team will interview stakeholders to elicit and document requirements for a software system.
- A dynamic and static analysis project in which each student will extend FindBugs with a new bug pattern.
- An inspection task in which each team will inspect existing code for security issues and inspect code written by other students in the course.
Lectures: Tue/Thu 3:00-4:20 p.m. in GHC 4307
Recitations: Wed 1:30-2:20 p.m. in WEH 5310 (Section A) and SH 220 (Section B)
Office hours: Thu 11 a.m. - noon
Office hours: Mon 10-11 a.m.
Office hours: By appointment
(Email me two time options)
Office hours: Wed 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Both instructors have an open door policy: If either of 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.
The following schedule describes the current planing status and the covered concepts, but will be updated throughout the semester when it helps learning or focusing on requested topics.
|Date||Topic||Additional Notes/Code||Assignments Due|
|Aug 26||Intro & Overview (SE as a human activity and business concern; risk)|
|Aug 27||Rec 1 Git and GitHub|
|Aug 28||Process (Lightweight introduction into process, scheduling and tracking progress)|
|Sep 2||Practicum presentations||hw 1 Case study reflection|
|Sep 3||Rec 2 Software Characteristics and Their Evaluation|
|Sep 4||Practicum presentations|
|Sep 9||Measurement (Performance, software and process metrics, statistics)||hw 2a Team work, time estimation, and implementation (Planning documents)|
|Sep 10||Rec 3 Software Metrics and Measurements|
|Sep 11||Requirements (Why it is hard)|
|Sep 16||Requirements (Quality attributes)||hw 2b Team work, time estimation, and implementation (Code artifacts)|
|Sep 17||Rec 4 Software Requirements|
|Sep 18||Requirements (How)||hw 2cd Team work, time estimation, and implementation (Reflection documents: team and individual)|
|Sep 23||Architecture (Case study, views, quality goals)|
|Sep 24||Rec 5 Architectural Assessment and Decisions|
|Sep 25||Architecture (Tactics, pattern, documentation, architecture review)|
|Sep 30||Architecture (Architecture process, architecture erosion, software product lines)||hw 3 Requirements|
|Oct 1||Rec 6 Let's Create a Startup!|
|Oct 2||Quality Assurance - Introduction and Testing|
|Oct 7||QA (Testing)||hw 4a Architecture|
|Oct 8||Rec 7 Midterm review|
|Oct 14||QA (Static Analysis part 1)||hw 4bc Architecture|
|Oct 15||Rec 8 Static Analysis (FindBugs)|
|Oct 16||QA (Static Analysis part 2)||hw 4d Architecture|
|Oct 21||QA (Inspection and Reviews)||hw 5a Advanced testing|
|Oct 22||Rec 9 Dynamic Analysis (AspectJ)|
|Oct 23||QA (Dynamic Analysis + profiling)||hw 5b Advanced testing|
|Oct 28||QA (Process)|
|Oct 29||Rec 10 QA Plan|
|Oct 30||QA (Security Development Lifecycles)|
|Nov 4||Process + Teams (From Sequential to Iterative)||hw 6 Static and dynamic analysis (incl. modern code reviews)|
|Nov 5||Rec 11 Open source practices|
|Nov 6||Process + Teams (From Sequential to Iterative)|
|Nov 11||Process + Teams (Agile Practices)|
|Nov 12||Rec 12 Process comparison|
|Nov 13||Process + Teams (Motivation)||hw 7a OSE project description|
|Nov 18||Process + Teams (Conway's Law, Staffing, Hiring)|
|Nov 19||Rec 13 Conway's Law|
|Nov 20||Teams + Open Source|
|Nov 25||No class (Happy Thanksgiving break!)|
|Nov 26||Rec 14 No recitation|
|Nov 27||No class (Thanksgiving)|
|Dec 2||OSE Presentations||hw 7b OSE report|
|Dec 3||Rec 15 Advanced version control|
|Dec 4||OSE Presentations + Wrap up|
|Dec 5 (1:30pm)||Review session|
|Dec 11 (1pm)||Final exam|
Course Syllabus and Policies
Slides, supplementary documents, assignments, grades, and announcements can be found on blackboard.
Waitlist: We have moved to a larger room and hope to admit everybody from the waitlist once the semester starts.
Prerequisites: 15-214 or equivalent (Java programming, unit testing, and object-oriented analysis and design with UML, design patterns, frameworks, and exposure to small projects)
Communication: We make announcements through blackboard. The blackboard discussion boards may be used for clarifying homework assignments and other interactions. The instructors and TAs hold weekly office hours and are reachable by email. They also have an open-door policy: When our door is open and we are not currently meeting with somebody else, feel free to interrupt us for course-related issues.
Grading: Evaluation will be based on the following approximate percentages: 50% assignments, 15% midterm, 25% final, 10% participation.
Textbooks: There is no required textbook and no textbook that covers all topics in the course. We will recommend supplementary readings with each chapter.
Time management: This is a 12-unit course, and it is our intention to manage it so that you spend close to 12 hours a week on the course, on average. In general, 4 hours/week will be spent in class and 8 hours on assignments. Please feel free to give the course staff feedback on how much time the course is taking for you.
Late work policy: Late work will receive feedback but no credit. Due to heavy reliance on teamwork in this course there are no late days. Exceptions to this policy will be made only in extraordinary circumstances, almost always involving a family or medical emergency with your academic advisor or the Dean of Student Affairs requesting the exception on your behalf. Accommodations for travel might be possible if requested at least 3 days in advance.
Academic honesty and collaboration: The usual policies apply, especially the University Policy on Academic Integrity. The 15-214 policy applies as well. Note that most assignments will be done in groups. We expect that group members collaborate but that groups work independently from other groups, not exchanging results. Within groups we expect that you are honest about your contribution to the group's work. In particular, it is inappropriate to cover for students who did not contribute to a group's result.
Teamwork: Teamwork is an essential part of this course. Most assignments are done in teams of 3-5 students. Typically, teams will be assigned by the instructor and stay together for multiple assignments. Guidance on teamwork, reflection, and conflict resolution will be provided throughout the semester. Most assignments have a component that is graded for the entire group and a component that is graded individually. The team policy posted on blackboard applies and describes roles and teams and how to deal with conflicts and imbalances.