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) static and dynamic analysis for programs, and (4) concurrent and distributed software. Student assignments involve engagement with complex software such as distributed massively multi-player game systems and frameworks for graphical user interaction.

After completing this course, students will:


Tu/Th 3:00 - 4:20 p.m. in Doherty A302

Professor Charlie Garrod
WEH 5101
Professor Bogdan Vasilescu
WEH 5115

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.

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, Jan 16 Course introduction and course infrastructure
Wed, Jan 17 rec 1 Introduction to course infrastructure
Thu, Jan 18 Introduction to Java + Design for change: Information hiding Optional: Java Precisely (e.g., Sec. 4, 9, 10, 22)
Tue, Jan 23 Specification and unit testing Effective Java, Items 15 and 16
Wed, Jan 24 rec 2 Unit testing, continuous integration
Thu, Jan 25 Behavioral subtyping Optional: Effective Java, Items 10, 11, 68; UML and Patterns, Ch. 16 hw1 Intro to OO and course infrastructure
Tue, Jan 30 Design for reuse: Delegation and inheritance Effective Java, Items 17 and 50
Wed, Jan 31 rec 3 Behavioral subtyping
Thu, Feb 1 Introduction to design patterns, and design patterns for reuse Optional: Effective Java, Items 18, 19, and 20 hw2 Polymorphism, unit testing
Tue, Feb 6 Design patterns for reuse, continued UML and Patterns, Ch. 9 and 10
Wed, Feb 7 rec 4 Inheritance and delegation
Thu, Feb 8 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, Feb 13 Object-oriented design: Responsibility assignment UML and Patterns, Ch. 14, 15, and 16
Wed, Feb 14 rec 5 Design process
Thu, Feb 15 Midterm exam 1
Tue, Feb 20 Analysis
Wed, Feb 21 rec 6 Design patterns
Thu, Feb 22 Introduction to Concurrency and GUIs hw4a Designing complex software
Tue, Feb 27 Design case study: Java Swing UML and Patterns, Ch. 26.1 and 26.4
Wed, Feb 28 rec 7 Introduction to GUIs
Thu, Mar 1 Design case study: Java Collections & I/O Optional: Effective Java, Item 1
Tue, Mar 6 Design for large-scale reuse: Libraries & frameworks Effective Java, Items 6, 7, and 63
Wed, Mar 7 rec 8 GUIs++
Thu, Mar 8 Design for large-scale reuse: Libraries & frameworks, part 2 hw4b Design to implementation
Tue, Mar 13 No lecture: Spring break
Wed, Mar 14 No recitation: Spring break
Thu, Mar 15 No lecture: Spring break
Tue, Mar 20 Designing APIs Effective Java, Items 51, 60, 62, and 64
Wed, Mar 21 rec 9 Frameworks
Thu, Mar 22 Designing APIs, continued Optional: Effective Java, Items 52 and 53 hw4c GUI implementation
Tue, Mar 27 Concurrency: Java Primitives
Wed, Mar 28 rec 10 Git and Github++
Thu, Mar 29 Midterm exam 2
Tue, Apr 3 Concurrency: Java Primitives, continued Java Concurrency in Practice, Ch. 11.3 and 11.4 hw5a Framework design
Wed, Apr 4 rec 11 Framework presentations
Thu, Apr 5 Concurrency: Safety, Structuring applications Optional: Java Concurrency in Practice, Ch. 10
Tue, Apr 10 Concurrency: Parallelizing algorithms, concurrency frameworks Optional: Java Concurrency in Practice, Ch. 12 hw5b Framework and plugin implementation
Wed, Apr 11 rec 12 Concurrency
Thu, Apr 12 Design case study: Java functional APIs and streams
Mon, Apr 16 No lecture Monday, but homework is due: hw5c Plugins for others' frameworks
Tue, Apr 17 Toward software engineering in practice (incl. teams and process)
Wed, Apr 18 rec 13 Java concurrency framework
Thu, Apr 19 No lecture: Carnival
Tue, Apr 24 Developer tools and devops
Wed, Apr 25 rec 14 Java functional APIs and streams
Thu, Apr 26 Developer tools and devops 2
Tue, May 1 Developer tools and devops 3
Wed, May 2 rec 15 Devops hw6 Concurrency
Thu, May 3 Design patterns, finale
Mon, May 7 Final exam (5:30 - 8:30 p.m.)
* = For details, see assignment on Piazza or your GitHub repository.