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 11:40 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. on Zoom

Josh Bloch
Office hours on Zoom

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. This open-door policy applies to our Zoom rooms, also; feel free to try to join without an appointment. 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


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

Our final exam will be offered remotely, and may be as late as Monday, December 21st.