The development of software systems is a challenging process. Customers expect reliable and easy to use software to be developed within a set budget and to a tight deadline. As we come to depend upon software in so many aspects of our lives its increasing size and complexity, together with more demanding users, means the consequences of failure are increasingly severe. Experience from nearly 40 years of software engineering has shown that programming (‘cutting code’) is only one of a range of activities necessary for the creation of software systems that meet customer needs. The rest of the time is spent on: planning and acquiring resources for the project; investigating the business and technical contexts for the system; eliciting and documenting user requirements; creating a design for the system; and integrating, verifying and deploying the completed components.
This course unit builds on the programming skills you have gained in the first year, to provide you with an understanding of the major challenges inherent in real-scale software development, and with some of the tools and techniques that can be used in their attainment.
Since software engineering is a subject best learned hands-on, this is a project-based module that involves less traditional lecturing than usual. Instead, relevant skills will be acquired during fortnightly two-hour workshops, supported by a weekly one hour lecture. The understanding gained will be practiced through individual and team project assessments.