CPSC 329 Software Development Fall 2017

CPSC 329 Course Information

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Course Description

This course continues the study of programming by focusing on software design, development, and verification - the skills beyond fluency in a particular language which are necessary for developing large, reliable programs. Topics include object-oriented design, the use of APIs, and testing and verification. Techniques common in modern software development will also be studied. Specific techniques may include GUIs and event-driven programming, multi-threading, client-server networking, fault-tolerant computing, stream programming, and security. This course is required for the major in computer science. It includes a required lab component.

Course Content and Objectives

This course completes the programming sequence begun by CPSC 124 and 225 - CPSC 124 introduces the basic ideas of programming along with the syntax and semantics of the Java programming language, CPSC 225 focuses on common data structures as the organizational building blocks of programs, and this course addresses creating good software.

Four key points are at the core of good software:

  • fully understanding what the software is to do,
  • planning and design before coding,
  • proper use of modularity and abstraction in the design,
  • and building in reliability through good coding practices and the integration of testing in the implementation process.

This course will address how to achieve those points. In addition, students will gain:

  • an organized approach to software development;
  • a habit of good software, which includes coding standards, documentation, appreciation of the value of good design (and the willpower to refactor as needed to improve the design), and testing;
  • experience with a substantial project, working in teams, and working with someone else's code;
  • skills for life-long learning, specifically learning from examples, tutorials, and APIs;
  • technical skills relevant to software development, including the use of integrated development environments, version control, and unit testing; and
  • a basic technical understanding of some aspects of modern software such as GUIs, event-driven programming, human-computer interaction, client-server networking, and threads.


CPSC 225 is required.
Programming in this course will be done in Java, and students are expected to be comfortable with Java syntax, the concepts of object-oriented programming (including classes, objects, interfaces, inheritance, and abstract classes), and writing programs to solve problems. Also expected is some familiarity with basic data structures (arrays, linked lists), abstract data types (lists, stacks, queues, maps/dictionaries), the realization of those abstract data types in the Java Collections Framework (List, Stack, Queue, Map and their concrete implementations), and efficiency; the notion of abstract data types and the separation of interface and implementation; how to use the Java API documentation; and coding standards.


There is no required textbook. Material will be handed out or posted on the course webpage.


You will be interacting with a server set up on a machine running within the department. All of the client software needed for this course is available on the Linux machines in Lansing 310 and Rosenberg 009. If you would like to use your own computer, check back for information on how to set it up.

Time Required

Software development is necessarily practiced by doing, and implementing large software systems takes time. Students should expect to spend a significant amount of time outside of class doing readings and preparing for class, learning new skills through tutorial-style lab assignments, and completing a substantial project. This will require awareness of deadlines and careful time management. In addition, most assignments will be group assignments, requiring planning and coordination with your group.

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