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Unit information: Software Product Engineering in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Software Product Engineering
Unit code COMS20805
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Cater
Open unit status Not open

COMS11600 Principles of Programming



School/department Department of Computer Science
Faculty Faculty of Engineering

Description including Unit Aims

This unit aims to teach good software engineering practice, including the software engineering development lifecycle and principles of project management.

Intended Learning Outcomes

This unit aims to teach you the principles of being a software engineering professional by introducing good software engineering practice. You will learn to appreciate the issues and understand:

  • the phases and activities involved in conventional software life cycle models (waterfall through to agile approaches);
  • the potential benefits of good software project management;
  • be able to analyse project requirements and feasibility;
  • be able to select and apply appropriate design techniques;
  • the importance of the software development processes in achieving software quality;
  • be aware of relevant software development techniques and tools.

Successful completion of this unit will enable you to have gained experience of:

  • Working as a group on a large scale project from conception to finalised product

Planning and managing a project

  • Using software development tools and methodologies

In this unit you will be required to form a small consortium to develop some shareware. There is no requirement what this shareware should do, or about which language or platform to use. The only goal is that the shareware should be used by other people at the end of the year (this is part of the assessment). Examples of shareware that you may want to develop are a software tool, Linux device driver, mobile application, etc. The shareware product is only limited by the group’s imagination and abilities. You will have to develop this product in a small group of people. Projects are approved by the unit director. You must publish your shareware on the web, and advertise it in appropriate places. The product will be marked taking the following factors into account:

  • Quality and complexity of the product which includes the idea, ease of use, installation and potential customer satisfaction (50%).
  • Implementing good software engineering practice (50%).

The report should provide evidence of these factors.

Teaching Information

24 hours of lectures and laboratory sessions, these may include invited guest lectures. A further 176 hours are set aside for design, implementation, etc.

Assessment Information

Coursework 100%. The marking criteria assesses the implementation of good engineering practice, as taught in lectures and laboratory sessions, as well as the final product you have produced. For example coming up with a good product idea is important but implementing it professionally is also recognised. The marks will be distributed based on individual contribution. Credit points are awarded on achieving an assessment mark of 40%.

Reading and References

Relevant literature on the platform, language and chosen application area will be indicated by the unit director.

Fred Brooks Mythical Man-month Addison-Wesley 1995 ISBN: 0201835959 Recommended