Assignments 2020 — General Information

Links to Assignment Descriptions

Each of these links will take you to another page which contains the description of that assignment in gory detail. This page acts as a table of contents or a schedule of sorts since the due date is listed next to each assignment. Click on the links, though, to read the entire detail of the assignment. Solutions will be posted for each assignment after its due date has passed.

The following text is stated clearly on the Syllabus page (the main course page), but is repeated here to make sure it is not missed:

All written textbook assignments are expected to be handed in at the start of class on the date the assignment is due. Deviation from this process requires prior consent of the instructor. I left my homework at home is no longer a valid reason for late work. You're grown-ups now, and can be responsible for remembering what you need to remember. Every effort has been made to ensure assignments, deliverables, and due dates are prominently posted on these web pages, and announced in class; it is the student's responsibility to make sure s/he knows what is due and when it is due. You may turn an assignment in late, but it will be reduced in grade by one letter for each day it is late.

All readings are from the Stephens book, the required text listed on the Syllabus page in the Textbooks and Resources section. If you don't have a copy of your own, I would highly recommend getting one ASAP. There will be a lot of reading from this text, and the homework problems come from it as well. The text is also a good addition to your professional bookshelf if you feel like buying it.

Stephens Textbook

NOTE: this semester I am trying something new. In an effort to reduce costs, I am specifying a text that is available on LMU's Electronic Library, or Ebrary. Please see the syllabus page for details.

In addition, all homework and other written work are required to be typed . This includes homework assignments, SDF sections, and anything else you are required to submit for grade. Further, when you create diagrams for your design documentation, you must use some form of a drawing package, such as PowerPoint or OpenOffice Impress, or one of the UML design packages which are good for this purpose. If you are good with a ruler and pencil, you may want to use that and scan the results, but those results must be submitted in electronic format. You can also submit a graphic made by taking a picture with a cell phone or tablet. However, if you are hand-drawing your diagram, PLEASE DO NOT JUST SUBMIT A ROUGH SKETCH. I expect a professional-looking product with a ruler or tamplate used to make the diagram!


There are only three written assignments, which occur fairly early in the semester so as not to impact to heavily on your other project activities. The exercises are designed to provide you with a bit of practical experience with the topics on which you will be working while building your project. I have tried to assign them so they are due before you need the concepts for your project at that point, but without overloading you with other work. The idea of this entire course is pretty much learn by doing, which is the focus for assignments as well. That being said, part of the job is to practice some time management skills. Also, there are often students who may have already started working on their projects, or who are using (leveraging) past projects from other classes as a starting point, so in these cases you may need to re-visit your project to see how it aligns with the actual software engineering principles we are studying.

Assignments Breakdown

Here is the assignment link list (bad pun intended):

Link to Text Book Reading

Here is a link to put you on the page where the course reading assignments are located. There are about ten of them, which will provide you with most of the information you'll need to properly plan, design, and implement your project during the course of this semester.

Yes, There is Extra Credit

Several problems in the book may be worked for extra credit. These problems, if worked, will add one point each to your total grade for the semester. In other words, if your grade for the semester is 88 and you correctly work three extra credit problems, you will have a final grade of 91. This can mean the difference between a B+ and an A-, but only if you are willing to do the work. The extra credit problems are:

Sample Status Report Forms

Here are several versions of a sample status sheet. You can use any of these, depending on what word processor you have, or you can make your own. You will need to be consistent with whatever you pick throughout the semester. Note that for the Open Office documents (*.odt) you will need to select save link because of the way the myweb server won't handle that file extent.

Another good way to do status is with a thing called a "quad chart". Here is an example in several formats.

Requirements Document Peer Review Assignment

The assignment is to "Peer Review" each others' requirements documents. What this means is the following process should be used:

  1. Requirements Document is completed
  2. Everyone has access to a controlled copy of the document. Don't just distribute electronic copies unless there is some assurance that everyone will have the same text! Much time is lost on industry projects when reviewers are commenting on different versions of the document or code. Don't forget to e-mail a copy of the document to the instructor or provide a link where the document exists (like in SVN or GitHub). Your humble instructor is part of the review team!
  3. Everyone reviews the document independently and writes their comments on a standard form. This form will be the one provided using the links below.
  4. The review will be held on 2015-02-11, which is also the due date for the requirements documents for your projects.
  5. At the review, we will go around the room several times, with each person contributing comments. There will be a scribe who takes minutes (which go into the notes section of your SDF) to log any issues and ensure nothing gets forgotten. Obviously with a large class there will not be time to cover all the requirements documents for everyone; in this case, one or two people will be selected at random so that the class can see how the process works. Those lucky few will have the benefit of additional input and feedback on their project at this early stage, in exchange for being the guinea pigs for this exercise.
  6. After the review, the changes will be made to the requirements documents, the new version will be captured in your CM repository, and a copy is inserted into the proper section of the SDF (if appropriate).

This link will allow you to download a copy of the peer review comment sheet. It is a Microsoft Excel (.xls) document.

This link will allow you to download a copy of the peer review comment sheet. It is an OpenOffice Calc (.ods) document.

Due date for this is noon Monday, 2015-02-10, to give everyone at least 24 hours to review.

Code Peer Review Assignment

Peer Review

This assignment is to Peer Review each others' code. The process is essentially the same as for reviewing the requirements document, but you'll be reviewing code instead of text. The review will focus on all aspects of the code, including comments, logic, automated documenting, and the like. Follow the same steps as listed above. Pick a module from your project department to be reviewed, and tell the other departments which module it is. It should be one that is relatively stable (won't change before the in class review). Use the same review sheet you used before, the one we used for the review of the requirements document. Review each others' code independently and note any defects. Then, on Tuesday bring the review sheets to class. Be prepared to discuss the defects you identified.

Again, it is CRITICAL to this exercise that you do NOT do this the night before. I've been through times where I reviewed something on the spur of the moment, then have gone through the code review and AFTER IT'S OVER I've realized something that I forgot to mention. If you do things ahead of time, that critical thinking fermentation process has time to occur BEFORE the review, so things don't get left out. Also, if everyone is not prepared, I've had peer reviews rescheduled to make sure everyone concerned reviews the work product. This wastes time and money, usually on projects which have too little of either!

This link will allow you to download a copy of the peer review comment sheet. It is a Microsoft Excel (.xls) document.

This link will allow you to download a copy of the peer review comment sheet. It is an OpenOffice Calc (.ods) document.

Due date for this is noon Monday, 2015-04-21, to give everyone at least 24 hours to review.