A capstone course at the University of Maryland
Software engineering deals with the quality issues that arise during construction of
applications involving computers and systems. How do we precisely determine all
that an intended program is supposed to do? And how do we proceed in situations
where we can't know everything about a proposed system in advance?
How do we know a proposed system will
actually solve a given problem? How do we communicate our needs among developers, and
how do we keep them working together productively? As the system is constructed,
how do we confirm that it does what we really wanted it to do? Among all the ways
one might solve a problem, which designs and implementations will bring
the lowest costs, least risk and greatest long-term value? 435 will address these questions
and many more.
Because this is a 'capstone' course (read: lab class)
we are interested in ensuring that not only
do students have knowledge of software engineering topics, but also that
you have given us an evidence-based way to confirm whether you possess skills and
patterns of thought which are appropriate to our discipline. We require substantial
pre-reqs to enter the class in anticipation that we will integrate your prior preparation
with our content, then we will help you learn better how to apply it. Our target goals
are thus substantial, and our strategy for reaching them involves solving a
challenging problem in collaboration with other students on your team. What we also just
cautioned is that demand for time outside the scheduled class period is substantial, chiefly
in meetings with the team, mentor and project clients.
- PROSPECTIVE students (students
considering 435 in Spring 2020) should
read: Is 435 right for me?
Except for key dates on the timeline, all material you read at this site is consistent with
what you will see in your Spring 2020 class.
- REGISTERED students (those
registered for Fall 2019)
will track the 435 dashboard. If you follow no
other page, then at least watch here since we keep this updated at all times. It is the
single place to check for what you should be doing in order to succeed in this class.
- Tues/Thurs - 2:00PM to 3:45PM
- None are required, though many resources are
available and we will recommend that you complement the lectures and project
activities with regular study of such supporting materials. In addition, it is
not unusual during the semester to develop a need for other or specialized
technical references depending on the project directions; those materials are your
- As soon as possible in the new semester, we recommend that you take the
Clifton Strengths, an assessment you can read about at that
linked site. We would like to use
this information in understanding team dynamics as we get moving on projects, and to show how
this understanding can improve our project outcomes. This is a purchase item and while several
options are available there, the "Top 5 Strengths" (a cost of $11.99 for the students
product) will be adequate for our
purposes. We will announce how to submit these at the start of class. Note: if you already
have a Strengths report from a previous course or internship, then that will be fine -
no need to buy it again.
- Any in-class portion of the final exam will be as scheduled by campus; we use
the time slot set by campus and make no attempt to be creative in adjusting it.
As disclosed on the syllabus and announced on the first day of class, the final
may include a take-home component, which would be due during the scheduled exam
(Update:) Campus has scheduled our final exam for 10:30-12:30PM
on Saturday, December 14. Any in-class exam will occur at this time, and
any takehome component of an exam will be due by end of this time slot.
Copyright © 2017-2019 James M. Purtilo
- Dr. James Purtilo (purtilo *at* umd.edu)
- Office: 5214 IRB
- Phone: 301.405.2706
- Office Hours: as individually scheduled