SWE 430 Syllabus


Welcome to SWE 430: Software Construction! I am happy to have you in my class. This offering presents all new material that centers on modern software construction best practices such as test-driven development, automated unit testing, and refactoring. The content will be more technical than you may be used to from previous SWE offerings. The format of the course takes a hands-on approach, focusing on examples and exercises. I hope you enjoy the course as much as I have enjoyed developing the content!

The first half of the course presents a lesson focusing on TDD and unit testing, an example applying the concepts of the lesson, and a graded exercise where the student applies what he or she has learned. The second half of the course has lessons on refactoring, tools and standards. Like the first half of the course, there is an accompanying example and exercise. There will be a final exam at the end of the course. The majority of the time you spend on the class will be in working through the examples and the exercises.

Where to Start?

Flow of the course:

  1. Start by posting an introduction of yourself on the discussion board.
  2. Read through Lesson 1: TDD and Unit Testing.
  3. Next, read the Instructions for working through the examples and exercises.
  4. Then learn about CoffeeScript and qUnit in the tutorial.
  5. Now you are ready for your first example. Grab the Example 1 Environment (zip, jsbin) and start working through Example 1.1. If you would like additional instruction, Example 1.2 is also available. Example 1.2 is optional.
  6. With the lesson and example under your belt, you should have no problems completing Exercise 1 with the associated Environment (zip, jsbin).

The second half of the course will follow the same pattern; 1) lesson, 2) example, 3) exercise. There will be an exam at the end of the course.

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the impact of decisions made in selecting construction tools and processes.
  2. Detail software artifacts produced during and in support of construction.
  3. Analyze software construction artifacts for standards compliance and errors.
  4. Evaluate the conversion of low-level design artifacts into a software solution.
  5. Trace elements of a software solution to requirements and test cases.
  6. Assess the effectiveness of unit and interface test cases.
  7. Analyze methods of improving software assurance.
  8. Identify steps involved in construction and debugging processes.


You will primarily be evaluated on the work you turn in for Exercise 1 and 2 and your score on the final exam. The points possible for each evaluated item is listed below.

ItemPoints Possible
Exercise 1 40
Exercise 2 40
Final Exam 15

The bulk of your grade depends on the exercises, so please be sure to give yourself plenty of time to complete them. Each exercise will take approximately six hours to complete. You need at least 75 points to pass the class.

Due Dates

Meeting the recommended due dates will allow you to progress smoothly through the course. The deadlines are there to ensure I have enough time to grade everyone's work. If I don't have enough time to grade your work, I cannot give you a fair assessment.

ItemRecommended Turn-inDeadline
Introduction09 July15 July
Exercise 1 15 July22 July
Exercise 2 25 July26 July
Final Exam 26 July26 July

AFIT Policies

These are key Air University, AFIT and LS policies that will be observed by both students and faculty.

Withdraws and Transfers

We understand that work and personal conflicts may arise, and we want to be as flexible as possible in helping you complete the course in light of these constraints. If you see a potential conflict surfacing, please let me know as soon as possible so we can be proactive in resolving it while sufficient trade space still exists to do so. We will need to get approval from your immediate supervisor before we can withdraw you from the course or transfer you to our next offering.

Academic Freedom and Non-Attribution

Effective learning requires an open exchange of ideas. Policies of academic freedom and non-attribution create an environment where students and faculty are able to engage in a meaningful dialogue without fear of retribution. A policy of academic freedom means that faculty and students may express their opinions concerning current or proposed policies, regulations and procedures openly, honestly, and professionally. It does not mean that one may attack the character, personality, or other personal attributes of an individual. Personal attacks will not be tolerated. A policy of non-attribution means what you say in class will not be attributed to you, if and when your thoughts or ideas are repeated outside of class.

Academic Integrity and Cheating

You are prohibited from engaging in plagiarism, cheating, misrepresentation, unprofessional relationships, or any other act constituting a lack of academic integrity. The use of any unauthorized assistance to complete any task or assignment that is evaluated for purposes of establishing a student's grade is absolutely prohibited. Providing unauthorized assistance to another individual is likewise prohibited. Such actions may result in immediate termination of the offender's enrollment and dismissal from class.


No individual under any circumstances should be subjected to harassment. A hostile environment is detrimental to the learning process and will not be tolerated. Certain types of harassment are against public law, policy or regulation, such as harassment due to race, religion, national origin or gender. However, any behavior that is disruptive to the class or hinders the learning experience of the faculty, staff, or students will not be tolerated and could also lead to disciplinary action for faculty and staff or dismissal from the course for students. Students, staff, and faculty alike should treat each other with dignity and respect. The AFIT policy is that learning requires a supportive environment, and no harassment of a personal nature will be tolerated.

Student Rights

As a student in an AFIT PCE course, certain rights are conferred to you. For any adverse action taken against you, it is your right to appeal. Per Air University memo "Policy Regarding Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Grievances" dated 7 June 2012 students have the right to formally present grievances or complaints in writing. Formal complaints are to be addressed at the lowest authority level possible, but may be elevated through the chain of command or supervisory channels if necessary. If an appeal is not resolved at the current level, inform the level's representative of your intention to elevate the appeal to the next level.

The chain of appeal follows this order:

  1. Course director
  2. SPDP Program Director
  3. AFIT School of Systems and Logistics Dean
  4. AFIT Vice Commandant
  5. AFIT Chancellor and President (decisions made at this level are final)

Lyall Jonathan Di Trapani 05 Apr 2013