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Practicum: Construction


is the first practicum performed by all incoming students to the Software Factory and is normally completed the first semester of the junior year in conjunction with boot camp. Using the knowledge and skills developed in the freshman and sophmore years of study, the student will:

  • Use configuration management software to check source code modules in and out of a central repository.

  • Develop and code modules from a detailed design specification written by someone else. This includes making implementation-level decisions such as coding specific data structures to meet the detailed design requirements while maintaining the designer's intent.

  • Use CASE tools to review the design and tie the source code being developed to the design.

  • Develop individual modules as part of a much larger development team.

  • Participate in peer and code reviews of their work.

  • Use and comply with established coding standards.

  • Develop and conduct unit-level tests and certify their modules ready for integration.

  • Gather defect statistics for use in process-improvement activities.

Suggested Texts:

Code Complete, Instructor Handouts


Students in construction practicum require access to the software development environment, CASE Tool, Test Harnesses (if any), CM tool, and Metrics tool.

Assume 100 students in Construction each semester, Machines in lab for 20% = 20 Machines running above software.

Machines need to be split amonst OS's based on project densities:
xx Mac
xx NT
xx ???


Construction is assessed via the artifact inspection of source code and observation of students in the construction process.

Observations ensure students follow the appropriate techniques for the project they are on. Code inspections and peer reviews allow incremental progress assessment to occur.

SQA group integrating students code should also have a say in grade based upon conformance to design and quality of unit testing conducting. This implies the RDD for the code must be prior to end of rotation by some amount.

Artifact inspection includes conformance to coding standards and qualitative judgement on maintainability of student's code.

Assessment weighting should focus on what is different over coding done in first 2 years. I.E. following appropriate factory process based upon project, participation in group development, meeting mini-milestones etc.

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