Course Syllabus

Course Title: Software Practice II

Website: Canvas

Lectures: Tuesday and Thursday, 2:00-3:20p, WEB L103

Labs: Wednesday, held in WEB L130

003: 9:40-10:30a
004: 10:45-11:35a
005: 11:50a-12:40p

Instructor: David Johnson


Course Staff Email:

Office Hours: In 3146 MEB (along the west face of the MEB 3rd floor). See the help link under the Canvas Course Resources module.

Midterm Exams: 2 mid-terms (Sept. 26 and Nov. 30th)

Final Exam: None. The finals slot on Dec. 15th will be used for final project presentations. 

Grading: Exams 30%, Homework 60%, Labs and Online Exercises 10%

Assignments are given an immediate 15% deduction when submitted after the due date and time. After 24 hours, another 15% is deducted. After 48 hours, the assignment is given a 0. You can discuss emergencies with me.

Students may not miss a test for any reason other than an emergency for which there is written documentation. 

Labs will have minor check-off processes to show you completed material. Your lowest lab score will be dropped.

Grade Scale: 

[100-94] A, (94-90] A-, (90-87] B+, (87-83] B, (83-80] B-, (80-77] C+, (77-73] C, (73-70] C-, (70-67] D+, (67-63] D, (63-60] D-, (60-0] E

where [ ] means including that number and ( ) means up to but not including. Note that the range for A and A- is slightly different from the other grades.

Course Overview

The purpose of this class is to provide you with the information and skills to work on software projects in a team setting all the way from inception to final product. Some topics covered are the modeling of software systems with UML, traditional requirements-based software development, and agile-based development. 

A secondary purpose of the class is to teach C++ software development. C++ is an important language for many reasons and having some proficiency in it will provide you with valuable skills. Along with the C++ language, this course looks at development environments traditionally associated with C++ that may still be unfamiliar to you (linux terminal, emacs/vim, makefiles, etc.).  These different tool-chains allow you to be an effective developer in different contexts.

This course also looks at C++ design patterns, idioms, and frameworks, all of which are tried-and-true approaches for solving particular problems that are often encountered. Many of the course projects will be connected thematically to these approaches.

During the semester, students will work on a number of projects. A few projects will be individual assignments, a few will be pair programming assignments, and the remainder will be team projects. The projects will stress accuracy, correctness, and sustainability. Team projects will be evaluated not only on code, but also on the process used to develop the software. The course will use a number of mechanisms to evaluate individual contributions to the projects: code submissions, TA oversight, and team internal and external evaluations.

The prerequisites for this course are the successful completion of CS 3500, CS 2420, CS 1410, and MATH 1210. You should have a solid foundation in computer programming, computer science, mathematics, and application development to be enrolled in this course. We will begin assuming that all students know how to create applications in both C# and Java, and that you have three semesters of programming experience. Students who did poorly in any of the prerequisites should consider re-taking the prerequisite before taking this class. 

Lectures / Discussion Sections 

In lecture I will use a laptop for slides, examples, and programming. All slides, examples, and programs will be posted on the class website. I will also occasionally use the chalkboard, but information put on the board will not be posted online. 

Students are expected to participate in lecture by thinking about the material, asking questions, and offering answers to my questions.

We will occasionally have planning or design sessions during lecture that involve team-based planning and coordination. Students should come to class prepared for this with paper and writing implements. 

We will hold discussion sections this semester on Wednesdays in WEB L 130. During discussion sections TAs will present technical material and help teams with software practices. Labs will often have an associated online exercise that must be done to get credit for the lab. During the group phase, you must be able to meet your group during the assigned lab time.

Students are expected to engage with the instructor and classmates during class meetings. Students are permitted to use a laptop or mobile device to take notes or try programming concepts. Use of a laptop or mobile device for any other purpose is not permitted and students who do so will be asked to leave the classroom. While you may consider it a right to casually browse the web, engage in social media, or play games during lecture, such activity is very distracting to others (especially in a crowded classroom) and is not permitted. 


This course makes heavy use of online resources on C++, development practices, emacs, makefiles, terminal commands, UML, Qt, KDE, and Agile. You are expected to actually read these resources. 

Projects and Code Reviews 

There will be projects and code reviews due throughout the semester. The release and due dates for each assignment will be posted on the class website. 

Projects will involve a significant amount of programming and design. As this is a three-hour class, I expect students will spend an average of 6-9 hours a week working on the assignments. 

Students must be aware that their work will be subject to peer review throughout the semester. We will make portions of your work visible for other students to see and review (with names, comments, and filenames intact). Please do not hand in anything objectionable or sensitive. Also, students will be required to review the work of their peers in the class. Specific requirements for reviews will be posted on the class website, and we will discuss how to conduct code reviews in class. 


Special consideration is always required when working in teams. You should select teammates whose understanding of the material is roughly the same as yours. Teams should also be formed based on compatible schedules. 

During the team phase, if a team member doesn’t do the work assigned to them, then we reserve the right to adjust the scores accordingly. This may mean adjusting the score of the person not doing their job lower and possibly, in rare occurrences, adjusting the rest of the team higher (because they had to cover for the person ”flaking out”). If this starts to happen at any point during the semester, please inform me immediately. 

CADE Lab Accounts 

The engineering computing lab (the CADE lab, WEB L 226) has all the hardware and software needed for this class. For the most part, you will need to either use a CADE lab machine, or learn how to remotely access those machines.

Asking for Help 

Every student will get stuck sooner or later. When you do, feel free to ask for help in person or through the class website. We are happy to help. 

In-person help is the most effective way to learn. Please make use of our posted office hours whenever possible. 

Most assignments will have a help/questions forum is where you should post simple questions for other students. If you’d like to find a study partner, if you discover something really cool, or if you just have a simple question, feel free to post to this forum. The only rule is that you are not allowed to post code or discussions of any portion of any solution. 

Cooperation vs. Cheating 

Working with others on assignments is a good way to learn the material and I encourage it. However, there are limits to the degree of cooperation that I will permit. Working together to find a good approach for solving a problem is cooperation; listening while someone dictates a solution is cheating. You must limit collaboration to a high-level discussion of solution strategies and stop short of actually writing down group answers. The following guide is intended to clarify cooperation vs. cheating. 


Students may use code that we provide as part of this semester’s assignment and lab postings. 

Students may use small “snippets” of code from web tutorials in their solutions. These snippets must be small pieces of general purpose code that are not direct solutions to the assignment. Snippets must not exceed about 10% of the statements in any assignment. When using snippets of code from the web, properly cite them in your source code. Place a comment immediately above each piece of borrowed code and state “Code example from” and give the source URL for the code. Place a comment below the snippet stating “End of example”. 

Students may use the writing center or writing tutors to help refine their grammar on reports, so long as the tutor does not help with writing text, problem solving, or analysis. 

Team programming is allowed for certain assignments. These assignments will clearly state that team programming is allowed. Independent, individual work is required for all other assignments, labs, write-ups and exams. 

Studying together is encouraged. Students may discuss strategies and common problems and students may answer each other’s general questions. 


Using any materials from a previous CS 3505 semester is cheating. 

When writing code, you must not base your work on any other person’s design or code. If you look at another student’s code, you are cheating. If you write code in a group (when not allowed), you are cheating. If you ask another person to help you write code, you are cheating. Write your own solutions. 

When writing reports, all work must remain independent and confidential. Reading other people’s work or sharing of answers, data, text, or diagrams is cheating. Discussion of general formulas is allowed, but step-by-step solving of written problems together is cheating. 

When taking an exam, you must work completely independently of everyone else. Any collaboration here, of course, is cheating. 

We do not distinguish between cheaters who copy others’ work and cheaters who allow their work to be copied. If you are the source of materials or skill used for cheating, you will also fail the class. Be careful what you post to forums, and don’t show your friends your work! 

Finally, if something you are doing may be considered both collaboration and cheating, it is cheating. Don’t do it. 

The sanction for any cheating (plagiarism) in this class, no matter how small the offense, is an ’E’.

College of Engineering guidelines For information on withdrawing from courses, appealing grades, and more, see the College of Engineering guidelines at (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Students with disabilities The University of Utah seeks to provide equal access to its programs, services and activities for people with disabilities. If you will need accommodations in the class, reasonable prior notice needs to be given to the Center for Disability and Access ( (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.). CDA will work with you and the instructor to make arrangements for accommodations. Accommodations cannot be given without paperwork from this office.

Addressing Sexual Misconduct. Title IX makes it clear that violence and harassment based on sex and gender (which includes sexual orientation and gender identity/expression) is a civil rights offense subject to the same kinds of accountability and the same kinds of support applied to offenses against other protected categories such as race, national origin, color, religion, age, status as a person with a disability, veteran’s status or genetic information. If you or someone you know has been harassed or assaulted, you are encouraged to report it to the Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, 135 Park Building, 801-581-8365, or the Office of the Dean of Students, 270 Union Building, 801-581-7066. For support and confidential consultation, contact the Center for Student Wellness, 426 SSB, 801-581-7776. To report to the police, contact the Department of Public Safety, 801-585-2677(COPS).

Student Names & Personal Pronouns Class rosters are provided to the instructor with the students legal name as well as Preferred first name(if previously entered by you in the Student Profile section of your CIS account). While CIS refers to this as merely a preference, I will honor you by referring to you with the name and pronoun that feels best for you in class, on papers, exams, group projects, etc. Please advise me of any name or pronoun changes (and update CIS) so I can help create a learning environment in which you, your name, and your pronoun will be respected. If you need assistance getting your preferred name on your UIDcard, please visit the LGBT Resource Center Room 409 in the Olpin Union Building, or email to schedule a time to drop by. The LGBT Resource Center hours are M-F 8am-5pm, and 8am-6pm on Tuesdays.

Student Wellness Personal concerns such as stress, anxiety, relationship difficulties, depression, cross-cultural differences, etc., can interfere with a student’s ability to succeed and thrive at the University of Utah. For helpful resources contact the Center for Student Wellness at or 801-581-7776.

Veterans Center If you are a student veteran, the U of Utah has a Veterans Support Center located in Room 161 in the Olpin Union Building. Hours: M-F 8-5pm. Please visit their website for more information about what support they offer, a list of ongoing events and links to outside resources: Please also let me know if you need any additional support in this class for any reason.

Learners of English as an Additional/Second Language If you are an English language learner, please be aware of several resources on campus that will support you with your language and writing development. These resources include: the Writing Center (; the Writing Program (; the English Language Institute ( Please let me know if there is any additional support you would like to discuss for this class.

Note: This syllabus is meant to serve as an outline and guide for our course. Please note that I may modify it with reasonable notice to you. I may also modify the Course Schedule to accommodate the needs of our class. Any changes will be announced in class and posted on Canvas under Announcements.

Course Summary:

Date Details