COMPSCI 235 : Software Development Methodologies


2022 Semester Two (1225) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

An introduction to software development, including processes, best practices, tools and quality assurance techniques such as testing.

Course Overview

COMPSCI 235 introduces basic tools, approaches, and methodologies in software development. The course is a good preparation for third year study in software development, in depth database and web development courses. It is intended to strengthen the toolset of students regarding practical software development, thus deepening what is learned in COMPSCI 230 and preparing for the Software specialization in Computer Science. It is strongly suggested but not required to take COMPSCI 235 after finishing COMPSCI 230.

The main focus of COMPSCI 235 is on software design methodologies to structure the process of developing software, common design patterns used for abstraction and data hiding, using tools like application frameworks, integrated development environments for programming and debugging or version control and bug tracking for management, as well as quality assurance techniques such as testing at different levels of the development process. Central to the course will be a practical assignment, where students learn to apply some of the important methodologies and gain hands-on experience. The course will be taught using the Python programming language.

COMPSCI 235 serves as a stepstone for courses like COMPSCI 331, Large-Scale Software Development, or COMPSCI 335, but also prepares for software projects or capstone projects. Skills learned in this course are sought for in industry in roles like software developer or software engineer.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: 15 points from COMPSCI 105, 107, 130 Restriction: COMPSCI 280

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Explain fundamental concepts of software development processes, including software development lifecycle, phases, iterations, and practices. (Capability 1)
  2. Explain and apply agile methodologies for software development. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  3. Explain and apply basic techniques of requirements elicitation and modelling, including basic data modelling. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  4. Explain and apply programming best practices, including coding style standards, code documentation, common coding errors, defensive programming, code reviews, debugging and refactoring. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 4)
  5. Explain the main concepts of development tools and be able to use their basic features, including application frameworks, integrated development environments, build tools, defect tracking tools and version control repositories. (Capability 1 and 2)
  6. Explain and apply concepts of software testing, including test cases and test suites, testing frameworks and coverage criteria. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  7. Communicate effectively about software to their peers. (Capability 4)
  8. Apply programming and software development skills in a practical task. (Capability 1 and 3)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Exam 45% Individual Examination
Post Lecture Quizzes 5% Individual Coursework
Labs 8% Individual Coursework
Assignments 42% Group & Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Post Lecture Quizzes
Assessments are grouped into "practical" and "other work" components. Besides passing the overall course, both groups also have to be passed separately in order to complete the course. The "practical" component consists of the combined "Labs" and "Assignments" types, while the "other work" consists of the combined "Exam" and "Post Lecture Quizzes" component.


For more information and to find contact details for the CompSci 235 Tuākana coordinator, please see

Key Topics

  • Agile software development
  • Software design and architectural patterns
  • Software testing
  • Web-based application architectures
  • Integrated development environments
  • Source and version control tools
  • Continuous integration and build tools
  • Requirements gathering and elicitation
  • Software design patterns
  • Database design and implementation
  • A Python based middleware framework (e.g. Flask)

Special Requirements

The assignments are highly practically oriented and build upon each other, so students are required to get started with demonstrating their learning from the very beginning of the course.

Students are expected to read and study through the external resources or reading lists on their own to supplement lecture materials.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, per week you can expect 2-3 hours of lectures, 1 hour of lab, 1 hour of reading and thinking about the content and 5-6 hours of work on assignments.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled activities including labs to receive credit for components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including labs will not be available as recordings.
Attendance on campus is required for the exam.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

All course material and additional resources will be made available via Canvas. There is no required textbook for this course.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 31/10/2021 01:40 p.m.