About this book
Software Development and Professional Practice is also about code construction—how to write great programs and make them work. What, you say? You've already written eight gazillion programs! Of course I know how to write code! Well, in this book you'll re-examine what you already do, and you'll investigate ways to improve. Using the Java language, you'll look deeply into coding standards, debugging, unit testing, modularity, and other characteristics of good programs. You'll also talk about reading code. How do you read code? What makes a program readable? Can good, readable code replace documentation? How much documentation do you really need?
This book introduces you to software engineering—the application of engineering principles to the development of software. What are these engineering principles? First, all engineering efforts follow a defined process. So, you'll be spending a bit of time talking about how you run a software development project and the different phases of a project. Secondly, all engineering work has a basis in the application of science and mathematics to real-world problems. And so does software development! You'll therefore take the time to examine how to design and implement programs that solve specific problems.
Finally, this book is also about human-computer interaction and user interface design issues. A poor user interface can ruin any desire to actually use a program; in this book, you'll figure out why and how to avoid those errors.
Software Development and Professional Practice covers many of the topics described for the ACM Computing Curricula 2001 course C292c Software Development and Professional Practice. It is designed to be both a textbook and a manual for the working professional.