Course Description

Course Name

Effective Programming

Session: VDNS3121

Hours & Credits

18 Credit Points

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


Effective programming design and reliable implementation of algorithms. Systematic verification. The requirements of maintainable software. Tools for software construction.

This paper develops and extends the analytical and creative skills required in programming. A series of etudes, some individual, some in pairs, and some in groups require solutions that challenge your abilities as programmers. As well as finding solutions, there is an emphasis on testing and verifying them, and communicating the outcome to the "client" (who, in this case, is the instructor).

Teaching Arrangements
This paper has no lectures. Students take part in weekly 'town hall meetings'. There are also two two-hour labs per week.

Course Structure
This paper aims to improve and develop programming skills by setting a series of exercises which require an analytical and creative approach to problem solving. Most, but not all, of these exercises will involve programming tasks. Some will not use computers at all, some will use them only for ancillary tasks. Each solution will be assessed against the requirements and students will be expected to go back and rework each problem until it is completed satisfactorily. Students will be required to fully test and debug their programs as well as learn to identify inefficiencies.

Assessment: This paper is 100% internally assessed and is pass/fail. To pass the paper students must complete a series of études (exercises).

Learning Outcomes
The central learning outcomes from COSC 326 relate to the strategies and mechanics of problem solving in the context of programming. Specifically:
- Understanding a problem (simplification, clarification, generalisation, and specification)
- Learning different problem solving strategies (e.g. creative approaches, top down, choice of tools, etc.)
- Specific computer related techniques in problem solving (e.g. limitations of programs, recursion, testing, efficiency)
- Working with people (e.g. group management and dynamics, collaboration, record keeping and reporting)

*Course content subject to change