Carnegie Mellon University

Application Development Practices


Martin Radley

Number of Lectures


Course Description

Application Development Practices is a semester long problem solving practicum that runs during the beginning of the second year of the Practical Software Curriculum.  Students join a fictional organization, are assigned specific roles (for example: software developer, tester, technical lead, etc.) and solve practical problems under faculty guidance.

The practicum consists of 8 mini- case studies, each of which employs “Learn by Doing” (LBD) as the learning style approach.  Students participate in a brief orientation of a fictional IT organization where they will be ‘working’ in various roles in teams of 3-4 students for the semester.  Teams will also partner with other teams for specific assignments.

The case studies are intentionally sequenced to “frustrate” the students.  If students get a taste of “real world” problems they will be much better positioned to accept and internalize the lessons learned as taught in previous courses to address these problems. 

The Instructor’s role is to facilitate students reflecting on and logging their experiences, using the case study as focus topics.  Students are expected to use what they have learned or are learning in other courses.  In addition, students are expected to use their diaries elsewhere in the program.  For example, at the end of the Software Project Management course, students identify the planning, estimating and tracking problems they encountered in this practicum, and list solutions used to address those problems.



Recommended Textbook