Course Syllabus


This class will focus on designing software systems at the largest possible level. An emphasis will be placed on problem solving, analysis skills, and interpersonal social skills.

Required Resources

The textbook for this course is Software Design by James Helfrich. This is available as an e-book through Kendall Hunt. Your subscription should be part of the course enrollment.


Course Outcomes

CSE 430 is the seventh and final class in a seven-class software design sequence. If you complete all the readings and labs, you will be able to do the following:

  1. List and describe the most important system architectures
  2. Compare and contrast the most important system architectures
  3. Describe situations in which a given system architecture would be appropriate
  4. From a given existing code base, produce a description of the system architecture
  5. Suggest design improvements on a given existing system architecture
  6. Produce a new system architecture to fulfill a given set of system requirements
  7. Work effectively in a multi-tier development environment

Bi-Weekly Patterns

The course is divided into six two-week blocks. The table below displays typical block activities, due dates, and activity descriptions.

Due Date* Learning Model Activity Title Description
Monday first week Prepare Reading Read material and take a quiz.
Wednesday first week Teach One Another Team Time Work with your team on the lab
Monday second week Teach One Another Team Time Work with your team to complete the lab
Wednesday second week Teach One Another Team Time and Performance Evaluation Work with team and contribute to the performance evaluation process
End of second week Prove Milestone Submission The team submits the design document

What to Expect from the Course

In order to help you meet these objectives, CSE 430 will offer the following learning activities: reading, reading quiz, and bi-weekly labs.


The course provides a textbook: Software Design by James Helfrich. This is available as an e-book through Kendall Hunt. Your subscription should be part of the course enrollment. Through the course of the semester, you will need to read parts of Unit 3 and Unit 4, totaling five chapters. Additionally, three research articles will supplement the reading. This textbook presents all the necessary skills you will need to demonstrate for the class. It does not provide solutions to the assignments, projects, nor tests. It also does not describe how to solve every problem you will need to solve this semester. The course also provides additional material available through I-Learn.

You will need to read a chapter of this textbook at the beginning of every other week. Some concepts are difficult and may require more than one attempt to understand everything. By the time you work on the weekly lab, you will need to master every aspect of these chapters. It will take on average an hour to read the 20 pages in each chapter.

By completing the reading, you will understand the concepts surrounding system design..

Reading quiz

The course provides a reading quiz associated with each chapter in the book. The reading quiz covers all the fact/comprehension topics for the chapter. The solution to each reading quiz is provided shortly after the due date.

You will need to complete the reading quiz at the beginning of every other week. These quizzes are due Monday at 11:59pm. You may take this quiz up to 5 times. The highest grade will be retained. These are open-book quizzes.

By completing the reading quiz, you will have demonstrated a readiness to participate in class and with your team. The reading quizzes will account for 20% of your overall grade in the class.

Bi-Weekly Milestones

The course provides six milestones. Each milestone submission is due Saturday at 5:00pm MST by the PM or by one of his/her representatives.

You will need to contribute to the group effort in any way possible. Sometimes this involves technical expertise. Sometimes it involves communication or social skills. You need to work to be an effective team member, a strong contributor, and an easy person to work with.

By completing the projects, you will learn how to function in a multi-tier management environment and how to design a large and complex system. The milestones constitute 80% of your overall grade. The first five milestones count for 40% of your grade (8% each) and the final submission counts for 40% of the grade.


There are three components to your overall grade:

Reading Quiz 20% Seven reading quizzes, five attempts, due before the first class of the week
Milestone 1-5 40% Each milestone is worth 8% of your overall grade
Final Submission 40% The final submission is worth 40% of the overall grade.
Standard BYU-Idaho Grading Scale
93-100% A 90-92.9% A- 87-89.9% B+
83-86.9% B 80-82.9% B- 77-79.9% C+
73-76.9% C 70-72.9% C- 67-69.9% D+
63-66.9% D 60-62.9% D- Below 60% F


The entire class will work on one project under the direction of a Program Manager (PM) who is a member of the class. The class will further be sub-divided into teams head head by a team lead (Lead). Each Lead will report to the PM. Every member of the class will be an individual contributor (IC) assigned to a team, a Lead, or the PM.

There will be three main ways to communicate with the instructor in CSE 430: BYU-Idaho e-mail, Announcements, and through the PM:

  • E-Mail. All students are required to use their BYU-Idaho e-mail when communicating with the instructor. Please do not count on using the phone (unless explicitly arranged by the instructor), Facebook, smoke signals, or any other form of communication. The instructor will answer all your e-mails in less than 24 hours.
  • Announcements. Please check the announcements every single day. The instructor will periodically post important and time-sensitive items in the announcements.
  • PM. By the end of the first week, the class will select on individual to serve as the project manager and several to serve as team leads. This will function much like the typical work environment where feedback funnels through the leads up to the PM and then up to the "big boss" (read: instructor). Information and instructions will then funnel back through the PM to the leads and on to the individual contributors. The instructor and the PM will be in daily contact.


All communication (note passing, talking, and electronic) needs to be focused on the subject matter. For the most part, late labs will not be accepted. Contact the instructor before the due-date if you think your situation warrants an exception.

Generally speaking, late work is generally not accepted in this class. If a problem arises, you must contact your instructor long before the due date and provide a good reason. Examples of good excuses: death in family, illness requiring a doctor visit, etc. Examples of bad excuses: I forgot when it was due, I did not plan appropriately, I relied upon some technology to work flawlessly the five minutes before the deadline, etc. If a special accommodation needs to be made, both you and your instructor must come up with and agree upon a plan for your late work. This plan may include new due dates or a point penalty. If you do not have a written (in e-mail) agreement, then the assignment due date remains.

Proctored Exams and Assessments

This course will use an online proctoring software called Proctorio. This makes it possible for students to take assessments and exams without a human proctor present. Proctored exams can be accessed like any other exam, once the software has been installed. Exams will be recorded by Proctorio and reviewed by the BYUI Testing Center. Any questionable exams will be forwarded to the instructor for further review.

For step-by-step instructions on Proctorio installation, please refer to this help guide article.

University Policies

Preventing Sexual Misconduct

BYU—Idaho prohibits sex discrimination by its employees and students in all of its education programs or activities. This includes all forms of sexual harassment, such as sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, conditioning a grade or job on participation in sexual conduct, and other forms of unwelcome sexual conduct.

As an instructor, one of my responsibilities is to help create a safe learning environment for my students and for the campus as a whole. University policy requires deans and department chairs, and encourages all faculty, to report every incident of sexual harassment that comes to their attention. If you encounter or experience sexual harassment, please contact the Title IX Coordinator at or 208-496-9209. Additional information about sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and available resources can be found at

Disability Services

BYU—Idaho does not discriminate against persons with disabilities in providing its educational and administrative services and programs and follows applicable federal and state law. This policy extends to the University’s electronic and information technologies (EIT).

Students with qualifying disabilities should contact the Disability Services Office at or 208-496-9210. Additional information about Disability Services resources can be found at

Academic Honesty

“When you are honest in every way, you are able to enjoy peace of mind and maintain self-respect. You build the strength of character, which allows you to be of service to God and others. You are trustworthy in the eyes of God and those around you. If you are dishonest in your words or actions, you hurt yourself and often hurt others as well. If you lie, steal, cheat, or neglect to give the full amount of work for your pay, you lose your self-respect. You lose the guidance of the Holy Ghost” (“Honesty,” True to the Faith (2004), 84)

Academic Honesty means students do their own work. This also means their instructors will evaluate that work. Students should not be dishonest—this includes all types of work in their courses. The complete Academic Honesty Policy can be found at

Academic Grievances

Students are encouraged to contact their instructors regarding course-related concerns. If concerns cannot be resolved in this way, students may contact the BYU—Idaho Support Center to formally register a concern or grievance. The Student Grievance Policy can be found here.

Other University Policies

Please read through the document called University Policies. It gives important information about the following topics:

  • Student Honor
  • Copyright Notice

Go to the Student Resources module to review further resources and information.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due