Throughout all topics in IST, you will be expected to complete and adhere to good project development management. These tasks are designed to hone each of the required skills. We will revisit these throughout the course and all assignments will require some level of project development.
What is project management? Throughout this website, there are enormous resources to support the project development procedures expected in the Software Design and Development HSC course. This topic provides a brief introduction to some of the techniques used to fully understand a problem and develop an appropriate solution to it.
The software development approach To solve a problem, software developers break down the process into a series of stages. This is the same as when you develop a solution to an assignment or when a high budget organisation builds a major operating system.
Where there is a long time period to complete the project, and is where it is preferable for the project to be completed by teams. It is characterized by distinct stages, with each stage being completed before moving onto the next stage.
The stages of the development cycle are:
Defining the problem : It is necessary to understand the problem in as much detail as possible.
Planning the solution : It is important to begin the planning and design of a solution to the problem. Planning solution involves determining data types, developing algorithms and diagrams, whether the ‘start from scratch approach' needed, determine the programming language used.
Building the solution : Building the solution involves converting the specifications and algorithms developed during the planning stage into code.
Checking the solution : Once the software solution has been coded it is necessary to check that is operates correctly.
Modifying the solution : Modification of code may be necessary if errors are detected, or the users' feedback means that the program doesn't meet their needs, or the underlying processes change, or the existing system changes, etc. Accurate documentation is extremely important because the modifications may be made by programmer who were not part of the original team.
Structured development approach
(Samuel Davis, Software design and development HSC Course)
Defining the problem
Topic In this topic we will focus mostly on defining and understanding the problem (the rest will be you actually building the projects). When a client asks a company to build them a computer solution to a product (like a website or program), they will often give them specific criteria and requirements to meet. The software developer then has the responsibility of clarifying their exact needs, and this is usually done through a combination of the the techniques applied below:
Project definition The project definition identifies and restate the problem, sometimes in a series of smaller problems. It often includes information about who will use the final product. Download the Google Doc worksheet on project definitions and complete the activities.
IPO chart An IPO chart which stands for Input-Process-Output chart, shows how data input to the program is processed and returned as output. Download the Google Doc worksheet on IPO charts and complete the activities. Using the MakerSpace equipment from LittleBits and MakeyMakey, complete the Google Doc activities.
Feasibility study A feasibility study investigates an important factors that will need to be considered when developing the solutions. For example, time and cost. Download the Google Doc worksheet on feasibility studies and complete the activities.
Gantt chart A gantt chart is a visual representation that outlines specifically the length of time a task is expected to take. This is usually strictly adhered to to ensure deadlines are met. Download the introductory Google Doc worksheet and advanced Google Doc worksheets on Gantt charts and complete the activities. You will also need the Google Sheets gantt chart template.
Building the project Below are two documentaries on project development. Each of them outline specific criteria that need to be met, the targeted audience and the evaluation of the solution. Download the Google Doc pro forma on project development and complete it as though you were the project designer.