Topic 13 – Software Project Management

Why do I need to learn about software project management?

Knowing how to create applications does not mean that you will create software SUCCESSFULLY. Creating software successfully means that you satisfy all customer's REQUIREMENTS on TIME and on BUDGET with high QUALITY while making both customer and yourself HAPPY. Especially, your software must create REVENUE for your customer.

Have you ever wondered why many software projects failed; why Google, Microsoft, IBM, etc. abandoned many projects? Software project management will provide you knowledge so that you could improve the success of your software projects and mitigate all the project risks.

What can I do after finishing learning about software project management?

You will know how to plan a project, including scoping, estimating time and resources, creating a schedule, identifying and responding to risks, etc. 

You will know how to create software following a methodology (i.e. waterfall, rational unified process, iterative and incremental development, agile method, Scrum method, extreme programming).

You will know how to manage project configurations, how to control project changes, how to report project status, how to control product quality, process quality.

You will know how to collaborate with others to create software, how to motivate your partners.

Uh-oh! I am a developer. I do not want to be a project manager. Do I really need to learn this topic?

If you have a doubt about its usefulness then please only return to this topic 
- when you are asked by your manager when you can finish your task and you do not know the answer or 
- when you cannot work with other team members together to finish a task requiring a collaboration to be done or 
- when you cannot complete a task on time due to incidents or 
- when you wonder why a project manager's salary is 3 times larger than yours.

Alright! What should I do now?

Software project management requires a lot of reading.
In order to get familiar with software project management please read this "Andrew Stellman and Jennifer Greene (2005). Applied Software Project Management" book first.
After that please read 
- this "Frederick P. Brooks Jr. (1995). The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering" book to learn the timeless principles of software project management, and
- this "Tom DeMarco and Tim Lister (2013). Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams" book to learn how to deal with human side of software project management, and
- this "Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister (2003). Waltzing With Bears: Managing Risk on Software Projects" book to learn how to deal with software project risks, and
- this "Steve McConnell (2006). Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art" book to learn how to estimate effort, time and cost for a software project.
After that please read 
- this "Philippe Kruchten (2003). The Rational Unified Process: An Introduction" book, and 
- this "Per Kroll et al. (2003). The Rational Unified Process Made Easy: A Practitioner's Guide to the RUP" book, and
- this "Scott W. Ambler et al. (2005). The Enterprise Unified Process: Extending the Rational Unified Process" book to learn how to develop software using a managed process.
After that please read 
- this "Ken Schwaber (2004). Agile Project Management with Scrum. Microsoft Press" book, and
- this "Jonathan Rasmusson (2010). The Agile Samurai: How Agile Masters Deliver Great Software. Pragmatic Bookshelf" book, and
- this "Kenneth S. Rubin (2012). Essential Scrum A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process. Addison-Wesley Professional" book, and
- this "Mike Cohn (2010). Succeeding with Agile - Software Development Using Scrum. Addison Wesley" book, and
- this "Dean Leffingwell (2011). Agile Software Requirements. Lean Requirements Practices for Teams, Programs, and the Enterprise. Addison-Wesley Professional" book, and
- this "Mike Cohn (2005). Agile Estimating and Planning" book, and
- this "Kent Beck and Cynthia Andres (2004). Extreme Programming Explained Embrace Change. 2nd Edition. Pearson Education" book, and
- this "James Shore and Shane Warden (2008). The Art of Agile Development. O'Reilly" book, and 
- this "Esther Derby and Diana Larsen (2006). Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great. Pragmatic Bookshelf" book, and 
- this "Eric Brechner (2015). Agile Project Management with Kanban. Microsoft Press" book to learn how to develop software using an agile method.
After that please read this "Project Management Institute (2017). A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge" book.
 After finishing the books please click Topic 14 - Introduction to Database Design to continue.

Topic 12 – Introduction to Software Design

Why do I need to learn about software design?

What will you do if you are tasked to build a house. You will need to sketch its first and build the house based upon the sketch. Otherwise you may build a house that may collapse in a few weeks or cannot be decorated due to errors.

The situation is similar when you create software. You need to plan how you will build it first by deciding how many components and objects will be used and what are their responsibility, how they work together, how data will be organized, how data will be flowed within your application, how users will interact with the application, etc.

Software design knowledge will show you how to do these tasks.

What can I do after finishing learning software design?

You will know how to create a design for an application including static and dynamic structure, data organization, business processing workflows, etc.

Is is really useful? I feel that you can write the code right after having the requirements and I could refactor my code when needed.

That's great if you can do it like that. Just return to this topic
(i) when you do not know how to write the code for a feature or 
(ii) when you cannot refactor your code because only a small change breaks the whole application or 
(iii) when you write a software system together with 20 other developers and you do not know how to integrate results of all developers into one solution or 
(iv) when you software system serves 20 users simultaneously very well but it stops when serving 2,000 users simultaneously and you do not know how to fix it.

Alright! What should I do now?

Software design requires a lot of reading. Each application type (enterprises, games, desktop, web, mobile, security, etc.) require specific design knowledge. At this point we focus only on the basic elements of software design.
In order to get familiar with software design please read these 3 below books in parallel:
- Grady Booch et al. (2005). Unified Modeling Language User Guide.
- Craig Larman (2004). Applying UML and Patterns: An Introduction to Object-Oriented Analysis and Design and Iterative Development.
- Robert C. Martin and Micah Martin (2006). Agile Principles, Patterns, and Practices in C#.
After that please read this "Erich Gamma et al. (1994). Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software" book. Please focus on the Motivation section of each pattern. You can skip a pattern if the problem presented in its Motivation section is not relevant to your situation.
After that please read this "Frank Buschmann et al. (1996). Pattern-Oriented Software Architecture Volume 1: A System of Patterns" book.
After that please read this "Bertrand Meyer (1997). Object-Oriented Software Construction" book and this "Grady Booch et al. (2007). Object-Oriented Analysis and Design with Applications" book.
After finishing the books please click Topic 13 - Software Project Management to continue.

Topic 11 – Software Testing

Why do I need to learn about software testing?

Just image that a user installs your application, opens it and "BOOM!", it crashes. Is it good?
An even worse case is when your software operating an airplane suddenly hangs up while the airplane is still flying in the sky. Can you image what may happen?

How do you ensure that your application solves your customer's problems? How do you know if your software meets its users' requirements? How do you give your users' confidence about the correctness, reliability and security of your software?

In order to answer these questions adequately you need to learn about software testing.

What can I do after finishing learning software testing?

You will know how to design and write a test case, how to prepare test data, how to test software structurally and correctly, how to automate testing tasks, how to report bugs.

I am a programmer. I am not a tester. Do I really need to know how to test software?

Many application capabilities must be tested by a programmer.
Many software testing tasks can only be done by a programmer.
Therefore you have to master software testing knowledge.

Alright! What should I do now?

Please read 
- this "Cem Kaner et al. (1999). Testing Computer Software. 2nd Edition. Wiley" book and 
- this "Lee Copeland (2004). A Practitioner's Guide to Software Test Design. Artech House" book, and
- this "Chaminda Chandrasekara and Pushpa Herath (2019). Hands-On Functional Test Automation: With Visual Studio 2017 and Selenium. Apress" book, and
- this "Arnon Axelrod (2018). Complete Guide to Test Automation: Techniques, Practices, and Patterns for Building and Maintaining Effective Software Projects. Apress" book.

After finishing these books please click Topic 12 - Introduction to Software Design to continue.

 

Topic 10 – Software Construction

Why do I need to learn about software construction?

Knowing how to write code does not mean that you know how to create real-world software. In real world, you will need to know how to manage your code, how to read the existing code, how to write code following standard styles, how to ensure that your code is working, how to automate your code building and deployment, how to handle error in your applications, how to optimize your code for speed, how to write secure code, how to avoid code duplication, how to create readable code, how to create code faster, etc. That's why you need to learn about software construction.

What can I do after finishing learning software construction?

You will know how to create a real world application.

Hmm! Is it really useful?

If you have a doubt about its usefulness then you can delay learning it until you are tasked to create a software system and you complete a half of it and are stuck there because when you add one more feature you will get tons of bugs due to the new code. After you finish fixing 1 bug, you get 3 other bugs due to the modified code that fixes the bug.
Another scenario is that when it takes another person 6 months to read and understand the code that you wrote in 3 months in order to fix a bug or to add a new feature.

Alright! What should I do now?

Software construction requires a lot of reading. In order to get familiar with software construction you will need to read at least below books.

Please get this "Steve McConnell (2004). Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction" book and read it first.

After that please read this "Jon Loeliger and Matthew McCullough (2012). Version Control with Git: Powerful Tools and Techniques for Collaborative Software Development" book.
Alternatively, you can read  this "Ben Collins-Sussman et al. (2011). Version Control with Subversion" book.

After that please read this "Continuous Integration: Improving Software Quality and Reducing Risk" book.

After that please read this "Kent Beck (2002). Test Driven Development: By Example" book. This is an important book in this topic. Please read this book carefully.

After that please read this "Martin Fowler (1999). Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code" book. This book is very important for software construction. Please read it carefully.

After that please read this "Diomidis Spinellis (2003). Code Reading: The Open Source Perspective" book.

After that please read this "Michael C. Feathers (2004). Working Effectively with Legacy Code" book.

After that please read this "Suhas Chatekar (2015). Learning NHibernate 4" book.

After that please read this "Matt Perdeck (2010). ASP.NET Site Performance Secrets" book.
After finishing the books please click Topic 11 - Software Testing to continue.

 

Topic 9 – Software Requirements

Why do I need to learn about software requirements?

Your software can only be successful if it helps people do their work better, or faster, or with a lower cost. In order to achieve this objective, it must fulfill the need of various users.

To fulfill users' needs you need to be able to identify their context, problems and desires, then propose software solutions for their issues.
Your software solutions must be built based on its users' requirements. So you need to be able to collect, document, manage and validate their requirements. Software requirements engineering will provide you knowledge for completing these tasks.

Do not waste your time to create software that NO ONE will use. Your software will only become useful if its requirements are correctly engineered.

What can I do after finishing learning software requirements engineering?

You will know how to elicit, document, manage and validate software requirements so that they can be used for creating your software.

Hmm! Is it really useful?

If you have a doubt about its usefulness then you can delay learning it until you are tasked to create a software system but you do not know where to begin or what are the inputs for your coding.
Another scenarios that may suggest that you should come back to this topic is when you will have created an application but then you, unfortunately, find that no one wants to use it.

Alright! What should I do now?

Please read this "Suzanne Robertson and James Robertson (2012). Mastering the Requirements Process: Getting Requirements Right" book.

After that please read this "Karl Wiegers and Joy Beatty (2013). Software Requirements" book.

After that please read this "Joy Beatty and Anthony Chen (2012). Visual Models For Software Requirements. Microsoft Press" book.

After that, please read this "Alistair Cockburn (2001). Writing Effective Use Cases. Addison-Wesley" book.

Then please review this "ISO/IEC/IEEE 29148:2011(E)" standard so that you could create a quality software requirements specification.

After that, please read this "Mike Cohn (2004). User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development. Addison-Wesley Professional" book.

After that, please read this "Jeff Patton and Peter Economy (2014). User Story Mapping. O'Reilly Media" book.
After finishing the books please click Topic 10 - Software Construction to continue.

Topic 8 – Introduction to Mobile Application Development

Why do I need to learn about mobile application development?

Desktop applications are very useful but their deployment and updating are daunting. Web applications overcome many limitations but you still need a workstation to work with it. This is often a PC or MAC that is too large and heavy to bring on-the-go.
Nowadays most of us always bring a mobile device with us everywhere. It's very convenient if we could use our daily software inside our mobile devices. In order to  leverage our mobile devices we need to develop software for them.
Therefore you need to learn mobile programming.

What can I do after finishing learning mobile programming?

You can create applications like WhatsApp, Instagram, Temple Run, Angry Birds, Fruit Ninjia, etc.

How interesting! What should I do now?

Mobile programming requires a lot of reading. You have to master at least a programming language and a mobile platform. Currently, there are 2 major platforms for mobile development: Android and iOS. There are 3 options for learning mobile development.
The first option for learning mobile programming is Android programming.
If you are not familiar with Java language, please read this "Cay S. Horstmann (2018). Core Java Volume I--Fundamentals" book first.
After that please read this "Bill Phillips et al. (2017). Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide. 3rd Edition. Big Nerd Ranch" book.
The second option for learning mobile application development is iOS programming.
Please read
- this "Matthew Mathias and John Gallagher (2016). Swift Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide. 2nd Edition. Big Nerd Ranch" book or
- this "Matt Neuburg (2018). iOS 12 Programming Fundamentals with Swift. O'Reilly Media" book first.

After that please read 
- this "Christian Keur and Aaron Hillegass (2016). iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide. 6th Edition. Big Nerd Ranch" book or
- this "Jonathon Manning et al. (2018). Learning Swift - Building Apps for macOS, iOS, and Beyond. O'Reilly Media" book.

A complementary part of this option is Objective-C. Please read 
- this "Stephen G. Kochan (2013). Programming in Objective-C" book or 
- this "Neil Smyth (2012). Objective-C 2.0 Essentials" book.
The third option for developing mobile applications is either

(i) to leverage C# language and Xamarin framework; please read this "Charles Petzold (2016). Creating Mobile Apps with Xamarin.Forms" book; or

(ii) to leverage HTML/CSS/Javascript language and Ionic framework; please read this "Jeremy Wilken (2015). Ionic in Action: Hybrid Mobile Apps with Ionic and AngularJS" book; or

(iii) to leverage HTML/CSS/Javascript language and React Native framework; please read this "Alex Banks and Eve Porcello (2017). Learning React Functional Web Development with React and Redux" book; then read this "Bonnie Eisenman (2016). Learning React Native: Building Native Mobile Apps with JavaScript" book.
Mobile is a great environment for games because of its mobility. If you are interested in developing games for Android please read this  "Jayme Schroeder and Brian Broyles (2013). AndEngine for Android Game Development Cookbook" book.
If you already have a background of C or C++ and want to develop games for both Android and iOS then please read 
- this "Roger Engelbert (2015). Cocos2d-x by Example: Beginner's Guide" book or 
- this "Raydelto Hernandez (2015). Building Android Games with Cocos2d-x" book.
After finishing these books please click Topic 9 - Software Requirements to continue.

 

Topic 7 – Introduction to Web Application Development

Why do I need to learn about web application development?

Desktop applications are very powerful and convenient but their development, deployment and maintenance are daunting. The reason is that the platform dependency makes it very expensive to create a desktop application working on different versions of different operating systems, such as Windows, Linux and Mac OSX. Deployment and updates of desktop application typically require high privileges access to a computer machine, causing a problem for companies requiring high security.

Fortunately, you can overcome these limitations by creating a web application running on a browser. To create a web application you need to learn about web application development.

What can I do after finishing learning web application development?

You will be able to create web applications like The BBC News, The WordPress Blog or The White House Website.

This is just what I want to learn! What should I do now?

Web application development requires a lot of reading. You have to master networking concepts, HTML, CSS, Javascript, a programming language and a database management system for web. Please get this "Semmy Purewal (2014). Learning Web App Development" book and read it first.
After that you will have 4 options. You can choose one of them. We STRONGLY recommend that you choose only ONE option. You should NOT learn all of them at the beginning. You could save your time by digging into only one option. After mastering the selected path, you will realize that all of them are very similar in the sense of use. One note is that although their concepts are similar to one another but they will still take us much time to learn how to apply implementation of an approach in real world solutions.
When developing a real world web application, you often use only one or two of these 4 approaches. If you cannot make your own selection then we recommend you a combination of the first and second option or a combination of the second and third option.
The first option is ASP.NET Core. Please read 
- this "Adam Freeman (2017). Pro ASP.NET Core MVC 2. Apress" book or 
- this "Dino Esposito (2018). Programming ASP.NET Core. Pearson Education" book.
A complementary part for this option is ASP.NET Web Forms. Please read this "Imar Spaanjaars (2014). Beginning ASP.NET 4.5.1: in C# and VB" book.
The second option is PHP world.  Please read this "Luke Welling and Laura Thomson (2016). PHP and MySQL Web Development" book.
The third option is Java world. You will need to read 2 books for this option. Please get this "Cay S. Horstmann (2012). Core Java Volume I--Fundamentals" book and read it if you are not familiar with Java language.

Then please read 
- this "Tim Downey (2012). Guide to Web Development with Java: Understanding Website Creation" book or 
- this "Nicholas S. Williams (2014). Professional Java for Web Applications" book.
The 4th option is Node world.  Please read this "Bruno Joseph D'mello et al. (2017). Web Development with MongoDB and Node" book. A note is that the accompanied source code of this book is not perfect and up-to-date. Please refer to the official tools and modules documentation for fixing the issues.
After finishing these books if you want to create sophisticated interactive web applications please read this "Kyle Simpson (2015). You Don't Know JS" book.

If you want to create a single-page application (SPA) please read this "Kirupa Chinnathambi (2018). Learning React. Addison-Wesley Professional" book.
If you want to convert a web application from one platform to another or create a web application framework please read this "Leon Shklar and Richard Rosen (2009). Web Application Architecture: Principles, Protocols and Practices" book.
After finishing the books please click Topic 8 - Introduction to Mobile Application Development to continue.

 

Topic 6 – Introduction to Relational Database Management Systems

Why do I need to learn about relational database management systems?

Your software must help users to do their work. The most important part of the users' work is the information. You need to learn about database management systems to store, manipulate, retrieve and secure this information.

What can I do after finishing learning database management systems?

You can create applications like airlines and railways, banking, education, telecommunications, digital libraries and digital publishing, finance, sales, health care information systems, etc.

It sounds interesting! What should I do now?

Database management systems is a huge topic. However at this time you just need to learn how to use a database management system under a user's point of view.

Please get this "Ignatius Fernandez (2015). Beginning Oracle Database 12c Administration: From Novice to Professional" book and read it.

Alternatively, please get this "Adam Jorgensen et al. (2012). Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Bible" book and read it.
After finishing the books please click Topic 7 - Introduction to Web Application Development to continue.

Topic 5 – Introduction to Windows Programming

Why do I need to learn about Windows programming?

Because Windows is the most popular OS and most companies use it for their daily work. So your software must run on Windows in order to help its users do their work.

What can I do after finishing learning Windows programming?

You will know how to create Windows applications such as Word, Excel, Outlook, Notepad, Paint, Calculator, Photoshop, Windows Media Player, Skype, Firefox, etc.

It sounds interesting! What should I do now?

Windows  programming is a very big topic. You have 3 choices. You can choose all of them or some of them. If you have time we recommend that you learn all of them by the order. If you do not have much time then you can choose only the second option.
Your first option is Windows API. Please get this "Charles Petzold (1998). Programming Windows®" book and this "Jeffrey Richter (1999). Programming Applications for Microsoft Windows" book and read them.
Your second option is Windows Forms. Please get this "Chris Sells (2003). Windows Forms Programming in C#" book or this "Charles Petzold (2005). Programming Microsoft® Windows® Forms" book and read it.
Your third option is Windows Presentation Foundation. Please get this "Chris Sells and Ian Griffiths (2007). Programming WPF" book and read it.

Can I learn Java stuff instead of Microsoft stuff for Windows programming?

Yes, you can. However please remember that Microsoft is the one who created and has been developing Windows. Therefore we believe that the good approach for learning programming for Windows is to learn Microsoft technologies.
After finishing the books please click Topic 6 - Introduction to Relational Database Management Systems to continue.