Software Workshop Team Java 2012-13


Lecturers: Manfred Kerber
Christoph Lange
Mark Farmer
Tutors:Sarah Al-Azzani
Gido Hakvoort
Shaun Parsons
Jay Young


The lectures take place on Thursday 10 January, as follows:

  9:00- 9:50Intro (Manfred) Chemical Engineering 124capture
10:00-10:50Teamwork I (Mark) Chemical Engineering 124 
11:00-11:50Teamwork II (Manfred) Biosciences 301capture
12:00-12:50Version Control (Christoph) Learning Centre UG09capture
14:00-14:50JUnit Test (Christoph) Gisbert Kapp NG15capture
15:00-16:00Report Writing and Presentation (Manfred)Strathcona LT1capture
16:00-17:00SE, Task and Teams (Manfred)Strathcona LT1capture

IBM University Team Challenge

Teams will be taking part again in the IBM University Team Challenge!

IBM Logo Through its UK University Relations programme, IBM supports degrees that develop the skills necessary to become an IT professional - in particular, the communication, team working and problem solving skills that are essential for success.
The University Team Challenge encourages team-work in 2nd year computer science projects and recognises winning teams from each university.
Excellence in team-working is celebrated by an IBM manager who will present certificates to each winning team member and a book voucher of £75 for each member of the winning team (up to 5 team members).

Getting started

The learning objectives for this module can be found on the Syllabus page for this module.

In the first week we will be releasing the team assignments, please check these and get in touch with all the members as soon as possible. We have tried to make teams as homogeneous as possible (based if possible on the Year 1 software workshop module). Each team is required to organise itself (we do not prescribe a particular approach how to work best as team, but will make suggestions), to work collaboratively on the software project, and to have weekly meetings (Thursday mornings) with their assigned demonstrator (who should be thought of as a company manager to whom the team reports). If special problems occur and further clarification/discussion is necessary, you will have another meeting Thursday afternoon.

A 10-credit module is meant to be about 100 hours work, so each one of you should be spending on average 10 hours per week on Team Java. If you spend less than this then you most likely underperform (and may let your team down). It is expected that you set aside Thursdays for just working on Team Java. Since this module does not have an exam (and hence does not require any revision), all the work takes place in the Spring term. It is therefore important to work on it steadily each week. If you do not begin work early enough, it may be impossible to catch up later in the term. Parts of the mark are based on weekly submissions of progress logs, on submissions in week 3 (individual specifiaction) and week 6 (prototype presentation), most of it on the submission of code, report, and test report in week 10 and the group presentations in week 11. For details, see the schedule of the module.

You should also be aware that the final report is as important for the final mark as the demonstration, so that it is advisable to begin writing drafts fairly early. Although a large part of the marks are based on the work described in the report, this does not mean that your work should focus on writing the report. If, for instance, you did no implementation at all, and wrote a detailed report how you implemented nothing then this report would get most likely a very poor mark.

Email and questions about the module

All routine mail about this module should be sent to ta-team-java (at the usual cs.bham address). Mail sent to this address can be seen by the lecturer and demonstrators, but not by other students. In case of confidential issues that you do not wish demonstrators to see, the module lecturer can be mailed directly. We will maintain a FAQ and have set up a Facebook group at Team Java 2013 (where contributions can be seen by everybody in the Facebook group). If you are on Facebook, please check it before you send an email.

For emails, please quote your team number, e.g. B2, in the subject line. Mails to the address are only accepted if sent from within the domain. So please use your school account when sending questions. Mail about Team Java not addressed from your school account and/or to a different address may easily get lost.

When emailing ta-team-java, you can expect the fastest response if your email is short, clearly phrased (practise the standard of correct English required for your report) and in plain ASCII.

Weekly progress

Every team is required to compile a progress report each week, present it orally to their demonstrator, and discuss it with their demonstrator in person. If a team member can exceptionally not attend the corresponding weekly meeting he/she must apologise with a good reason. A register will be taken and absences without valid excuse will have a negative impact on the team contribution of the member. The report should address the following points:

  • What team meetings have taken place since the last report, and who attended them? There should be at least one planning meeting with the whole team attending.
  • What has been done since the last weekly progress meeting? Have you achieved what you said you would?
  • What targets have been set for next week? Are these targets consistent with the current progress velocity?
  • Are there any problems that the team has to address, or that the demonstrator or the module lecturer should look at?

You can also show your demonstrator any other evidence that you are making steady progress and are managing yourselves well, such as minutes of team meetings, design sketches, drafts of sections of the final report, etc. You should also see these meetings with the demonstrator as a valuable opportunity to gain feedback.

Each student has to maintain an individual progress log in SVN. This log consists of 9 individual files (weeks 2 through 10) with name progressReport-<surname>-<week> which must be updated every time the student has worked on his/her team project. The progress logs must be updated at least weekly and submitted to svn by Friday 12:00 noon every week (NO LATE SUBMISSIONS!). If you do work and do not document it in your progress log AT THIS TIME you will not get credit for it.

Persistent absences to weekly team meetings, non-contribution to the team work, or other types of unprofessional behaviour will lead to a call to order. If after such a call to order there is no change in behaviour, students may be excluded from further participation in the module.

You will be given advice on how to write reports and will also be warned not to cheat. This is particularly bad in this module since you may bring your whole team in disrepute.

Page maintained by Manfred Kerber. Last update: 21.2.2013.