Assignment 1:First Step in Building Modern Software


Rate this product

Assignment 1:First Step in Building Modern Software
Paired assignment due: TBD(15%)
As discussed during the lectures, there are many technologies and tools you can use to build a
modern software product. In this assignment, you are asked to familiarize yourself with some of
the key tools you can use to build two of the most common types of software (web and mobile).
You can see this assignment as a preparation for your project or the first step in familiarizing
yourself with the modern software engineering world. You will work in teams of two to build a
tech stack, for a mobile or web application. The application you will be building is a simple
checkout price calculator with basic functions. You can think of the functionalities as that of
the system that is used during checkout. Use cases can be adding items, removing items,
applying discounts, adding tax, and any other realistic functionality you want to add but keep it
simple. (you don’t need any additional functionality, like save, load, advanced UI, etc.)
As you can see, the focus of this assignment is not on the complexity of the software but the
infrastructure you need to establish to be able to develop the software.
Assignment breakdown
This assignment has two major paths:
1. Web application: “How do we build a web application that can easily be developed,
tested, maintained, and deployed?” is the question leading this part of the assignment.
You will research various solutions and steps needed and build on top of what we have
talked about in the lectures. You can consider this web application would need (not part
of the assignment) some standard functionality such as login, search, post comments,
etc. and no special features (e.g., advanced visualizations, AI components, etc.). Your
application must be responsive.
2. Mobile application: “How do we build a mobile application that can easily be developed,
tested, maintained, and distributed?” is the question leading this path. You can make an
assumption about whether your application needs to run on Android, iOS, or both. But
you must clarify that assumption in your report.
The process you follow for each path is very similar. However, the end result will be different.
Please choose the path that you think your project will be in.
Next Steps
Your customer has chosen you as their trusted advisor and asked you to recommend a solution
for their needs. You can start your research from the roadmaps we have seen during the
lecture. Consider three main technologies to use for each part. For example, for the backend of
your web application, you can look at Node, Python, or Go, or any other language you find
interesting. For the frontend of your application, you can look at Vue, React, Angular, or any
other language/framework. You will then need to compare the options you have chosen.
Considerations can include (but should not be limited to):
1. Ease of development for you (e.g., you know Python but Go may be new to you)
2. Maturity of the language/technology and the libraries available for integrations/UI
3. The domains covered by the technology/language (e.g., Python also supports ML
projects while Javascript can do both frontend and backend).
4. Popularity of the language/technology. You can look at HackerRank 2020 Report,
Stackoverflow 2019 Survey, or JetBrains Developer Ecosystem report.
5. Performance, scale and speed of the solutions built with these technologies.
6. Any other criteria you think is important and needs to be considered
Your tech stack needs to include solutions for the following:
1. Frontend technology
2. Backend (web or mobile)
a. Needs to include Testing Infrastructure (e.g., PyUnit for Python unit testing). You
don’t need to have comprehensive tests. One test is enough.
3. Continuous Integration & Continuous Delivery (CI/CD)
4. Database (we will talk about databases in one of future lectures in more depth)
Your setup needs to support:
1. One development environment and a production environment.
2. Automated deployment on merge at least to the development environment.
a. You can use any of the CI/CD tools.
b. Your deployment needs to include running test(s)
You are expected to make your applications available for your TA to see, test and grade (mobile
and web). You will need to “deploy” your applications. We will use the word deploy loosely here
meaning that you need to have your web application available via a url and find a way to share
your mobile app with the TA (e.g., apks, expo, developer account sharing, video recording, etc).
Expected Submission
You will submit three things in your GitHub repo.
1. A report containing the options you considered for your path (mobile and web). This
report needs to include at least three options and a comparison of pros and cons of each
of them. In the comparison, you can consider the following elements:
2. Your final solution that you decided to choose and the key reasons for that decision.
3. Please provide a summary of your analysis (Max 1000 words. This doesn’t mean you
have to write 1000 words. Quality is more important than quantity).
4. Application with all the details and instructions needed for your TA to see and test your
application. Please note that if your instructions are not clear enough to be easily tested,
you will lose 5%.
How to Submit
You will be submitting your assignment on Github. The following instructions will allow you to
form a pair and create a repository for submission:
1. You must form an assignment pair on Quercus by navigating to the ‘People’ tab, then
‘Assignment 1 Pairs’. Add yourselves to a pair (e.g., Assignment 1 Pair 1). The number
that you choose will be your pair number for this assignment
2. You must either create a repository using the following link or join an existing repository
that your partner has created. You will use this repository to submit all material related to
your assignment. Note that ‘assignment1-pair’ is automatically included in your Github
team name. In other words, only enter <pair-number>-<member1-github-id>-
Marking Scheme
Report (40%): Your report needs to contain the tools and languages you researched and
provide a detailed comparison of them leading to your final choice.
Deployed application (40%): You need to have deployed your application and setup CI for your
Easily available and testable application (20%)
Your assignment will be evaluated according to the following rubric
Application Component Mark Weight Notes
Report __ /400 40% 100 points per comparison
Deployed Application __ /400 40% 100 points per criteria
Testing Availability __ /200 20% 100 points per criteria
We will compute your mark by assigning each question a percentage according to the standards
set below and take the weighted average. Each point is really a percentage point (i.e. 85 points
on a question is 85% with regards to the standard below.
Evaluation Criteria for Report (Web / Mobile)
You will be comparing three main technologies for each of your four web application
components or each of your four mobile application components. Each of you comparison will
be evaluated according to the evaluation criteria outlined below:
Grade Grade Expectations
– above expectations in quality or creativity of work (e.g. critical
thinking, creative approach, etc.) when performing comparisons
between technologies
– More than five considerations included in answer
– meets expectations for 80%
– answer meets all expectations and addresses all five considerations
listed in the assignment
– answer has both content and justification (i.e. what/how and why)
– some expectations were not fully met within the question either
because the answer is unclear or no clear justification was provided
for the comparison (e.g. you mention what but not why)
– one major (or a relatively small number of minor) point(s) were not
addressed in the question (i.e you did not talk about the domains
covered by the technologies)
– more than one major consideration was missed or not addressed
within the answer to the question
– Multiple minor points are lacking clarity or clear justification
– The provided answer does not cover any of the required details or is
too high-level (i.e. an answer was provided but met no expectations
or was not justified)
(Missing or
extremely low
– multiple (or all) points missed or very little content provided for the
– No comparison is performed
Evaluation Criteria for Deployed Application (Mobile & Web)
Grade expectations
Outstanding –
Great- 80% 70% – Good 60% – Below
50% – Minimal 0% – Missing
1 – The
application is
Meets expectation for
functionalities are
included in the
All standard
functionalities are
present (i.e the
application meets
The workflows (e.g.
going from feature
or view to the next)
can be executed
Missing one or two
Moving between
features (e.g.
workflow) isn’t fully
functional but one can
access each feature
Missing three or four
Little to no cohesion
between features or
application requires
resetting between
Missing majority of
No cohesion between
features – it is
impossible to move
from one feature to
2 – The
UI is present
and usable
Meets expectation for
UI is entirely free of
visual defects
UI is
UI is highly usable
and incorporates
design principles
A UI was built
UI is mostly
cohesive and clear
A UI was built for
most features
UI requires some
testing or constant
reference to
documentation to use
or understand
Very few features
contain a UI
UI is very nonintuitive and without
testing would be
No UI was complete
but some UI code
3 – Testing
Meets expectations
for 80%
infrastructure set up
with one test case
Test infrastructure is
fully set up but is not
functional (i.e. the test
Test infrastructure is
only partially
No testing
infrastructure but
Testing infrastructure
is comprehensive
(beyond just unit
and easily extensible
going beyond unit
that can be run
infrastructure can be
adapted to develop
further testing when
does not run
Testing infrastructure
cannot be adapted (or
must be modified
extensively) to
develop more tests
some code for testing
4 –
Deployment goes all
the way to production
with every push to
master running all
successfully with
high-quality tests
CI/CD is setup and
runs everything
successfully with
every push
CI/CD is set up CI/CD is fully set up
but is not functional
Team has evidence
of unsuccessful but
attempted CI/CD
Evaluation Criteria for Testing Availability (Web & Mobile)
Grade expectations
Outstanding –
Great- 80% 70% – Good 60% – Below
50% – Minimal 0% – Missing
1 – The
application is
Meets expectations
for 80%
Product is deployed
fully through
Product is available
to a tester without
setting it up on a
developer machine
Product deployment
is easily repeatable
Product deployment
was completed
manually with
interventions at most
or all stages of
deployment (e.g
adjusting multiple
parameters, manual
branch adjustments,
directly accessing
Product is deployed
but cannot be
accessed and
requires team to
present their work
Team has evidence
of attempted but
2 –
for testing are
Meets expectations
for 80%
Above expectations
in quality or creativity
of instructions (e.g.,
highly detailed, video
GIFs, etc.)
Clear instructions
are provided on how
to use the
application from the
tester’s perspective
Clear steps provided
for using each
feature that has
been built
Instructions can be
executed as
Instructions are
provided for using the
application, but some
assumptions had to
be made, or some
ambiguity in
instructions present
Some of the
instructions cannot be
executed as provided
Instructions are very
unclear or
ambiguous, and
requires the tester to
make many
assumptions to use
the application
Some missing steps
Provided instructions
are insufficient for
using the application
from the tester’s
Steps not provided for
using each feature
that has been built, or
many missing steps
None of the
instructions can be
executed as provided

Assignment 1:First Step in Building Modern Software
Open chat
Need help?
Can we help?