COMP 402 Systems Programming. course outline .pdf

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COMP 402 Systems Programming
Instructor Contact Information
Name: R Appiah
Email Address:
Office Location on Campus: Room 3.27, Frank Totor Chemistry Building.
Student Contact Hours: Tuesdays: 09.00 – 11.00Hrs; Fridays: 11.00 – 13.00 Hrs
Course Description
This course is designed to expose students to existing tools for writing and debugging large
programmes in order to produce working, reliable and maintainable software products. Through
practical programming exercises, the course aims at empowering the student in the
implementation of interactive approaches to reliable software development.
Specific Course Objectives
At the end of the course, students are expected to acquire:

Those foundational skills needed to undertake reliable software development projects in
any chosen programming language;
Practical skills in the use of tracing techniques in programme debugging;
Scientific approach to programme debugging;
Skills in identifying the fundamental commands and tools provided in modern interactive
debuggers and to use such in debugging and testing of a simple C++ and or Java

Students taking this course must have passed at least two advanced courses in programming.
Recommended/ Required Textbook(s)

Andreas Zeller, “Why Programs Fail: A Guide to Systematic Debugging”, Second
Edition, 2009. ISBN: 9780123745156.

Mark Pearce, “Comprehensive VB.NET Debugging”, 1st Edition, 2003. ISBN: 9781590590508.

Ann R. Ford, Toby J. Teorey, “Practical Debugging in C++”, 1st Edition, 2002. ISBN:

Course Outline and Calendar
How Failures Occur in Programming and Approaches to Debugging
Common Syntax and Semantic Errors
Making Programmes Fail
Reproducing Problems
Simplifying Problems
Tracing Techniques for Debugging
Interim Assessment/ Mid-semester Examination (might change)
Scientific Debugging
Using an Interactive Debugger
Using an Interactive Debugger
Submission of Project(s)
Instructional Methods to be utilized in the Course
The course will be delivered through Lecture Presentations and Project-based Assignments.
Final Grade Assessment System
Assignment(s) & Class Attendance 10%
Interim Assessment/ Mid-Semester Examination 20%
Final Examination 70% TOTAL 100%

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