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Which learning path would you recommend to be able to create complete application from requirement analysis, design (with various diagrams) to coding and testing?

It's not easy to get this knowledge when man does not work for a software company. Is there on the internet some example of this process from requirements to complete application?

It won't need to be very complex, something for a beginner who knows UML, database design and a few programming languages (intermediate level). I prefer the resulting application in Python or C (but in C there aren't classes, so maybe here will be less design). I don't like C++ much. Java is acceptable too.

This is rather easier example of what I'm looking for. The emphasis should be more on design, there don't need to be complex algorithms but show rather putting some working system (e.g. information system with 3 layer architecture) together.


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up vote 2 down vote accepted

For a nicely described and explained walkthrough of a reasonably productive development process, consider studying POS system case study in Larman's book Applying UML and Patterns...

  • As far as I can tell it fits almost perfectly to what you describe as creating complete application from requirement analysis, design (with various diagrams) to coding and testing.

Per my recollection, "testing" part of the walkthrough felt somewhat er weaker than the rest so if you feel the need to dig deeper in that direction, look for other sources. You can probably get better suggestions about that if you ask at

I will read it. This seems the closest to what I'm looking for. I believe this resource will be good. Thank you. – xralf Oct 23 '11 at 9:23
+1, this is the case study we followed in my software analysis and design course in college – Travis Christian Oct 24 '11 at 16:09

You might want to start off by reading up on the general software development process on Wikipedia or other sources on the internet. If you require sources in form of dead trees, you may be interested in Ian Sommerville's Software Engineering, which provides you with all the information you need to get a good overview about requirements, design & architecture as well as other topic like change management and project management methods.

To get you started, I would recommend the following: Start off by reading up on user stories and record your requirements in that a way. This will not only save you time in the beginning but also teach you some Scrum / XP basics.

In the next step, define a domain model. You can use UML in this step or choose a simple boxes-and-lines diagram. The main purpose is to establish a vocabulary and to provide a brief overview over the required entities. Now you may want to choose an architecture, i.e. what programming language are you going to choose, which platforms do you want to support, design patterns, libraries & frameworks... You may choose to do this in a formal way, but based on your questions I would say that thinking about it and textual descriptions should be enough for the moment. Always remember though that there should be a reason for an architectural decision in form of a requirement (functional or non-functional) or a decision force (e.g. you are experienced with X or you would like to learn Y). This should help you reduce accidental complexity (quite common a problem when you are starting with software development - don't over-engineer).

If you reached this point, you can decide whether you want to follow an iterative or waterfall development model. Assuming you want to follow an iterative model (recommended), you may choose to use Scrum (or any other iterative process). Follow the Scrum guidelines and you should have a good alternation between design, implementation and testing. You will find more details about Scrum on the internet, just google it.

Of course you may add various additional steps to this process. Please only consider it as a simplified example. For instance you may want to define a relational model or create a UML class diagram.

thank you, but I have this theoretical knowledge. I have a possibility to attend to some open source project (but this is only coding). I'd like to see the whole process, if somebody ever documented his work from the beginning (requirements) to end (code) – xralf Oct 21 '11 at 18:15
While reading is helpful, you might want to do this yourself just to get a feeling for it. Also, you could work for a local company as an intern. This is probably the best idea as available documentation is almost always not sufficient to understand the complete rationale. – BenR Oct 21 '11 at 18:31
It would be great if somebody made a tutorial or screencast from the whole project. I had a subjects on analysis (UML, DFD diagrams, database modelling) in school, but never everything - to create something that is usable. – xralf Oct 21 '11 at 18:41

Figure out a minimum viable application which is a small subset of what you want to build. Design the data, use-cases, process model, user interfaces quickly, and the build it and deploy it, and get people to use it.

From that you will learn a lot. From what you have learned, build another subset of your dream application. Incorporate your learnings from the first one. And repeat.

After you have done it a few times, you will learn which parts of the SDLC theory of choice are really useful, and which are marginally useful.

The key here is to move quickly to something that works, and then get feedback to grow your knowledge, and improve your application.


I would recommend reading up on CMMI For Development Level 3, especially the Engineering process Areas. the SEI has some very good free books one the subject.

After you are clear on the theory, follow through the SDLC on any product you want.

For example, pick an idea, develop the requirements, design the app, develop it, test it and deploy it. All while adhering to the concepts laid down in CMMI. You don't have to be as robust as a full CMMI implementation, but choose what applies to your case and follow it. For instance, if new requirements come up, update the necessary documents and so on...

I know CMMI sounds a bit overkill, but if you manage it well, its the best way to fully understand the right way to go from conception to implementation.

CMMI applies to any development methodology you want to use, whether waterfall or Agile, and defining the specifics of development technologies, platforms and infrastructure belong to the CMMI process.


As Paul Nathan has already discussed, you are in learning more about the SDLC. Perhaps the most thorough online resource for that is the IEEE's Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK).

The SWEBOK is essentially an engineering textbook covering the entire SDLC and includes a chapter on software requirements and one on design. It's not a terribly dense read, but neither is it interactive. You'll probably want to also take a look at some other sources to get your hands dirty with some hands-on examples.

Thank you for the link. This looks like very useful (something like a bible with theory), but I miss there some case study, something really practical. Similarly I like learning programming with browsing through source code repositories and this is what I can't do in the case of design (maybe it's the reason much code on such repositories has poor design). I'm interested in where good software designers and analytics leave their experiences and skills to younger (beginners). Similarly in medicine - beginner surgeons learn practical skills. – xralf Oct 22 '11 at 17:40

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