Page One

Page One/Syllabus

Tecnológico de Monterrey in Guadalajara
Computer Science Department
TC3045 Software Quality and Testing
August to December, 2020

flickr photo by Colette Cassinelli shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license
flickr photo by Colette Cassinelli shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

Course Description

Course intent within the general study plan context

The purpose of this advanced-level computing course in quality assurance and software test is to prepare students to apply concepts of software process improvement, reference models for process improvement and international software quality standards in order to implement a software improvement program to help a company obtain an international-level quality certificate and adopt effective software engineering practices. Students are also prepared to perform planning, execution, management and measurement functions for verification and validation activities during the software development process and to use the basic tools that support these activities in an organization. Requires previous knowledge of the fundamentals of software engineering and computer science. The learning outcome of this course is for students to develop a quality assurance plan, applying standards and reference models. They apply techniques and tools for software verification and validation, design a sequence of suitable activities for software review and apply suitable test techniques and strategies to the product.

Course objective

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to apply software quality concepts, using international quality improvement benchmarks; adopt effective software engineering practices that are the most appropriate for each activity in the software development life cycle; diagnose and evaluate the pertinence of adopting improvement processes in software development companies; and plan, design, implement and assess software tests during all the activities in the development process, thus contributing to continuous quality improvement.

Basic Needs

This from the always inspiration Sara Goldrick-Rab (Enlaces a un sitio externo.) in her post on Medium (Enlaces a un sitio externo.). I will amend this to let you know that you can either speak with me directly or you could talk with the director of your degree program (instead of Dean of Students). Also her->him in my case.

Any student who has difficulty affording groceries or accessing sufficient food to eat every day, or who lacks a safe and stable place to live, and believes this may affect their performance in the course, is urged to contact the Dean of Students for support. Furthermore, please notify the professor if you are comfortable in doing so. This will enable her to provide any resources that she may possess.


Please see the page dedicated to this: Evaluation.

Office Hours

First: office hours are extremely flexible and important for you the student *and* myself the professor. I am available almost 24/7 but within reason. Read on for more information.

I want to quote what Adam Heidebrink-Bruno writes in an excellent post aimed at teachers improving their syllabus (Page One to us at Tec) which I agree with heartily:

There is no shame or embarrassment in asking for help, although it is common to feel anxious in approaching one’s teacher. To enter my office and ask for help is an act of bravery. To enter and chat about nothing in particular often leads to new insight. Both are valuable. Both show that you trust me. I promise to respect you and earn that trust through compassionate listening and understanding. As a teacher, I know there is a power-relation between us. As best I can, I renounce this position. Think of me as human, imperfect and vulnerable just like you.

I can’t promise to be in  office 24/7 but I also find the standard specific “office hours” to be non-functional. It forces the faculty member to sit in their office at those times and more importantly restricts the options for students. You can book office hours with Ken at

Learning Evidence

You will create and share a publicly visible blog for this course. You can use an existing blog (with some work to isolate your work in this course from other posts) but it is probably best to create your own new blog. More details in assignments. You can also choose to remain anonymous with your blog posts. If having a publicly visible blog is a problem, please talk to me to find another option of providing work only to the professor.

Most of my students love blogging by the end of the semester and some question the point of it all at the beginning. Practicing communication and reflecting on your practice are crucial elements to your learning here at the Tecnológico de Monterrey. Many of my students continue blogging after. I also want you to realize that this is also about you *owning* your own work and content and not just submitting it to some LMS system for grading. Take pride in your work, show off your knowledge and creativity.

I love this quote from Erik Marshall writing about why he asked his students to blog in a post titled “Blogs in class” (apparently no longer available on his blog):

My hope is that they will treat them as a space for their own writing, for experimenting with prose and trying out opinions, and for seeing their own writing as  potentially valuable to others. I also hope it will teach them to be accountable in their writing and consider an audience beyond their stodgy professor. Finally, I hope they will take ownership of their new blogs and keep them after the class is over.

This is the purpose of your blog. Be creative and create evidence in any way you like. Write code, write prose, write poems, songs, record videos. The choice is yours. This is your space and you own it, I want you to feel proud of your work. Also, remember that your blog content will be syndicated (pushed) to the course blog so please take care in your choice of language, images and other media. We aim to share about our work but not offend others. We (students and faculty) have all signed a code of ethics here at the Tecnológico de Monterrey and need to keep those points in mind.

Technology Policy

Here is my laptop policy (works for other tech too):

Please use whatever resources you need to be successful in this class. Let me know if I can help with anything.

Credit to M Gallardo-Williams for this policy which she tweeted out in the past at

This Course is Different than Others

Note that as part of Tec21, we are using an active pedagogy that is often called the “Flipped Classroom” (but very much in Ken’s style) in this course. This will be a change for you in that you are responsible for reviewing any videos, reading of textbooks or other materials requested outside of classroom time. The time inside the classroom is principally dedicated to actively programming or asking questions about programming problems or theory from materials that you or your classmates did not understand.

This means that you need to arrive to the classroom ready to work. I am a big proponent of “pair-progamming” as well as “pair learning” which means I often will ask you to work in pairs at the computers or a whiteboard. You should however ensure you have your personal computers setup with the tools we need for the course.

Important Dates

The dates of partial exams (these are suggested dates) and final exams (these are dates that are fixed and cannot be changed) for all courses follow the general academic calendar which can be found at

Reading Reflection Details

The assignments are evaluated use a simple grading scheme of complete/incomplete.

If the reflection is lacking, it will be marked incomplete and you can resubmit again to achieve the complete grade.


Participation inside (and outside) class is important to learning. I will take attendance in the course and will apply the standard regulations for absences as published by the Tecnológico de Monterrey.  Attendance for exams (dates published according to “Important Dates” above) is required. If you must miss the exam for another activity, please notify the professor and your program director ahead of time. If you miss the exam due to extenuating circumstances, contact your program director and your professor.


No official textbook. We will use various readings through the semester for the course.

Course Policies

Have fun, learn, share with others and help others learn.