Understanding Software Projects

Steve McConnellConstrux CEO

Learn from software development guru Steve McConnell in a series of lectures on understanding software projects. McConnell explains The Four Factors Lifecycle Model and how understanding that model means understanding virtually every significant aspect of software project dynamics.

5 Hours of Content
16 Lectures
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Course Details

  • Course Overview

    In this lecture series, Steve explains The Four Factors Lifecycle Model, and he explains how understanding that model means understanding virtually every significant aspect of software project dynamics. Topics include:

    • The role of Size in the Four Factor Model
    • The role of Uncertainty in the Four Factors Model
    • The role of Human Variation in the Four Factors Model
    • The role of Defects in the Four Factors Model
    • Numerous case studies that illustrate how to apply the model to gain insights into your software projects


    With the deeper understanding of software projects you gain from this lecture series, you will be able to:

    • Plan your projects to meet their cost, schedule, quality, and functionality goals
    • Diagnose and correct your project’s problems faster and more confidently
    • Accelerate the rate of improvement in your organization
    • Respond appropriately to new developments including new technologies and new software development practices

    Accessing the Lectures

    Although the lectures build on each other, they may also be accessed individually. The series is planned to consist of about 50 lectures total. Lectures will be released through 2016 and 2017.

    Steve’s most recent lectures will be complimentary at CxLearn.com for the duration of the lecture series. The full set of archived lectures can be accessed for $99; they are also included in Construx OnDemand’s All Access Pass.

  • Course Details


    • Understanding Software Projects
    • My Background
    • Reading the News
    • Definitions and Notations

    Definitions and Notations

    • Reasons to take this Lecture
    • “Project”
    • “Lifecycle Model”
    • “Iteration”
    • “Phase”
    • “Architecture”
    • “Construction”
    • “System Test”
    • “Defect”
    • Notation


    • The Software Lifecycle Model
    • Variations in Iterations
    • Defect Removal
    • Common Methodologies
    • Selecting the Iteration Approach


    • Software Size
    • Examples of Size
    • Comments on Lines of Code
    • Staff Sizes
    • Schedule Basics
    • Debian Size Claims

    Human Variation

    • Human Variation

    More lectures are being added continuously!

  • steve-mcconnell-instructor

    Steve McConnell

    Construx CEO

    Steve McConnell is CEO and Chief Software Engineer at Construx Software. His award-winning book Code Complete is one of the best selling computer books of all time, remaining atop best seller lists since its publication 20 years ago. Readers of Software Development magazine named him one of the three most influential people in the software industry along with Bill Gates and Linus Torvalds.

    Steve is also the author of Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art (2006), Rapid Development (1996), Software Project Survival Guide (1998), and Professional Software Development (2004), as well as numerous technical articles. His books have twice won Software Development magazine’s Jolt Excellence award for outstanding software development book of the year. Steve serves as Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of IEEE Software magazine, on the Panel of Experts of the SWEBOK project, and is past Chair of the IEEE Computer Society’s Professional Practices Committee.Steve received a bachelor’s degree from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, graduating Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and has a master’s degree in software engineering from Seattle University.

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