I am looking for a good textbook to teach freshman (or some sophomores) introductory to software engineering. Specially, need that the textbook has example labs/projects for the whole semester included in instructor resources. There are many good software engineering books but they do not have labs/project examples. Since these students might not have adequate programming ability yet, I plan to focus on more abstract level assignments and do not expect them to code the projects. The main purpose is to teach them how a software product could be developed and designed.

So could anyone suggest a textbook of introductory software engineering that has abstract level level labs/projects ?
Labs/projects at abstract level using UML could be an option but hopefully, it cover only basic UML ideas/concepts since students might not have enough OOP concepts yet. If so, could anyone also suggest simple UML reference books ? Thanks

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    $\begingroup$ I don't have an answer, but I second the question! $\endgroup$
    – Ben I.
    Oct 29, 2022 at 13:16
  • $\begingroup$ Look up Dijkstra's Cruelty of teaching CS (search for "engineering"). ⚠ not a hope giving article. But describes the problem accurately. $\endgroup$
    – Rusi
    Oct 31, 2022 at 16:05
  • $\begingroup$ Regarding "simple UML references books" in the context of Software Engineering, how about books about business modeling with UML like Business Modeling with UML: Business Patterns at Work $\endgroup$
    – Rubén
    Nov 7, 2022 at 16:05
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! I will check it out. But I am wondering if there is any new reference book within 10 years. $\endgroup$
    – Nerdy Girl
    Jan 27 at 6:03
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    $\begingroup$ Sorry, this whole question rubs me the wrong way. What's the point of designing without a spec? Should you perhaps start with motivating requirement elicitation followed by carving out a more rigorous specification from the gathered requirements before indulging in drawing diagrams? $\endgroup$
    – Kai
    Feb 8 at 8:46

1 Answer 1


The book to learn UML concepts sis by side with software engineering:

Ambler, S. W. (2005). The Elements of UML 2.0 Style. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! I will also check it out. Do you happen to know any new reference book within 10 years ? $\endgroup$
    – Nerdy Girl
    Jan 27 at 6:05
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    $\begingroup$ @NerdyGirl, as a practising programmer, I would not recommend a textbook on UML, unless it's as a prelude to burning them on a bonfire. As Ambler says in the book introduction, "a lot of the communicative value in a UML diagram, is still due to the layout skill of the modeller". I would be even more emphatic, and say that all the communicative value of diagrams arise from their non-systematic aspects and the skill of the diagrammer, which is rather contrary to the basic tenet of UML. $\endgroup$
    – Steve
    Jan 28 at 13:09
  • $\begingroup$ Regarding UML, you may refer to this discussion cseducators.stackexchange.com/questions/6862/… $\endgroup$ Jun 28 at 5:21

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