SWEN 326 (2020) - Home Page


Welcome to SWEN 326! This course looks at the issue of designing and developing software for safety-critical systems. That is, software whose failure would result in a significant risk of injury or threat to life. Testing is one mechanism you may already be familiar with for trying to ensure software works correctly. In SWEN 326, we'll examine be looking at aspects of the problem including: safety standards (e.g. DO-178C, IEC61508), advanced software testing, static analysis, model checking and software verification. All of these techniques are used routinely in industry to eliminate software bugs and ensure software runs correctly. For example, DO-178C standard for avionics software mandates the use of MC/DC testing. Likewise, Intel use model checking to ensure the correctness of new chip designs and software verification tools were used in the development of critical software for the Airbus A380.

David Pearce During the course, you will be exposed to a range of different tools each of which illustrates a different approach to ensuring software correctness. Assignments will give you a chance to use these tools for solving realistic problems and, hopefully, finding some bugs! I hope that you enjoy this course and get as much out of it as possible. I also encourage you to read the Course Outline where you can find information on what's really involved. Finally, if you have any questions or difficulties during the course, please free to come by my office (CO231) for a chat.


31/3/2020: Student Engagement Day

Hi all,

As requested by the University, there will be a short engagement activity for SWEN326 on Thursday.  Specifically:

  • You are asked to complete a short survey regarding Assignment 1 (Steam Boiler).

  • The survey is available via blackboard.  You can log on to blackboard here: https://blackboard.vuw.ac.nz/

  • The survey will only be available on Thursday from 8am until midnight.  You cannot access it at the moment.

  • The survey is not assessed.  However, it will be helpful for me to gauge how everyone is finding the assignment.

If you have problems on Thursday accessing the survey, please let me know.  I will also publish some other form of online content on Thursday as well (probably a recording of some kind).



27/3/2020: Helpdesks to Resume Next Week

Hi all,

Right, the way forward for SWEN326 is starting slowly to emerge though there are still details for me to figure out.  At this stage, a few  points:

* Helpdesks for Assignment 1 will resume next week via Zoom at the normal scheduled times.  See here: https://ecs.wgtn.ac.nz/Courses/SWEN326_2020T1/TimeTable

* The deadline for Assignment 1 will be either 20th April or 27th April.  I'm still negotiating with the Associate Dean about this, and will update you ASAP.



26/3/2020: Announcements

This is where I'll post announcements which appear on the swen326 homepage.


  • Course Outline - The official course requirements document. You are strongly encouraged to read this

  • People - Who's who? Teachers, tutors and class reps!

  • TimeTable - When, What, Where? Lectures and Helpdesks!

  • Forum - A place to ask questions and interact with other students