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Elements of Software Construction

Screenshot from an instant messaging program designed and implemented by 6.005 students.

For Project 3, students were asked to design and implement an instant messaging system. This submission won the award for the most aesthetic user interface. (Courtesy of Sinchan Banerjee, Kristie D'Ambrosio, Itai Turbahn, and Victor Wang. Used with permission.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Fall 2008



Course Features

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the fundamental principles and techniques of software development that have greatest impact on practice. Topics include capturing the essence of a problem by recognizing and inventing suitable abstractions; key paradigms, including state machines, functional programming, and object-oriented programming; use of design patterns to bridge gap between models and code; the role of interfaces and specification in achieving modularity and decoupling; reasoning about code using invariants; testing, test-case generation and coverage; and essentials of programming with objects, functions, and abstract types. The course includes exercises in modeling, design, implementation and reasoning.