Software Engineering

Computer Science 164

Harvard College
David J. Malan, Instructor
Introduction to principles of software engineering and best practices, including code reviews, source control, and unit tests. Topics include Ajax, event handling, HTTP, MVC, object-oriented design, relational databases, and user experience. Projects include web apps with front-end UIs (mobile and desktop) and back-end APIs. Languages include JavaScript and PHP.

This is OpenCourseware.

Computer Science 164 is a course at Harvard College.

Even if you are not a student at Harvard, you are welcome to "take" this course via by following along via the Internet. (The course's own website is at Available at right are videos of talks, along with PDFs of all handouts. If you have questions or would like to discuss the material with others, do join the course's Google Group.

If you're a teacher, you are welcome to adopt or adapt these materials for your own course, per the license.

Special thanks to Dan Coffey, Shelley Westover, Andrew Hill, Ramon Galvan '16, Cheng Gong '16, and Al Fernandez '16 for the course's videos and to Rob Bowden '13 and Tim Griesser, Spring 2014's team.


Creative Commons License

Copyright © 2014 – 2021, David J. Malan of Harvard University

This course's content is licensed by David J. Malan of Harvard University under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License, which means that you are not only welcome to "take" this course,

you are free:

  • to Share — to copy, distribute, and transmit this content
  • to Remix — to adapt this content
under the following conditions:
  • Attribution — You must attribute this content to David J. Malan of Harvard University but not in any way that suggests endorsement of you or your use of the work.
  • Noncommercial — You may not use this content for commercial purposes.
  • Share Alike — If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.
with the understanding that:
  • Waiver — Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get permission from David J. Malan of Harvard University
  • Other Rights — In no way are any of the following rights affected by the license:
    • Your fair dealing or fair use rights;
    • Apart from the remix rights granted under this license, the author's moral rights;
    • Rights other persons may have either in the work itself or in how the work is used, such as publicity or privacy rights.
  • Notice — For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. The best way to do this is with a link to

So that folks (like you!) have a place to turn with questions, we've created a Google Group called cs164-discuss, which is like a message board and mailing list rolled into one.

Once you've joined, you'll be able to email the group at and browse past discussions at!forum/cs164-discuss.