Where to Find Help

Web Only

This textbook was authored for the CIS 642/643 - Software Engineering Project I&II course at Kansas State University. This front matter is specific to that course. If you are not enrolled in the course, please disregard this section.

As you work on the materials in this course, you may run into questions or problems and need assistance. This section reviews the various types of help available to you in this course.

Microsoft Teams

First and foremost, anytime you have a questions or need assistance in the course, please post in the course group on Microsoft Teams. It is the best place to go to get help with anything related to this course. Before you post on Teams, take a minute to look around and make sure the question has not already been posted before. It will save everyone quite a bit of time.

The major reason we’ve chosen to use Teams for this course is that many companies have adopted it or a similar system to help drive their own development efforts. Thus, in asking you to adopt it for your team communications, it prepares you for using it effectively in the future. Additionally, it provides the instructors a chance to see where you are in your projects. And since the development teams will all be using the platform already, it makes sense to have a group for the overall class as well.

Other Resources

Beyond MS Teams, there are a few resources you should be aware of. First, if you have any issues working with K-State Canvas, K-State IT resources, or any other technology related to the delivery of the course, your first source of help is the K-State IT Helpdesk. They can easily be reached via email at helpdesk@ksu.edu . Beyond them, there are many online resources for using Canvas, all of which are linked in the resources section below the video. As a last resort, you may also want to post in MS Teams, but in most cases we may simply redirect you to the K-State helpdesk for assistance.

If you run into issues with either the ‘soft’ skills or the technical content you are asked to tackle in the course, please reach out to the instructors or TA. Each of us has a significant amount of practical industry experience and will happily mentor you, much as you will be mentored by more experienced developers when you start your first job. Please do not keep quiet about your struggles - what we are asking you to do in this course is very different than your prior courses, as there is little instructional support for what you must do.

Of course, as another step you can always exercise your information-gathering skills and use online search tools such as Google to find help for your question. Programming resources such as language and library documentation are going to be an invaluable assistance.

Next, we have grading and administrative issues. This could include problems or mistakes in the grade you received on a project, missing course resources, or any concerns you have regarding the course and the conduct of myself and your peers. You’ll be interacting with us on a variety of online platforms and sometimes things happen that are inappropriate or offensive. There are lots of resources at K-State to help you with those situations. First and foremost, please DM me on MS Teams as soon as possible and let me know about your concern, if it is appropriate for me to be involved. If not, or if you’d rather talk with someone other than me about your issue, I encourage you to contact either your academic advisor, the CS department staff, College of Engineering Student Services, or the K-State Office of Student Life. Finally, if you have any concerns that you feel should be reported to K-State, you can do so at https://www.k-state.edu/report/ . That site also has links to a large number of resources at K-State that you can use when you need help.

Finally, if you find any errors or omissions in the course content, or have suggestions for additional resources to include in the course, DM the instructors on MS Teams. There are some extra credit points available for helping to improve the course, so be on the lookout for anything that you feel could be changed or improved.

So, in summary, MS Teams should always be your first stop when you have a question or run into a problem. For issues with Canvas or Visual Studio, you are also welcome to refer directly to the resources for those platforms. For questions specifically related to the projects, use MS Teams for sure. For grading questions and errors in the course content or any other issues, please DM the instructors on MS Teams for assistance.

Our goal in this program is to make sure that you have the resources available to you to be successful. Please don’t be afraid to take advantage of them and ask questions whenever you want.