SaaS In the News

This page collects links to interesting articles relevant to the course topics, organized by which chapter/topic each is relevant to and sorted most-recent-first within each topic. Links to articles, videos, etc. does not imply endorsement by us of their points of view, nor do we have any formal connection to the authors unless otherwise stated; we just think these are relevant to software engineering and useful in helping to put in context some of the material taught in the course.


The Unix Chainsaw [video]: a great explanation of why Unix command-line skills are so valuable for developers, and a great illustration of the "Unix philosophy" of combining small specialized tools. One of the examples is a mini-master-class in using the entire Unix environment as your IDE.

1 Introduction to Software as a Service, Agile Development, and Cloud Computing

June 2023: How NASA Writes Space-Proof Code [video]. The ultimate plan-and-document organization writes code for systems that may be millions of miles away and/or unreachable when something goes wrong. How do they do it?

November 2023: Why do mainframes still exist? What's inside one? [video] A theme of this class is that good design is about choices, and while SaaS+Agile+Cloud is a great choice for many apps, some apps have quite different requirements. This video, replete with technical detail, is a fascinating look at the latest IBM zSeries mainframes—their design, including AI acceleration hardware; redundancy and reliability; and the kinds of apps that need those affordances.

2 How to Learn a New Language

3 SaaS Application Architecture: Microservices, APIs, and REST

September 2023: Google's widely-opposed ad platform, "the privacy sandbox," launches in Chrome. Cookies have a (well earned) bad reputation for being used to track users across websites, but rather than a tracking-free experience, Google has been pushing an alternative model that the Electronic Frontier Foundation calls "a terrible idea." But because it'll be built into Chrome, a lot of users will probably unknowingly opt in by default.

4 SaaS Framework: Rails as a Model--View--Controller Framework

5 SaaS Framework: Advanced Programming Abstractions for SaaS

6 Mobile and Desktop SaaS Clients: JavaScript Introduction

7 Requirements: BDD and User Stories

8 Testing: Test-Driven Development

February 2024: Self-pay gas station pumps break across NZ as software can’t handle Leap Day. We thought this was amusing since a very similar bug is used as the example of TDD and debugging (the leap year problem with Microsoft Zune music player).

9 Software Maintenance: Enhancing Legacy Software Using Refactoring and Agile Methods

February 2023: The Airline Industry's Problem With Absolutely Ancient IT [video]. The catastrophic meltdown of airlines at Christmas 2022, once the terrible weather had subsided, was largely an IT problem. Here's a lesson in what happens when legacy systems are ignored for too long rather than updated incrementally.

10 Agile Teams

11 Design Patterns for SaaS Apps

12 Dev/Ops

November 2023: Highly invasive backdoor snuck into open source packages targets developers. Typical modern software projects rely on hundreds of open source libraries. But how do you know there isn't malicious code lurking in those libraries?

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