CSCE 120 - Learning To Code

project showcase
CSCE 120 – Learning to Code

The past decades have witnessed a remarkable transition in how widely computing is applied across many domains of human activity. As the uses of computing spread, it becomes increasingly important for people from diverse backgrounds to be trained in the key concepts underlying software-intensive systems. As clearly voiced by a wide variety of industry stakeholders, the traditional approaches taken by most CS or CE departments of producing a small workforce of highly skilled computing experts is no longer sufficient to meet the growing demand for familiarity and competency with software development broadly across the work force. As the core body of knowledge surrounding software has stabilized, this creates an opportunity for CSE to develop a novel focused curriculum to cross-train domain experts in the key principles and practices of software development.

To address this need, the Department of Computer Science & Engineering has established a new minor in Software Development (see below). The first course in this minor's sequence, CSCE 120 - Learning to Code is designed to provide students with a fundamental understanding of how to design and code simple programs, leverage powerful visualization libraries, and work in a cooperative, team environment.

Learning to Code introduces students to programming using popular web-based technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The course is taught in an active-learning environment, emphasizing group work and hands-on activities. Lecture time is minimized and students are expected to review materials prior to class which is used for group activities.

Fall 2017 Project Showcase

Fall 2016 Project Showcase

Fall 2015 Project Showcase

Fall 2015 was the first official offering of CSCE 120 and the Software Development minor. Below are a selection of final projects produced by students in this offering.

  • Tourist Desinations – A starburst data represention depicting ranked voting of tourist data (artificially generated).
  • Messi Vs Renaldo – Various statistics are compared and charted for two soccer players.
  • Graphic Designer Employment Data – Empoyment and wage data visualization for graphic designers in several major US cities.
  • Unemployment Data – Unemployment rates by state using a map data representation.
  • Celebrity Data – Celebrity height and weight data using a parallel coordinate data representation.
  • NFL Data – NFL defensive and offensive data presented in an interactive data graph allowing you to compare teams head to head or by groups.
  • Delta Upsilon Alumni Data – Alumni data for a local chapter of the Delta Upsilon fraternity mapped by state.

Fall 2014 Project Showcase

Fall 2014 was the inaugural offering of CSCE 120 (offered as CSCE 196). 12 individuals successfully went through this offering and produced 4 group projects.

  • Group 1: MLB Data: Payroll vs Stats – Major League Baseball statistics from the last 10 years showing relationships between payroll and player performance.
  • Group 2: LPS Data: – An interactive graphic representing various statistics (performance and sociological) of Lincoln Public Schools Highschools and their feeder middle schools.
  • Group 3: GDP Data: GDP vs Consumption – An interactive graphic showing US GDP and consumption by various categories.
  • Group 4: Big 10 Data: Enrollments by State – An interactive map detailing the number of students enrolled in Big 10 schools from each state.

Software Development Minor

The minor in Software Development (see the bulletin entry for full details) is a 5-course sequence (3 credit hours each, 15 total credit hours) offered by the Department of Computer Science & Engineering.

  • CSCE 120 - Learning to Code (Fall)
  • CSCE 220 - Software Development for Smart-Mobile Systems (Spring)
  • CSCE 320 - Data Analysis (Fall)
  • Either CSCE 311 - Data Structures and Algorithms for Informatics (Spring) or CSCE 464 - Internet Programming (Spring, Summer); you may take both but only one will count toward the minor.
  • CSCE 493 - Innovation Lab (Fall or Spring); contact Jeremy Suing in the Raikes School to enroll.
course sequence
Sequence of Courses. You may take either CSCE 311 or CSCE 464 and either can be taken in sequence or in parallel with CSCE 493.

The minor is open to all UNL students (except for Computer Science and Computer Engineering majors). The Software Development minor is intended as an alternative to a Computer Science minor, which focuses more on core CS-concepts. Students with this minor may not necessarily be qualified for positions that require a full Computer Science or Computer Engineering degree. Instead, the minor is intended to provide students with essential skills that provide added value to their own degree program.

The Software Development minor prepares students with skill sets to enable them to meet the growing demand for familiarity and competency with software development. The minor is designed to enable students from a diverse set of majors and backgrounds to participate and provide a strong foundation in software development to allow them to apply computing throughout their career.

The minor's objectives are anchored around a set of core outcomes, such that students completing the minor will be able to:

  • Apply sound software development principles and methodologies to create software systems that solve real-world problems in various disciplines.
  • Interact, use and manage large data sets and solve data-centric problems; organize, visualize, and communicate digital data effectively and efficiently; and use creative competencies to generate creative solutions.
  • Understand the roles of various stake-holders in software development projects including domain experts, project managers, customers, and developers.
  • Contribute one’s expertise to the solution of problems by effectively collaborating and communicating with other stake-holders in software development projects.

Next Offering

The next offering of CSCE 120 will be in Fall 2017. Seats will be limited, so plan ahead! It will meet Tue/Thu 5PM - 6:15PM


Dr. Chris Bourke
Assistant Professor of Practice
363 Avery Hall
Department of Computer Science & Engineering
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 58588-0115
(402) 472-5008 (voice)
(402) 472-7767 (fax)


Coding Resources

Online Learning