Writing a good README file
- Nobody expects to find great literature in a README file, and that's
good news for busy developers writing README files for their software.
However, writing a README needs to be taken seriously.
While grading your work, the TAs and I peruse your README file
first to get an idea of your understanding of the assignment.
The README should truly be a reflection of the program you are
While many of your README files indicate that your programs are
working perfectly, in reality programs are riddled with bugs, and some
of them don't even compile :-(
- You don't have to write an essay --
all you need is a short paragraph (maybe only a sentence or two) on
each of the following topics (in addition to the already specified
details outlined in the particular assignment):
- Your name and CS username
- List the program files you are submitting along with a
short (1-2 sentence) description of what each contains
- What does your program do?
- Why did you code the software the way you did?
- What should potential users expect when they install/launch your program?
- What unique feature(s) does your code demonstrate?
In particular, be sure to mention the unique features, especially if
your product resembles others in its category.
- What problems did you encounter?
- What problems might the user encounter when compiling/running your
- What are the bugs in your program?
(i.e., what required features were you not able to implement or unable
to get working properly)