Sustainable Software Engineering

This course is being offered on openHPI.

This two-week free course is about resource-efficient software engineering. We'll discuss how to apply climate-friendly decisions and actions along the life cycle of software development and their context. In the first part of the course, we will address the area of tension between climate and digitization. We will look at how IT causes CO2 emissions and how IT technologies can save CO2 emissions. What are the possibilities in software development to make processes more sustainable? What are the main problems in software development? How can they be solved? While the first part is theory oriented, the second part will be practical and will have specific examples. Therefore, we will give you some detailed insights into programming resource-efficient software.

Self-paced since April 13, 2022
Language: English

Course information

Throughout two weeks, we will address the question of how resource-efficient software engineering works. At the end of each week, you will get the chance to test your knowledge gathered in the course with the help of self-tests and homework.

Week 1: In the first week, we will see what the ecological footprint of digitization is. We'll discuss how digitization helps to save CO2, and also also see where IT causes CO2. Next, we will take a closer look at the roles that commonly exist in the IT industry (e. g. developer, IT architect, leader) to identify which opportunities for resource-efficient actions exist in each role.


  • CO2 savings with IT, CO2 consumption caused by IT
  • Basic concepts
  • Perspectives of different roles: users, architects, developers, leaders, regulatory framework

Week 2: Based on the fundamentals learned in week 1, we'll discuss which barriers exist that hinder us from acting more ecologically in the process of software development. Then we'll see how we can overcome these barriers and find solutions. The main part of the second week covers solutions, i. e. examples to show what a developer in particular can do in the development of his software to act in the most climate-friendly way possible.


  • Barriers and solution strategies for sustainable digitalization
  • Choice of technology
  • Software & system architecture
  • Computational complexity
  • Data structures
  • Storage and network
  • Caching

Key data on the course:

  • Required skills: general IT knowledge, solid mathematical knowledge, basic knowledge of programming in Python
  • Course level: Basic, but the course also goes in-depth
  • Target group: Everyone interested in sustainable software engineering
  • Effort: 3-6 hours per course week
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External course

This course is not running on openSAP, but on an external learning platform. When following the link to this featured course, you will leave the openSAP website. You might need an dedicated user account on the external platform to be able to enroll to the course.

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Certificate Requirements

  • Gain a Record of Achievement by earning at least 50% of the maximum number of points from all graded assignments.
  • Gain a Confirmation of Participation by completing at least 50% of the course material.

Find out more in the certificate guidelines.