Traditionally, students in undergraduate computer science curricula have to wait until their third or fourth year until they are confronted with the problems which arise in the design of large programs. The rationale behind this is that programming-in-the-small has to be mastered before programming-in-the-large. In this paper we will argue that the elements of software engineering must be present at all levels and in all computer science courses and that it is feasible, with the proper tools and precautions, to assign large and complex programming assignments even at the introductory level. An experiment to this effect has been carried out in a data structures and algorithms course given at the University of Lund. A non-trivial program (a make-utility for Modula-2) was specified and partially modularized by the instructor and assigned piecewise to the students. The assignments trained the students in the implementation of data structures and algorithms as well as software tool design, modularization, information hiding, reuse, and large system design.