We describe the Prescriptive Simplified Method (PSM), a software development method, based upon UML and use cases. PSM uses a traditional software development cycle and embeds use case development in the system construction phase. PSM has been used in three pilot studies. These studies support PSM as a viable means of transitioning lay people to novice system developers. This paper defines PSM and a teaching approach. Our overall goal is to validate both by tracking the development of a cohort of students, from the beginning of their training through to their early experiences in industry.