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The objective of this session is to introduce the subject of software engineering. When you have read this session you will understand what software engineering is and why it is important, know the answers to key questions which provide an introduction to software engineering, understand ethical and professional issues which are important for software engineers.

Introduction

Virtually all countries now depend on complex computer-based systems. More and more products incorporate computers and controlling software in some form. The software in these systems represents a large and increasing proportion of the total system costs. Therefore, producing software in a cost-effective way is essential for the functioning of national and international economies.

Software engineering is an engineering discipline whose goal is the cost-effective development of software systems. Software is abstract and intangible. It is not constrained by materials, governed by physical laws or by manufacturing processes. In some ways, this simplifies software engineering as there are no physical limitations on the potential of software. In other ways, however, this lack of natural constraints means that software can easily become extremely complex and hence very difficult to understand.

Software engineering is still a relatively young discipline. The notion of ‘software engineering’ was first proposed in 1968 at a conference held to discuss what was then called the ‘software crisis’. This software crisis resulted directly from the introduction of powerful, third generation computer hardware. Their power made hitherto unrealisable computer applications a feasible proposition. The resulting software was orders of magnitude larger and more complex than previous software systems.

Early experience in building these systems showed that an informal approach to software development was not good enough. Major projects were sometimes years late. They cost much more than originally predicted, were unreliable, difficult to maintain and performed poorly. Software development was in crisis. Hardware costs were tumbling whilst software costs were rising rapidly. New techniques and methods were needed to control the complexity inherent in large software systems.

These techniques have become part of software engineering and are now widely although not universally used. However, there are still problems in producing complex software which meets user expectations, is delivered on time and to budget. Many software projects still have problems and this has led to some commentators (Pressman, 1997) suggesting that software engineering is in a state of chronic affliction.

As our ability to produce software has increased so too has the complexity of the software systems required. New technologies resulting from the convergence of computers and communication systems place new demands on software engineers. For this reason and because many companies do not apply software engineering techniques effectively, we still have problems. Things are not as bad as the doomsayers suggest but there is clearly room for improvement.

Quiz PDF eBook: 
Information Technology
Download IT Quiz PDF eBook
36 Pages
2013
English US
Educational Materials



Sample Questions from the Information Technology Quiz

Question: ------------- is like a process.

Choices:

a) Server

b) Client

c) Thread

d) Network

Question: ------------ provides an interface to which clients send requests to perform an action and send back results to the client.

Choices:

a) Transaction server

b) Data server

c) Query server

d) Client server

Question: --------------- implements lock manager functionality which includes lock grant, lock release and dead lock deduction.

Choices:

a) Server processes

b) Process monitor process

c) Log manager process

d) Data base writer process

Question: what is the other name for transaction server system?

Choices:

a) Data server

b) Query server

c) Client server

d) Client

Question: The interface between the front end and back end is through -------------

Choices:

a) SQL

b) ODBC

c) JDBC

d) NETWORK

Question: ------------- allow clients to interact with the server by making requests to read or update in units such as files or pages.

Choices:

a) Transaction server

b) Data server

c) Query server

d) Client server

Question: -------------- managers access structures , query evaluation and optimization concurrency control and recovery.

Choices:

a) Back end

b) Interface

c) Front end

d) Server

Question: --------------- process output log records from the log record buffer to stable storage.

Choices:

a) Process monitor process

b) Data base writer process.

c) Log writer process

d) Server processes

Question: --------------- have few processor attached to it and a single query task will be divided between the processor to execute it.

Choices:

a) Parallel system

b) Course granularity system

c) Distributed system

d) Fine granularity system

Question: ------------- of a database system consists of tools such as forms, report writers and Graphical user interface facilities.

Choices:

a) Back end

b) Front end

c) Server

d) Client

Question: ------------- are processes that receive user queries ,execute them and send the results back.

Choices:

a) Data base writer process.

b) Server processes

c) Log writer process

d) Process monitor process

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Anindyo Mukhopadhyay
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