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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.

Questions & Answers

what is software engineer
Soumen Reply
Who make the software he is the software engineer.
thando
I want to create a game
Rohith Reply
Requirements to create game
Rohith
yes i also
GURPREET
want to knoe about the reqirements
GURPREET
Yes
Rohith
what are software evolution processes
Software Evolution is a term which refers to the process of developing software initially, then timely updating it for various reasons, i.e., to add new features or to remove obsolete functionalities etc. ... If the proposed changes are accepted, a new release of the software system is planned
Fenkil
basic things of software engineer
Saroj Reply
Which languages need for web development? And how I can learn it? pls help me
Zhamshid Reply
basic things of software engineer
Saroj
hm
Dhruv
I also want to know basic training for software engineering
Dhruv
I want to found an internet company
Sanay Reply
First learn english grammar correctly. 🙏
Eternal
i want software developed explain videos
Fazil Reply
draw and explain state and activity diagram of library management system
Prashant Reply
hii
Sonu
jameel
Jameelkhan
hi siham how are you doing?
Fenkil
fhzgj
Rubel
explain association and generalisation with library system diagram
Prashant Reply
what do you mean by functional and non functional requirements
RICHA Reply
functional - describes what a software system should do . non functional - place constraints on how the will do so
rubi
non functional requirement include: quility . reliability . response time . security . privacy . effectiveness . maintainability . robustness scalability . fault tolerance . extensibility . efficiency . portability . resilience ... .
rubi
🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏
Sonu
🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏
Sonu
hello
Akhand
🇨🇮🇨🇮🇨🇮
Sonu
hi
Zahid
hellow
muddy
What does encapsulation mean?
Sravanthi Reply
Encapsulation in Java is a process of wrapping code and data together into a single unit, for example, a capsule which is mixed of several medicines. ... Now we can use setter and getter methods to set and get the data in it. The Java Bean class is the example of a fully encapsulated class.
Hello
What is software Engineering
Jakisay Reply
Sofyware engineering is the application of principles used in the field of engineering which usually deals with phsical systems to the design, testing, development, deployment and management of software systems
Remie
what is cocomo model
Shrudhi Reply
The Constructive Cost Model is a procedural software cost estimation model developed by Barry W. Boehm. The model parameters are derived from fitting a regression formula using data from historical projects
Tilak
ji boliye
RICHA
Very active
KUMAR
DP👌🏻
KUMAR
Please is there any scholarship for African students undergraduate for now
Awal Reply
4 generation technology
RICHA Reply
Richa, what is your question?
Darrell
yah
Bimala

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Source:  OpenStax, Software engineering. OpenStax CNX. Jul 29, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10790/1.1
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