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Software engineering is the systematic application of
engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The discipline of engineering encompasses a broad range of more specializ ...

engineering
approaches to the
development Development or developing may refer to: Arts *Development hell, when a project is stuck in development *Filmmaking#Development, Filmmaking, development phase, including finance and budgeting *Development (music), the process thematic material i ...
of
software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions that tell a computer how to work. This is in contrast to Computer hardware, hardware, from which the system is built and actually performs the work. At the low level lang ...

software
. A software engineer is a person who applies the principles of software engineering to design, develop, maintain, test, and evaluate
computer software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions that tell a computer how to work. This is in contrast to Computer hardware, hardware, from which the system is built and actually performs the work. At the low level langu ...

computer software
. The term ''
programmer A computer programmer, sometimes called a software developer, a programmer or more recently a coder (especially in more informal contexts), is a person who creates computer software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science) ...

programmer
'' is sometimes used as a synonym, but may also lack connotations of engineering education or skills. Engineering techniques are used to inform the
software development process In software engineering, a software development process is the process of dividing software development work into smaller, parallel or sequential steps or subprocesses to improve Software design, design, Software product management, product mana ...

software development process
which involves the definition, implementation, assessment, measurement, management, change, and improvement of the software life cycle process itself. It heavily uses
software configuration management In software engineering, software configuration management (SCM or S/W CM) is the task of tracking and controlling changes in the software, part of the larger cross-disciplinary field of configuration management. SCM practices include revision co ...
which is about systematically controlling changes to the configuration, and maintaining the integrity and traceability of the configuration and code throughout the system life cycle. Modern processes use
software versioning Software versioning is the process of assigning either unique ''version names'' or unique ''version numbers'' to unique states of computer software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions and data (computing), ...
.


History

Beginning in the 1960s, software engineering was seen as its own type of
engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The discipline of engineering encompasses a broad range of more specializ ...

engineering
. Additionally, the development of software engineering was seen as a struggle. It was difficult to keep up with the hardware which caused many problems for software engineers. Problems included software that was over budget, exceeded deadlines, required extensive and maintenance, and unsuccessfully met the needs of consumers or was never even completed. In 1968
NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental military alliance between 27 European ...
held the first Software Engineering conference where issues related to software were addressed: guidelines and best practices for the development of software were established. The origins of the term "software engineering" have been attributed to various sources. The term "software engineering" appeared in a list of services offered by companies in the June 1965 issue o
COMPUTERS and AUTOMATION
and was used more formally in the August 1966 issue of Communications of the ACM (Volume 9, number 8) “letter to the ACM membership” by the ACM President Anthony A. Oettinger, it is also associated with the title of a NATO conference in 1968 by Professor Friedrich L. Bauer, the first conference on software engineering. Independently, Margaret Hamilton named the discipline "software engineering" during the Apollo missions to give what they were doing legitimacy. At the time there was perceived to be a "
software crisis Software crisis is a term used in the early days of computing science for the difficulty of writing useful and efficient computer programs in the required time. The software crisis was due to the rapid increases in computer power and the complexity ...
". The 40th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2018) celebrates 50 years of "Software Engineering" with the Plenary Sessions' keynotes of
Frederick Brooks Frederick Phillips "Fred" Brooks Jr. (born April 19, 1931) is an American computer architect, software engineer A software engineer is a person who applies the principles of software engineering to the design, development, maintenance, testin ...
and Margaret Hamilton. In 1984, the
Software Engineering Institute The Software Engineering Institute (SEI) is an American research and development center headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Its activities cover cybersecurity, software assurance, software engineering and acquisition, and component capabil ...

Software Engineering Institute
(SEI) was established as a federally funded research and development center headquartered on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. Watts Humphrey founded the SEI Software Process Program, aimed at understanding and managing the software engineering process. The Process Maturity Levels introduced would become the Capability Maturity Model Integration for Development(CMMI-DEV), which has defined how the US Government evaluates the abilities of a software development team. Modern, generally accepted best-practices for software engineering have been collected by the
ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 7 ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 7 Software and systems engineering is a standardization subcommittee of the Joint Technical Committee ISO/IEC JTC1, ISO/IEC JTC 1 of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Co ...
subcommittee and published as the
Software Engineering Body of Knowledge The ''Software Engineering Body of Knowledge'' (SWEBOK ( )) is an international standard ISO/IEC TR 19759:2005 specifying a guide to the generally accepted software engineering body of knowledge. The Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowl ...
(SWEBOK). Software engineering is considered one of major
computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and software. It has sci ...

computing
disciplines.


Definitions and terminology controversies

Notable definitions of software engineering include: * "The systematic application of scientific and technological knowledge, methods, and experience to the design, implementation, testing, and documentation of software"—The Bureau of Labor Statistics—
IEEE The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is a professional association for electronic engineering and electrical engineering (and associated disciplines) with its corporate office in New York City and its operations center i ...
''Systems and software engineering – Vocabulary''''Systems and software engineering – Vocabulary'',
ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task w ...

ISO
/
IECIEC may refer to: Businesses and organisations * International Electrotechnical Commission The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC; in French: ''Commission électrotechnique internationale'') is an international standards organizati ...
/
IEEE The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is a professional association for electronic engineering and electrical engineering (and associated disciplines) with its corporate office in New York City and its operations center i ...
std 24765:2010(E), 2010.
* "The application of a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the development, operation, and maintenance of
software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions that tell a computer how to work. This is in contrast to Computer hardware, hardware, from which the system is built and actually performs the work. At the low level lang ...

software
"—
IEEE The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is a professional association for electronic engineering and electrical engineering (and associated disciplines) with its corporate office in New York City and its operations center i ...
''Standard Glossary of Software Engineering Terminology''''IEEE Standard Glossary of Software Engineering Terminology'',
IEEE The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is a professional association for electronic engineering and electrical engineering (and associated disciplines) with its corporate office in New York City and its operations center i ...
std 610.12-1990, 1990.
* "an engineering discipline that is concerned with all aspects of software production"— Ian Sommerville * "the establishment and use of sound engineering principles in order to economically obtain software that is reliable and works efficiently on real machines"—
Fritz Bauer Fritz Bauer (16 July 1903 – 1 July 1968) was a German Jewish The history of the Jews in Germany goes back at least to the year 321, and continued through the Early Middle Ages (5th to 10th centuries CE) and High Middle Ages (''circa'' 1000 ...
*"a branch of computer science that deals with the design, implementation, and maintenance of complex
computer program In imperative programming, a computer program is a sequence of instructions in a programming language that a computer can execute or interpret. In declarative programming, a ''computer program'' is a Set (mathematics), set of instructions. A comp ...
s"—
Merriam-Webster Merriam-Webster, Inc. is an American company that publishes reference books A reference work is a work such as a book or periodical literature, periodical (or electronic publishing, its electronic equivalent) to which one can refer for info ...
* "'software engineering' encompasses not just the act of writing code, but all of the tools and processes an organization uses to build and maintain that code over time. ..Software engineering can be thought of as 'programming integrated over time.'"—Software Engineering at Google The term has also been used less formally: * as the informal contemporary term for the broad range of activities that were formerly called
computer programming Computer programming is the process of designing and building an executable computer program to accomplish a specific computing result or to perform a particular task. Programming involves tasks such as analysis, generating algorithms, Profilin ...
and
systems analysis Systems analysis is "the process of studying a procedure or business Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling products (such as goods and services). Simply put, it is "any activity ...
; * as the broad term for all aspects of the ''practice'' of computer programming, as opposed to the ''theory'' of computer programming, which is formally studied as a sub-discipline of
computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their application. Computer science is the study of computation, automation, a ...
;Mills, Harlan D., J. R. Newman, and C. B. Engle, Jr., "An Undergraduate Curriculum in Software Engineering," in
p. 26
"As a practical matter, we regard software engineering as the necessary preparation for the practicing, software development and maintenance professional. The Computer Scientist is preparing for further theoretical studies..."
* as the term embodying the ''advocacy'' of a specific approach to computer programming, one that urges that it be treated as an
engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The discipline of engineering encompasses a broad range of more specializ ...

engineering
discipline rather than an art or a craft, and advocates the
codification Codification may refer to: *Codification (law), the process of preparing and enacting a legal code *Codification (linguistics), the process of selecting, developing and prescribing a model for standard language usage *Accounting Standards Codificati ...
of recommended practices.


Etymology of "software engineer"

Margaret Hamilton promoted the term "software engineering" during her work on the
Apollo program The Apollo program, also known as Project Apollo, was the third United States human spaceflight program carried out by the NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which succeeded in Moon landing, landing the first humans ...

Apollo program
. The term "engineering" was used to acknowledge that the work should be taken just as seriously as other contributions toward the advancement of technology. Hamilton details her use of the term:
When I first came up with the term, no one had heard of it before, at least in our world. It was an ongoing joke for a long time. They liked to kid me about my radical ideas. It was a memorable day when one of the most respected hardware gurus explained to everyone in a meeting that he agreed with me that the process of building software should also be considered an engineering discipline, just like with hardware. Not because of his acceptance of the new "term" per se, but because we had earned his and the acceptance of the others in the room as being in an engineering field in its own right.


Suitability of the term

Individual commentators have disagreed sharply on how to define ''software engineering'' or its legitimacy as an engineering discipline.
David Parnas David Lorge Parnas (born February 10, 1941) is a Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many (or all) of ...

David Parnas
has said that software engineering is, in fact, a form of engineering.
Steve McConnell Steven C. McConnell is an author of software engineering Software engineering is the systematic application of engineering approaches to the software development, development of software. A software engineer is a person who applies the principle ...
has said that it is not, but that it should be.
Donald Knuth Donald Ervin Knuth ( ; born January 10, 1938) is an American computer scientist A computer scientist is a person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousnes ...
has said that programming is an art and a science.
Edsger W. Dijkstra Edsger Wybe Dijkstra ( ; ; 11 May 1930 – 6 August 2002) was a Dutch computer scientist A computer scientist is a person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, cons ...
claimed that the terms ''software engineering'' and ''software engineer'' have been misused and should be considered harmful, particularly in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
.


Tasks in large scale projects


Software requirements

Requirements engineering Requirements engineering (RE) is the process of defining, documenting, and maintaining requirements in the engineering design process. It is a common role in systems engineering and software engineering. The first use of the term ''requirements ...
is about the elicitation, analysis, specification, and validation of
requirements In product development In business Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling Product (business), products (such as goods and services). Simply put, it is "any activity or enterprise e ...
for
software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions that tell a computer how to work. This is in contrast to Computer hardware, hardware, from which the system is built and actually performs the work. At the low level lang ...

software
. Software requirements can be of three different types. There are
functional requirements In software engineering Software engineering is the systematic application of engineering approaches to the software development, development of software. A software engineer is a person who applies the principles of software engineering to design ...
, non-functional requirements, and domain requirements. The operation of the software should be performed and the proper output should be expected for the user to use. Non-functional requirements deal with issues like portability, security, maintainability, reliability, scalability, performance, reusability, and flexibility. They are classified into the following types: interference constraints, performance constraints (such as response time, security, storage space, etc.), operating constraints, life cycle constraints (maintainability, portability, etc.), and economic constraints. Knowledge of how the system or
software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions that tell a computer how to work. This is in contrast to Computer hardware, hardware, from which the system is built and actually performs the work. At the low level lang ...

software
works is needed when it comes to specifying non-functional requirements. Domain requirements have to do with the characteristic of a certain category or domain of projects.


Software design

Software design Software design is the process by which an agent Agent may refer to: Espionage, investigation, and law *, spies or intelligence officers * Law of agency, laws involving a person authorized to act on behalf of another ** Agent of record, ...
is about the process of defining the architecture, components, interfaces, and other characteristics of a system or component. This is also called
software architecture Software architecture refers to the fundamental structures of a software system and the discipline of creating such structures and systems. Each structure comprises software elements, relations among them, and properties of both elements and relat ...
. Software design is divided into three different levels of
design A design is a plan or specification for the construction of an object or system or for the implementation of an activity or process, or the result of that plan or specification in the form of a prototype A prototype is an early sample, mode ...

design
. The three levels are
interface design User interface (UI) design or user interface engineering is the design of user interfaces for machines and software, such as computers, home appliances, mobile devices, and other electronics, electronic devices, with the focus on maximizing usabili ...
,
architectural design Building design refers to the broadly based architecture, architectural, Architectural engineering, engineering and Technology, technical applications to the design of buildings. All building projects require the services of a building designer, t ...
, and detailed design. Interface design is the interaction between a system and its environment. This happens at a high level of abstraction along with the inner workings of the system. Architectural design has to do with the major components of a system and their responsibilities, properties, interfaces, and their relationships and interactions that occur between them. Detailed design is the internal elements of all the major system components, their properties, relationships, processing, and usually their
algorithms In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no ...

algorithms
and the
data structures 315px, A data structure known as a hash table. In computer science, a data structure is a data organization, management, and storage format that enables efficient access and modification. More precisely, a data structure is a collection of dat ...

data structures
.


Software construction

Software construction, the main activity of software development, is the combination of programming,
unit testing In computer programming Computer programming is the process of designing and building an executable In computing, executable code, an executable file, or an executable program, sometimes simply referred to as an executable or binary, cau ...
,
integration testing Integration testing (sometimes called integration and testing, abbreviated I&T) is the phase in software testing Software testing is an investigation conducted to provide stakeholders with information about the quality of the software product ...
, and
debugging In computer programming Computer programming is the process of designing and building an executable In computing, executable code, an executable file, or an executable program, sometimes simply referred to as an executable or binary, caus ...

debugging
. Testing during this phase is generally performed by the programmer while the software is under construction, to verify what was just written and decide when the code is ready to be sent to the next step.


Software testing

Software testing #REDIRECT Software testing#REDIRECT Software testing Software testing is an investigation conducted to provide stakeholders with information about the quality of the software product or service under test. Software testing can also provide an ob ...
is an empirical, technical investigation conducted to provide stakeholders with information about the quality of the product or service under test, with different approaches such as
unit testing In computer programming Computer programming is the process of designing and building an executable In computing, executable code, an executable file, or an executable program, sometimes simply referred to as an executable or binary, cau ...
and
integration testing Integration testing (sometimes called integration and testing, abbreviated I&T) is the phase in software testing Software testing is an investigation conducted to provide stakeholders with information about the quality of the software product ...
. It is one aspect of
software quality In the context of software engineering Software engineering is the systematic application of engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunne ...
. As a separate phase in software development, it is typically performed by
quality assurance Quality assurance (QA) is a way of preventing mistakes and defects in manufactured products and avoiding problems when delivering products or services to customers; which ISO 9000 The ISO 9000 family of quality management systems A quality man ...

quality assurance
staff or a developer other than the one who wrote the code.


Software maintenance

Software maintenance Software maintenance in software engineering is the modification of a software product after delivery to correct faults, to improve performance or other attributes. A common perception of maintenance is that it merely involves fixing defects. H ...
refers to the activities required to provide cost-effective support after shipping the software product. Software maintenance is modifying and updating
software applications Application software (app for short) is computing software designed to carry out a specific task other than one relating to the operation of the computer itself, typically to be used by end-users. Examples of an application Application may refer ...
after distribution to correct faults and to improve its performance. Software has a lot to do with the real world and when the real world changes, software maintenance is required. Software maintenance includes:
error correction In information theory Information theory is the scientific study of the quantification (science), quantification, computer data storage, storage, and telecommunication, communication of Digital data, digital information. The field was fun ...
, optimization, deletion of unused and discarded features, and enhancement of features that already exist. Usually, maintenance takes up about 40% to 80% of the project cost therefore, focusing on maintenance keeps the costs down.


Education

Knowledge of
computer programming Computer programming is the process of designing and building an executable computer program to accomplish a specific computing result or to perform a particular task. Programming involves tasks such as analysis, generating algorithms, Profilin ...
is a prerequisite for becoming a software engineer. In 2004 the
IEEE Computer Society IEEE Computer Society (sometimes abbreviated the Computer Society or CS) is a professional society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Its purpose and scope is "to advance the theory, practice, and application of comput ...
produced the SWEBOK, which has been published as ISO/IEC Technical Report 1979:2005, describing the body of knowledge that they recommend to be mastered by a graduate software engineer with four years of experience. Many software engineers enter the profession by obtaining a university degree or training at a vocational school. One standard international curriculum for undergraduate software engineering degrees was defined by the Joint Task Force on Computing Curricula of the
IEEE Computer Society IEEE Computer Society (sometimes abbreviated the Computer Society or CS) is a professional society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Its purpose and scope is "to advance the theory, practice, and application of comput ...
and the
Association for Computing Machinery The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) is a US-based international learned society A learned society (; also known as a learned academy, scholarly society, or academic association) is an organization that exists to promote an discipl ...
, and updated in 2014. A number of universities have Software Engineering degree programs; , there were 244 Campus Bachelor of Software Engineering programs, 70 Online programs, 230 Masters-level programs, 41 Doctorate-level programs, and 69 Certificate-level programs in the United States. In addition to university education, many companies sponsor internships for students wishing to pursue careers in information technology. These internships can introduce the student to interesting real-world tasks that typical software engineers encounter every day. Similar experience can be gained through
military service Military service is service by an individual or group in an army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In th ...
in software engineering.


Software engineering degree programs

Half of all practitioners today have
degree Degree may refer to: As a unit of measurement * Degree symbol (°), a notation used in science, engineering, and mathematics * Degree (angle), a unit of angle measurement * Degree (temperature), any of various units of temperature measurement ...
s in
computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their application. Computer science is the study of computation, automation, a ...
,
information systems An information system (IS) is a formal, sociotechnical Sociotechnical systems (STS) in organizational development is an approach to complex organizational work design that recognizes the interaction between people and technology in wiktionary:Wo ...
, or information technology. A small, but growing, number of practitioners have software engineering degrees. In 1987, the Department of Computing at
Imperial College London Imperial College London (legally Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine) is a Public university, public research university in London. Imperial grew out of Albert, Prince Consort, Prince Albert's Albertopolis, vision for a cultural ce ...

Imperial College London
introduced the first three-year software engineering
Bachelor's degree A bachelor's degree (from Middle Latin Medieval Latin was the form of Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area ...
in the UK and the world; in the following year, the
University of Sheffield , mottoeng = To discover the causes of things , established = – University of SheffieldPredecessor institutions: – Sheffield Medical School , mottoeng = Art is long, life is short , established = 1828 – Sheffield School ...
established a similar program. In 1996, the
Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an ...
established the first software engineering bachelor's degree program in the United States, however, it did not obtain
ABET ABET, incorporated as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc., is a non-governmental organization A non-governmental organization, or simply an NGO, is an that is, generally, formed independent from . They are typical ...
accreditation until 2003, the same time as
Rice University William Marsh Rice University (Rice University) is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, af ...

Rice University
,
Clarkson University Clarkson University is a Private university, private research university with its main campus in Potsdam (village), New York, Potsdam, New York, and additional graduate program and research facilities in the Capital District, New York, New York ...
,
Milwaukee School of Engineering The Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) is a private university in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The campus includes in the List of neighborhoods of Milwaukee, East Town neighborhood of downtown Milwaukee. The school's enrollment of 2,820 includes 22 ...
and
Mississippi State University Mississippi State University for Agriculture and Applied Science, commonly known as Mississippi State University (MSU), is a Public university, public land-grant university, land-grant research university adjacent to Starkville, Mississippi. It ...
obtained theirs. In 1997, PSG College of Technology in Coimbatore, India was the first to start a five-year integrated Master of Science degree in Software Engineering. Since then, software engineering undergraduate degrees have been established at many universities. A standard international curriculum for undergraduate software engineering degrees, SE2004, was defined by a steering committee between 2001 and 2004 with funding from the
Association for Computing Machinery The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) is a US-based international learned society A learned society (; also known as a learned academy, scholarly society, or academic association) is an organization that exists to promote an discipl ...
and the
IEEE Computer Society IEEE Computer Society (sometimes abbreviated the Computer Society or CS) is a professional society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Its purpose and scope is "to advance the theory, practice, and application of comput ...
. , in the U.S., about 50 universities offer software engineering degrees, which teach both computer science and engineering principles and practices. The first software engineering
Master's degree A master's degree (from Latin ) is an academic degree awarded by University, universities or colleges upon completion of a course of study demonstrating mastery or a high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of Profession, professio ...
was established at
Seattle University Seattle University (SU) is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly ...
in 1979. Since then graduate software engineering degrees have been made available from many more universities. Likewise in Canada, the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB) of the
Canadian Council of Professional Engineers Engineers Canada ( French: ') is the national organization of the 12 provincial and territorial associations that regulate the practice of engineering Engineering is the use of scientific method, scientific principles to design and build ma ...
has recognized several software engineering programs. In 1998, the US
Naval Postgraduate School The Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) is a public graduate school operated by the United States Navy and located in Monterey, California. It offers master’s and doctoral degrees in more than 70 fields of study to the U.S. Armed Forces, DOD ci ...

Naval Postgraduate School
(NPS) established the first
doctorate A doctorate (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republ ...

doctorate
program in Software Engineering in the world. Additionally, many online advanced degrees in Software Engineering have appeared such as the Master of Science in Software Engineering (MSE) degree offered through the Computer Science and Engineering Department at
California State University, Fullerton California State University, Fullerton (CSUF or Cal State Fullerton) is a public university in Fullerton, California. With a total enrollment of more than 41,000, it has the largest student body of the 23-campus California State University (CSU) s ...
. Steve McConnell opines that because most universities teach computer science rather than software engineering, there is a shortage of true software engineers. ETS (École de technologie supérieure) University and UQAM (Université du Québec à Montréal) were mandated by IEEE to develop the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge ( SWEBOK), which has become an ISO standard describing the body of knowledge covered by a software engineer.


Profession

Legal Law is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea of a two-way effect is essential in the concept of interaction, as oppose ...

Legal
requirements for the licensing or certification of professional software engineers vary around the world. In the UK, there is no licensing or legal requirement to assume or use the job title Software Engineer. In some areas of Canada, such as Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec, software engineers can hold the Professional Engineer (P.Eng) designation and/or the Information Systems Professional (I.S.P.) designation. In Europe, Software Engineers can obtain the
European Engineer European Engineer (EUR ING) is an international professional qualification Professional certification, trade certification, or professional designation, often called simply ''certification'' or ''qualification'', is a designation earned by a perso ...
(EUR ING) professional title. The United States, since 2013, has offered an ''
NCEES The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) is an American non-profit organization dedicated to advancing professional licensure for engineers and surveyors. The Council’s members are the engineering and surveying licen ...
'' ''
Professional Engineer Regulation and licensure in engineering is established by various jurisdictions of the world to encourage public welfare, safety, well-being and other interests of the general public and to define the licensure Licensure means a restricted practi ...
'' exam for Software Engineering, thereby allowing Software Engineers to be licensed and recognized. NCEES will end the exam after April 2019 due to lack of participation. Mandatory licensing is currently still largely debated, and perceived as controversial. In some parts of the US such as Texas, the use of the term
Engineer Engineers, as practitioners of engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The discipline of enginee ...

Engineer
is regulated by law and reserved only for use by individuals who have a
Professional Engineer Regulation and licensure in engineering is established by various jurisdictions of the world to encourage public welfare, safety, well-being and other interests of the general public and to define the licensure Licensure means a restricted practi ...
license. The
IEEE Computer Society IEEE Computer Society (sometimes abbreviated the Computer Society or CS) is a professional society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Its purpose and scope is "to advance the theory, practice, and application of comput ...
and the ACM, the two main US-based professional organizations of software engineering, publish guides to the profession of software engineering. The IEEE's ''Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge – 2004 Version'', or SWEBOK, defines the field and describes the knowledge the IEEE expects a practicing software engineer to have. The most current SWEBOK v3 is an updated version and was released in 2014. The IEEE also promulgates a "Software Engineering Code of Ethics".


Employment

The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) counted 1,365,500 software developers holding jobs in the
U.S. The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all ...

U.S.
in 2018. Due to its relative newness as a field of study, formal education in software engineering is often taught as part of a computer science curriculum, and many software engineers hold computer science degrees. The BLS estimates from 2014 to 2024 that computer software engineering would increase by 17% . This is down from the 2012 to 2022 BLS estimate of 22% for software engineering. And, is further down from their 30% 2010 to 2020 BLS estimate. Due to this trend, job growth may not be as fast as during the last decade, as jobs that would have gone to computer software engineers in the United States would instead be outsourced to computer software engineers in countries such as India and other foreign countries. In addition, the BLS Job Outlook for Computer Programmers, 2014–24 predicts an −8% (a decline, in their words), then a decline in the Job Outlook, 2019-29 of -9%, and a 10% decline for 2020-2030 for those who program computers. Furthermore, women in many software fields has also been declining over the years as compared to other engineering fields. However, this trend may change or slow in the future as many current software engineers in the U.S. market leave the profession or age out of the market in the next few decades. Many software engineers work as employees or contractors. Software engineers work with businesses, government agencies (civilian or military), and non-profit organizations. Some software engineers work for themselves as
freelancer ''Freelance'' (sometimes spelled ''free-lance'' or ''free lance''), ''freelancer'', or ''freelance worker'', are terms commonly used for a person who is self-employedSelf-employment is the state of working for oneself rather than an employer. G ...

freelancer
s. Some organizations have specialists to perform each of the tasks in the
software development process In software engineering, a software development process is the process of dividing software development work into smaller, parallel or sequential steps or subprocesses to improve Software design, design, Software product management, product mana ...

software development process
. Other organizations require software engineers to do many or all of them. In large projects, people may specialize in only one role. In small projects, people may fill several or all roles at the same time. Many companies hire interns, often university or college students during a summer break, or
externshipExternships are experiential learning opportunities, similar to internships (Timeline duration can differ from project to project), provided by partnerships between educational institutions and employers to give students practical experiences in th ...
s. Specializations include analysts,
architects An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings that h ...
, , testers,
technical support Technical support (often shortened to tech support) refers to services that entities provide to users of technology products or services. In general, technical support provides help regarding specific problems with a product or service, rather th ...
,
middleware analystMiddleware analysts are Software engineer, computer software engineers with a specialization in products that connect two different computer systems together. These products can be Open-source software, open-source or proprietary. As the term implies ...
s, project managers, s, and
researcher Research is " creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge". It involves the collection, organization, and analysis of information to increase understanding of a topic or issue. A research project may be an exp ...

researcher
s. Most software engineers and programmers work 40 hours a week, but about 15 percent of software engineers and 11 percent of programmers worked more than 50 hours a week in 2008. Potential injuries in these occupations are possible because like other workers who spend long periods
sitting Sitting is a basic action and resting position in which the body weight is supported primarily by the bony ischial tuberosities The ischial tuberosity (or tuberosity of the ischium, tuber ischiadicum), also known colloquially as the sit bones ...
in front of a computer terminal typing at a keyboard, engineers and programmers are susceptible to eyestrain, back discomfort, and hand and wrist problems such as
carpal tunnel syndrome Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a medical condition due to compression of the median nerve The median nerve is a nerve A nerve is an enclosed, cable-like bundle of nerve fibers called axon An axon (from Greek ἄξων ''áxōn'', axis), ...

carpal tunnel syndrome
.


Certification

The
Software Engineering Institute The Software Engineering Institute (SEI) is an American research and development center headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Its activities cover cybersecurity, software assurance, software engineering and acquisition, and component capabil ...

Software Engineering Institute
offers certifications on specific topics like
security Security is freedom from, or resilience against, potential Potential generally refers to a currently unrealized ability. The term is used in a wide variety of fields, from physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its El ...
, process improvement and
software architecture Software architecture refers to the fundamental structures of a software system and the discipline of creating such structures and systems. Each structure comprises software elements, relations among them, and properties of both elements and relat ...
.
IBM International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Armonk, New York, with operations in over 170 countries. The company began in 1911, founded in Endicott, New York, as the C ...
,
Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation, multinational technology company, technology corporation which produces Software, computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services. Its best-know ...

Microsoft
and other companies also sponsor their own certification examinations. Many IT
certification Certification is the formal attestation or confirmation of certain characteristics of an object, person, or organization. This confirmation is often, but not always, provided by some form of external review, education, assessment, or audit ...
programs are oriented toward specific technologies, and managed by the vendors of these technologies. These certification programs are tailored to the institutions that would employ people who use these technologies. Broader certification of general software engineering skills is available through various professional societies. , the
IEEE The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is a professional association for electronic engineering and electrical engineering (and associated disciplines) with its corporate office in New York City and its operations center i ...
had certified over 575 software professionals as a Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP). In 2008 they added an entry-level certification known as the Certified Software Development Associate (CSDA). The ACM had a professional certification program in the early 1980s, which was discontinued due to lack of interest. The ACM examined the possibility of professional certification of software engineers in the late 1990s, but eventually decided that such certification was inappropriate for the professional industrial practice of software engineering. In the U.K. the
British Computer Society Sir Maurice Wilkes served as first President of BCS in 1957. BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, was formerly known as the British Computer Society. It is a professional body Regulatory colleges are legal entities in Canada charged with ...
has developed a legally recognized professional certification called ''Chartered IT Professional (CITP)'', available to fully qualified members (''MBCS''). Software engineers may be eligible for membership of the
Institution of Engineering and Technology The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is a multidisciplinary professional engineering institution. The IET was formed in 2006 from two separate institutions: the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE), dating back to 1871, and the ...
and so qualify for Chartered Engineer status. In Canada the
Canadian Information Processing Society CIPS (Canadian Information Processing Society) is the professional association of IT professionals in Canada. Since 1958 CIPS has helped strengthen the Canadian IT industry by establishing standards and sharing best practices for the benefit of indi ...
has developed a legally recognized professional certification called ''Information Systems Professional (ISP)''. In Ontario, Canada, Software Engineers who graduate from a ''Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB)'' accredited program, successfully complete PEO's (''Professional Engineers Ontario'') Professional Practice Examination (PPE) and have at least 48 months of acceptable engineering experience are eligible to be licensed through the ''Professional Engineers Ontario'' and can become Professional Engineers P.Eng. The PEO does not recognize any online or distance education however; and does not consider Computer Science programs to be equivalent to software engineering programs despite the tremendous overlap between the two. This has sparked controversy and a certification war. It has also held the number of P.Eng holders for the profession exceptionally low. The vast majority of working professionals in the field hold a degree in CS, not SE. Given the difficult certification path for holders of non-SE degrees, most never bother to pursue the license.


Impact of globalization

The initial impact of outsourcing, and the relatively lower cost of international human resources in developing third world countries led to a massive migration of software development activities from corporations in North America and Europe to India and later: China, Russia, and other developing countries. This approach had some flaws, mainly the distance / time zone difference that prevented human interaction between clients and developers and the massive job transfer. This had a negative impact on many aspects of the software engineering profession. For example, some students in the
developed world A developed country (or industrialized country, high-income country, more economically developed country (MEDC), advanced country) is a sovereign state that has a high quality of life, developed economy and advanced technological infrastructu ...
avoid education related to software engineering because of the fear of
offshore outsourcing Outsourcing is an agreement in which one company hires another company to be responsible for a planned or existing activity that is or could be done internally, and sometimes involves transferring employees and assets from one firm to another. Th ...
(importing software products or services from other countries) and of being displaced by foreign visa workers. Although statistics do not currently show a threat to software engineering itself; a related career,
computer programming Computer programming is the process of designing and building an executable computer program to accomplish a specific computing result or to perform a particular task. Programming involves tasks such as analysis, generating algorithms, Profilin ...
does appear to have been affected. Nevertheless, the ability to smartly leverage offshore and near-shore resources via the follow-the-sun workflow has improved the overall operational capability of many organizations. When North Americans are leaving work, Asians are just arriving to work. When Asians are leaving work, Europeans are arriving to work. This provides a continuous ability to have human oversight on business-critical processes 24 hours per day, without paying overtime compensation or disrupting a key human resource, sleep patterns. While global outsourcing has several advantages, global – and generally distributed – development can run into serious difficulties resulting from the distance between developers. This is due to the key elements of this type of distance that have been identified as geographical, temporal, cultural and communication (that includes the use of different languages and dialects of English in different locations). Research has been carried out in the area of global software development over the last 15 years and an extensive body of relevant work published that highlights the benefits and problems associated with the complex activity. As with other aspects of software engineering research is ongoing in this and related areas.


Prizes

There are several prizes in the field of software engineering:Some external links:
SIGSOFT Awards




* The Codie awards is a yearly award issued by the Software and Information Industry Association for excellence in software development within the software industry. *
Jolt Awards Jolt may refer to: *Jolt Award, an award in the software industry *Jolt Cola, a soft drink **Jolt gum, a caffeinated chewing gum from the makers of Jolt Cola *Jolt Online Gaming, a game server host, game network and broadband internet service provi ...
are awards in the software industry. *
Stevens Award The Stevens Award is a software engineering lecture award given by the Reengineering Forum, an industry association. The international Stevens Award was created to recognize outstanding contributions to the literature or practice of software develo ...
is a software engineering award given in memory of Wayne Stevens.


Criticism

Software engineering sees its practitioners as individuals who follow well-defined engineering approaches to problem-solving. These approaches are specified in various software engineering books and research papers, always with the connotations of predictability, precision, mitigated risk and professionalism. This perspective has led to calls for licensing, certification and codified bodies of knowledge as mechanisms for spreading the engineering knowledge and maturing the field. Software engineering extends engineering and draws on the engineering model, i.e. engineering process, engineering project management, engineering requirements, engineering design, engineering construction, and engineering validation. The concept is so new that it is rarely understood, and it is widely misinterpreted, including in software engineering textbooks, papers, and among the communities of programmers and crafters. One of the core issues in software engineering is that its approaches are not empirical enough because a real-world validation of approaches is usually absent, or very limited and hence software engineering is often misinterpreted as feasible only in a "theoretical environment." Edsger Dijkstra, the founder of many of the concepts used within software development today, rejected the idea of "software engineering" up until his death in 2002, arguing that those terms were poor analogies for what he called the "radical novelty" of
computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their application. Computer science is the study of computation, automation, a ...
:


See also


Study and practice

* Computer science * Information engineering * Software craftsmanship * Software development * Release engineering


Roles

* Programmer * Systems analyst * Systems architect


Professional aspects

* Bachelor of Science in Information Technology * Bachelor of Software Engineering * List of software engineering conferences * List of computer science journals (including software engineering journals) *
Software Engineering Institute The Software Engineering Institute (SEI) is an American research and development center headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Its activities cover cybersecurity, software assurance, software engineering and acquisition, and component capabil ...

Software Engineering Institute


References


Citations


Sources

* *


Further reading

* * * * * *


External links


Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge

The Open Systems Engineering and Software Development Life Cycle Framework
OpenSDLC.org the integrated Creative Commons SDLC
Software Engineering Institute
Carnegie Mellon {{Authority control Software engineering, Engineering disciplines