What is Software Engineering | IT and engineering

Bjarne Stroustrup, the creator of the C++ programming language, once said that “our civilization is based on software”. This claim is impressively backed up by the real world, in which software controls a wide variety of devices, from cell phones and music players to smart appliances such as microwave ovens and washing machines. by the personal computers that many people use at work and the large mainframes that operate in government organizations. In fact, it’s hard to imagine an area of ​​human activity that doesn’t rely at least partially on software, including professional work, household activities, and entertainment.

Using a basic definition, software refers to computer programs and their associated documentation. Computer programs, on the other hand, consist of algorithms (or procedures) applied to various types of data. Software engineering emerged in the late 1960s as a new engineering discipline concerned with all aspects related to software production. It encompasses concepts, principles, theories, techniques and tools that can be used to develop high quality professional software. First introduced at the NATO Software Engineering Conference in Garmisch, Germany in 1968, software engineering emphasizes a systematic and disciplined approach to the development and evolution of software and software. generally applies to the construction of large software systems (or products) in which teams of many software engineers are involved. .

High quality software is characterized by:

  • High reliability (including safety, security and reliability)
  • Efficiency
  • Usability
  • Accessibility
  • Maintainability

A software product is said to have a life cycle, or undergoes a software process, which, in software engineering terms, basically consists of two parts: development and evolution. Both involve traditional engineering phases, with software development consisting primarily of concept creation, requirements specification, design, implementation, integration, testing, and deployment. On the other hand, software evolution involves operation and maintenance as well as some limited development activities aimed at improving the software.

Applications of software engineering

Software engineering applications are virtually limitless. In fact, software engineering has grown so rapidly over the past few decades that it has become closely intertwined with all other areas of computer science (e.g., artificial intelligence, parallel processing, computer graphics, human-computer interaction, database management systems and many others) as well as with certain fields outside the traditional computing field (such as cognitive science and visual arts).

The challenges of software engineering

Current challenges in software engineering research and development include:

  • Coping with the increased complexity of software required in new applications
  • The diversity of software systems that need to communicate/work with each other
  • The need to develop reliable software
  • Increased market demands for fast turnaround time from concept to deployment and operation
  • Seeking greater efficiency in component-based reuse and automatic code generation

Study software engineering

Students who wish to focus on software engineering must acquire and integrate knowledge in various fields, including computer programming, data structures, algorithms, numerical methods, statistics, design patterns, human-interaction machine, computer graphics, information visualization, database systems, web development, software project management and software engineering.

Software Engineering Internship and Job Opportunities

Software engineers are in high demand nationally and internationally. The list of companies that hire software engineers is virtually endless. While most jobs are in industry, research labs also hire skilled software engineers, either for software engineering research itself or to support software development in research environments. Moreover, qualified software engineers are also hired by start-up companies or are well prepared to start their own software development businesses.

Notably, under the umbrella of software engineering, several specialized professions exist besides the software engineer himself, including computer programmer, analyst, designer, developer, tester, consultant, and others.

Gordon K. Morehouse