Engineering discipline is all about getting results of the required quality within the prescheduled timing and budget. This often involves making compromises—engineers cannot be perfectionists.
People writing computer understandable programs for themselves, however, can spend as much time as they wish on the program development. Through software engineering engineers adopt a systematic and organized approach to their work, as this is often the most effective and efficient way to produce good-quality software that highly required in market.
However, engineering is all about selecting the most appropriate methodology for a set of circumstances so a more creative, less formal approach to development may be effective in some circumstances. Less formal development is particularly appropriate for the development of web-based systems, which requires unify of software and graphical design skills.
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In a generalized way software engineering is a branch of engineering discipline that is concerned with all aspects of software designing, writing programmers and production from the initial stages of system specification to maintaining the system after it has gone into use by end user. There are two key phrases to define a software engineering:
- In all aspects of software production Software engineering is not just concerned with the technical processes of software development but it also involve in activities such as software project management and with the development of tools, methods and theories to support software production. Software engineering concern more and more, individuals and society rely on advanced software systems. We need to be able to produce reliable and trustworthy systems economically and quickly.
- It is usually cheaper, in the long run, to use software engineering methods and techniques for software systems rather than just write the programs as if it was a personal programming project. For most types of systems, the majority of costs are the costs of changing the software after it has gone into use.
Sometimes software engineering used a systematic approach named software process. A software process is a string of activities that leads to the invention of a software product. There are four elementary activities that are ordinary to all software processes. These activities are follows:
- Software specification: It is the essential activity of the software process where customers and engineers identify the software that is to be produced and the constraints on its operation.
- Software development: In this activity the software is designed and programmed.
- Software validation: This activity of software process software is checked to ensure that it is what the customer requires.
- Software evolution: In this activity software is modified to reflect changing customer and market requirements.
To concern about the definition of Software Engineering there have various notes and remarks, some exact definition of the software engineering are given as;
According to IEEE defines software engineering as:
“The study of approaches about application of a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the development, operation and maintenance of software; that is, the application of engineering to software.”
According to Fritz Bauer (a German computer scientist) defines software engineering as:
“Software engineering is the establishment and use of sound engineering principles in order to obtain economically software that is reliable and work efficiently on real machines”.
Software engineering regularly does involve writing code, but this is only single phase in the software development process. Exact software engineering has a well-articulated life cycle.