Computer Software or Software is an integral part of this Information Age which enables information collection, storage, processing and management of Information within machines or virtual machines or systems that assists humans. Software Engineering is a discipline which was conceptualized, developed and is constantly reviewed and evolved for planning , modelling, design, development, implementation and enhancement of this Software Systems. Software Engineering has historically studied, developed and is continuously improving methods, processes, techniques and frameworks to facilitate the analysis, design, development, implementation and enhancement and continuous evolution of Software Products. The roots of first Software being written goes back to mid 1800’s when Ada Lovelace wrote the algorithm for the first computing machine designed by Charles Babbage. Since then and going into early 1900’s and going into 19050’s when commercial Software was being started to be written, we have been looking for ways to standardize Software Engineering process that created efficient Software product with least amount of time and reduced defects.
Software Engineering thus involves every aspects of Software Development life cycle like planning, analysis, modelling, design, verification & validation, implementation, documentation, installation, maintenance/enhancement and most importantly software project management which controls and coordinate the above activities. With the goal creating high quality Software with streamlined process, Software Engineering has an integrated tool set of Technical and Managerial aspects in identifying, planning and execution of Software Projects.
The Technical aspect corresponds to computer hardware, software on which software system is setup. The Managerial aspect corresponds to the various Software Project Management activities undergone to control and coordinate the technical activities of the continuous software process life cycle. It involves planning the software project and the required project team and its structure, project cost estimation, assignment of jobs to project teams, control and coordinate the project execution, plan implementation and test strategies, software product handover and live installment, software product assistance, enhancement and support activities.
One of the primary goals of Software Engineering is to improve the quality of Software products and to increase the productivity & job satisfaction of software engineers. Software Engineering applies the traditional engineering problem solving techniques for project planning, project management, systematic analysis, methodical design, careful fabrication, extensive validation and continuous software product enhancements.
The mapping between the analysis model and the reality being modeled, i.e a real problem being modeled as an analysis model which tries to solve the problem, represents the degree of intellectual distance between the real problem and its actual computerized solution provided by the modeled software system. Now the effort of Software Engineering would be to reduce this intellectual distance between the real problem in a system and its computerized solution as a software system utilizing most efficient analysis, design and development tools, techniques and processes.
Thus for aspiring Software Engineers, who desire to build and maintain the art of 1s and 0s of Information Age, they should have a strong foundation on technical skills as well as an understanding on what effective managerial skills are necessary to build and sustain a productive Software Development team.
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