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    • What is Software Engineering?

      At the end of this session, you will be able to:
      • Understand software engineering as an engineering discipline
      • Understand the importance of framework in Software Engineering
      Before you delve deeper into software engineering, you must first understand what software is. Software or a software product is set of computer programs performing specific process and the documentation associated with the computer programs . Software products can be developed for defined market of customers. An example would be an accounting package, applicable across industries. On the other hand, software products can also be customized and developed for one particular customer. An example would be a customer banking system for a specific bank.
      Engineering is a science. Software Engineering involves art, craft, and science. It is an amalgam of artistry, craftsmanship, and scientific thought . You will now move on to the development of software product. In most engineering disciplines, specifications are the first step in the development of a product. Consider the case of house construction. One starts with specifications, goes on to design, and finally building and finishing the product. Similarly in software development, one starts with product requirements, followed by architectural details, and then proceeds to building, that is, developing the code. It is then followed by reviewing and installing the product.
      Coding and development is one of the major activities in Software Engineering. But software engineering goes much beyond coding. It consists of various activities to encompass all aspects of software production, such as requirements, specifications, design, coding, testing, integration, documentation, deployment, and maintenance. Coding would occupy as little as 5 percent of the total work involved in a Software Engineering Project. Although artistic and scientific in its scope, it has to adhere to several time-tested processes pertaining to the different aspects.
      Now that you know the processes involved in software development, take a look at the number of people involved. They are spread across the managerial, technical, and end user cadre. And like any other industry, software is linked to peripheral issues, such as business, Contractual, Legal, and Environmental. Hence, remember, Software is "Not Just Some Pretty Code".
      As mentioned, the process of creating software is more than coding -- involving people, processes, and time-tested activities. Developing software involves opportunity of individual expression, but it needs to be brilliance encapsulated in a framework. Small programs can be written in an ad hoc manner by a single bright individual. However, complex software solutions are seldom developed by armchair programmers. For complicated systems to be successfully built, one has to be innovative and good while sticking to rules, methods, processes, and teamwork.
      Software development can be compared to art. Imagine building the Sistine Chapel alone and without a blueprint. The best works of art require discipline, teamwork and planning. Art requires blue print and team work.
      In this session, you have learned that:

      • Software engineering is the art, craft, and science of building large, important software systems. It is an amalgam of artistry, craftsmanship, and scientific thought
      • While being a major aspect, software engineering goes much beyond coding
      • Software engineering is akin to art, which cannot succeed without a blueprint and teamwork

      Next Article:- Software Project Stages

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