What is Software Engineering? Video
The engineering field has taken on many new disciplines as our scientific knowledge has grown. The latest discipline is software engineering. According to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), software engineering means applying the principles of engineering to the software development field. Software engineering differs from other branches of engineering in that professionals are building an intangible structure and not a tangible one. It is an engineering branch associated with development of software product using well-defined scientific principles, methods and procedures. The outcome of software engineering is an efficient and reliable software product.
When software projects require engineering, the process begins long before the product is designed – and it continues long afterward. It begins with a thorough study of the software requirements. Some requirements involve the functions the program needs to carry out. The program may, for example, need to verify that a user is authorized to access it. Other requirements involve constraints, for example, systems already in place.
The next stage is software design. This involves creating algorithms, or instructions for the computer. The actual coding process may be completed by software engineers, who have comprehensive training, or by programmers who are versed only in coding.