Goals of Software Engineering

The goals of software engineering are straightforward and easy to understand – but they aren’t always easy to meet. This is because there are so many different ways to approach software engineering and so many outcomes that are possible. While we do have best practices and there are standards in place, every software engineer has a different approach and sometimes they don’t always mesh well with other members of an IT team.

Nevertheless, there are distinct and important goals of software engineering. Everyone designing, developing, testing, or maintaining software and/or application portfolios need to ensure that their software is:

  • Readable
  • Correct
  • Reliable
  • Reusable
  • Extendable
  • Flexible
  • Efficient

If you don’t believe that your software is reaching the above goals, contact CAST for a demo of our Engineering Dashboard, that helps to track and monitor your software goals.

Software Engineering Principles and Best Practices Examples

Software engineering best practices ensure that software developed by a delivery team, a contractor, or an individual developer is high quality and efficient. If applications do not meet these best practices, it puts you at risk for outages, security hazards, and failing systems--adherence to software engineering best practices help to prevent that.

Iterative Development
An important development methodology best practice in software engineering is iterative development. Iterative development ensures that software flaws or risks are resolved before there has been a lot of time and effort put into the software. This development approach enables continuous testing and continuous integration which creates the opportunity for early feedback so that changes can be made swiftly.

Service-Based Architecture and Microservices
Service-Based Architecture and Microservices are some of the most critical best practices in software engineering today. Service-based architecture is a software design best practice where services are provided to other components by application components, through communication protocols. A service is a discrete unit of functionality that can be accessed remotely and acted upon and updated independently. It has four properties:

  • Logically represents a business activity with a specified outcome.
  • Self-contained.
  • Black box for its consumers.
  • May consist of additional underlying services.

Software Modelling
Using visual modeling tools helps to improve the ability to manage software, rationalize, and maintain that software. It will also help to keep information among the team easy to understand and constant – which is especially important in agile development when multiple teams are working laterally to develop the same software or updating the same application portfolio.

Software Testing
Software Testing is another critical element of software engineering best practices and principles. A team wants to verify that all software developed is high quality and meets the requirements set forward in the planning stage.

Remember that changing software later in development is much, much costlier. Continuous testing from the start of development will help to avoid costly repairs later on or even after deployment. Software engineering practices that do not include testing will eventually fail – but not after costing a lot of time and money from your budget.

Software Engineering Practices and Theory

Software engineering theory and practice meld together computer science with artistry and design. It is a fine line to walk – software that is too “pretty” but doesn’t function isn’t effective, but software that isn’t written well can be difficult as well.

Abstraction is a theory in both art and software engineering. Abstraction is the simplification of a description into the bare-bones essentials. In software engineering theory, this means making code easy enough to read and edit. Elements have to be well named so that they are descriptive – typically only using a combination of verbs and nouns. It needs to be easy enough to understand that someone who has never looked at the code before will understand.
It also has to be accurate – you want to reflect the work that is complete or the action carried out by the string of code – nothing more, nothing less. Brevity should also be clear.
Software engineering theory also calls for separation of the code. One needs to treat what the software does and how the software does it independently. This does make it longer but helps with the clarity that is so essential in software engineering that will be maintained for a longer period of time.

CAST Engineering Dashboard

CAST Engineering Dashboard helps delivery organizations that you are living up to your commitment to deliver high-quality products that help your company serve its clients.

Our Engineering Dashboard works to:

  • Quickly identify any multi-component software flaws
  • Validate against industry standard rules for security and risk
  • Identifies specific code location of critical flaws in software
  • Finds architectural flaws inside the riskiest objects and transactions
  • Builds action plans based on an optimized list of high impact issues
  • Gives insight into why specific defects are occurring and guidelines for fast remediation

For more information about CAST Engineering Dashboard or any of our other products, contact us today or schedule a free demo.