Software engineering principles, when executed consistently and properly, ensure that your software development process continually runs smoothly, efficiently and delivers high-quality applications. By following software engineering principles, all members of your team will have a better grasp of how your software is built and how they each contribute to the process.
Software engineering is a branch of engineering that focuses mainly on the development and maintenance of software products. Software engineers build said software using the same (or similar) language that is bound by sets of software engineering principles, methodologies, and best practices.
Software engineering eventually results in a product that is efficient and effective at solving a problem or fulfilling a duty. Following software engineering principles helps to ensure that the product is reliable and safe for customers.
The IEEE defines software engineering as:
1. The application of a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the development, operation, and maintenance of software; that is, the application of engineering to software.
Software engineering is difficult and complex – it almost always requires teams of people to work together to come up with a result that is effective and blends in seamlessly with the existing software and hardware.
Software engineering starts out in theory – which goes against many other components of software engineering which emphasize clarity and simplicity.
To start software engineering, IT leaders must think through a problem before trying to build a solution. This is one of the most critical parts of the project and may include various people from many sectors of the company.
Then, the key is to break down that problem and try to find the smaller issues that can be worked on independently. One of the most important characteristics of software engineering is trying to solve simple problems at the same time, which will result in a more substantial problem getting solved as well.
Using software testing tools, one can easily see where mistakes pop up and how those problems can be solved. It is essential to have the software engineering team look at these mistakes so that they can pivot and avoid making those mistakes time and time again.
The software engineering process is one that is complicated, but with discipline, education and guidance it can become predictable. You will likely have the same steps with each product, though the time you spend on each level will vary depending on your goals and team. A software engineering process is the model chosen for managing the creation of software from initial customer inception to the release of the finished product.
The steps of the software engineering process include:
Several software engineering process models exist and vary mainly in the frequency, application and implementation of the above techniques, for example, different process models use different analysis techniques, other models attempt to implement the solution to a problem in one big-bang approach, while others adopt an iterative approach whereby successively larger and more complete versions of the software are built with each iteration of the process model.
There are many fundamentals of software engineering – so many that some will get lost over time. Every software engineer has his or her own set of “fundamentals” that they will pass on – fundamentals that even as technology changes, are still appropriate for everyday building.
These fundamentals of software engineering aren’t in place to make things easier for you in the present day, though they do that as well. They are in place so that when you need to make changes somewhere down the line, you will have a team that understands everything and can focus on them.
While there are many different software engineering methodologies out there, it is important to note that a lot of the language used is similar enough that people “get” it. Still, it is essential to know that finding and fixing a software problem after it has already been deployed is much, much more expensive than it would be to find it during the design phase. Using a tool to find those bugs and fix them early can be a budget saver. Why is this so effective? Because at least half of the errors in a finished product were committed early on in the design stage.
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: