Software engineering

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Software engineering is a field of computer science, concerned with designing and writing programs for computers.

Detailed DoD Technical Reference Model.

Today it is mostly done in a team. Software engineering can broadly be split into the following:

  • Requirements say what the software should do. Note that the requirements can change over time.
  • Software design is usually done on paper. It says what the different components of the software are, and how they interact.
  • When the design phase is done, engineers program the software in a phase known as implementation.
  • At the end of implementation, engineers test their code to see if its components meet the requirements.

Programming is definitely the blood of almost all software. And just like calculus is to engineering, programming is to software engineering.


There are four generic phases in Software Engineering which are Analysis, Design, Coding and Testing.[citation needed]



  • implement system routines
  • construct / traverse data structures
  • distill large data sets to single values
  • transform one data set to another
  • language familiarity
  • core libraries
  • idioms
  • performance issues
  • readable, well-written, and efficient code

Algorithm design and analysis[edit]

  • complexity analysis
  • sorting and hashing, searching
  • large amounts of data

Data structures[edit]

  • tables
  • trees
  • graphs
  • lists

Systems design[edit]

  • feature sets
  • interfaces
  • class hierarchies
  • designing a system under certain constraints
  • simplicity and robustness
  • trade-offs


  • collaboration
  • classes of NP-complete problems
  • listening and comprehension
  • asking the right questions
  • don't use brute force solutions
  • don't assume things
  • find multiple solutions and choose the best
  • be open to new ideas and ways of solving the problem
  • ask questions to move to a more complex answer


  • matrices
  • discrete math
  • probability
  • combinatorics

Becoming a software engineer[edit]

Printed resources[edit]

  • Laplante, Phillip (2007). What Every Engineer Should Know about Software Engineering. Boca Raton: CRC. ISBN 9780849372285. Retrieved 2011-1-21. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)

Other websites[edit]

See also[edit]

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