The Nature and Scope of Software Engineering

Software engineering looks into designing and implementing software applications and also modifying them so that they are better suited to client requirements. It is one of the most important aspects of software development and is a must to be implemented in any organization that has undertaken software development activities. Though a basic engineering degree in computer science is enough to work as a software engineer, a better advantage would be to have a license. In the U.K, it is the British Software Society that licenses software engineers. In Canada, they have the Professional Engineer (P.Eng) designation, though as per the law, there is no necessity to have such qualifications.

There are several sub-disciplines into which can be divided. These are software requirements, software design, software development, software testing, and software maintenance and software configuration management. The need for software engineering came about because of computing history. Problems such as the ‘software crisis’, ‘complexity barrier’ hindered progress which were in course of time resolved through various techniques that came to encompass as a whole.

While a software engineer also takes on the role of a programmer, a programmer will not take on the role of an engineer, which basically involves dealing with theoretical constructs of software and hardware development. There are many job domains and these include programmers, hardware administrators, network specialists and system testers. The overall purpose of this is to develop and maintain systems that work reliably and which can meet up to the expectations of customers and which process information in an efficient manner. A point to be noted about this field is that though it incorporates programming, it also looks into factors such as understanding client requirements, designing principle and testing to ensure that the application conforms to standards that have been set.

Understanding Software Engineering

It is a systematization of the process of software development to ensure the best solution most economically. Its goal is to produce high quality software at low rate.

Software Engineering is the application of a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the development, operation and maintenance of software. A typical software development project will need to go through the phase of Analysis, Design, Programming, Testing and Implementation. Software Project Management (SPM), Software Quality Assurance (SQA) and the use of Computer aided Software Engineering (CASE) would run parallel with the other phases and finally comes the maintenance phase. It is always said that more than 80% of the costs go towards maintenance of the software.

Software Methodology

It is a step by step plan for implementing a method using certain tools and procedures. It often describes the entry criteria, exit criteria and checkpoint for each of the activities or components in software engineering. Some of the popular methodologies today are based on structure techniques or information engineering or object-oriented techniques. Methodology selection depends on the nature of the project, the type of application, the tools proposed to be used and the kind of controls and documentation that would be required.

Waterfall, Prototyping, Spiral, Rapid Application, Stepwise Refinement, Industrial and military standards, Assembly by reuse, Application generation, Continuous transformation and Knowledge based software automation are some of the popular methodologies.

What factors would influence the choice of model for software development?

It depends on the nature and size of application, whether it is an in-house development or development through an external agency, the availability of various tools and resources, time frame and budget, etc.

Who is Software Engineer?

A software engineer is someone who applied engineering principles in the co-operative development of software. A good software engineer should not only generate computer programs but also learn the skills to produce good documentation, database and operational procedures for the computer system. He should be well defined about the components or modules of software engineering.

Top Five Accessible Master of Software Engineering Degrees

A graduate program that awards the Master of Software Engineering degree is not as easy to find as you might think. Many universities today make include software engineering as an area of concentration for the graduate degree in computer science or computer engineering. Software engineering remains an afterthought in many graduate level programs at the high profile schools, although many of those universities offer an undergraduate degree in the field. A degree devoted solely to software engineering is, at the graduate level, often made available only to working professionals. This list of resources for the degree is compiled from schools that have a respected school of computer science, have a manageable tuition structure and offer a terminal graduate degree in software engineering.

New Jersey Institute of Technology is the state’s principal academic institution for technology and management degrees. The NJIT offers masters degrees and doctoral programs in the principal engineering fields, architecture, and a wide range of IT programs. The Master of Science in Software Engineering is a comparatively new program offered by the Department of Computer Science designed to equip students with advanced knowledge of the concepts, techniques, skills and tools for developing modern large-scale software systems. This is clearly a business oriented degree.

University of Maryland offers the Master of Software Engineering as a collaboration between the College Park campus and the University’s professional education division, University College. The thirty six credit curriculum has several courses in project design and management, preparing students for supervisory roles in software and systems design. Electives include a course in Engineering Economics & Financial Analysis and an Introduction to Artificial Intelligence.

Arizona State University has one of the highest ranked computer and electrical engineering programs in the country. They are also proactive in the development of online degree options; the Master of Science in Software Engineering is available to Arizona students on campus and to students from across the country online. This program incorporates instruction for designing and developing software projects with the business and management skills needed to manage a team engaged in software systems development or redesign.

Santa Clara University turns out many of the computer science and computer engineering graduates that go to work in the Silicon Valley firms located throughout the region where the campus is located. The Master of Science in Software Engineering requires applicants to have an undergraduate degree in computer science or engineering; or to pass the computer science section of the GRE exam. This degree is oriented to the science and technology of software development with a minimum of the curriculum devoted to project management. The programming requirement in the program may be waived for professionals who have at least a year’s experience.

Software Engineering Higher Education Options

Gaining an education in software engineering can be done by enrolling in an accredited school or college. Students who wish to enter the field of computer education can do so by obtaining a degree. Higher education allows students to complete the degree program needed to gain the skills and knowledge needed to enter into a career. Students can train for an associate’s, bachelors, masters, and doctorates level degree. There are numerous things that one should know before enrolling in an accredited software engineering program.

Software engineers are trained to carry out a variety of tasks including modifying, implementing, testing, and designing computers and computer related software. This includes business applications, computer games, operating systems, and much more. The field of software engineering allows students to work as applications engineers, systems engineers, and other professionals. Applications engineers are construct and maintain general applications for businesses and organizations. Systems engineers are trained to coordinate the maintenance and construction of computer systems.
Students will be able to pursue a number of careers with an accredited degree. The ability to train to become computer programmers, systems and applications engineers, and more is available. The type of career will depend on the level of degree obtained. Students can earn an associates degree in as little as two years. A bachelor’s degree program will take around four years to complete. Students who wish to pursue a masters or doctorates degree can expect to spend an additional two to four years on study.
Coursework will vary by school or college and level of degree desired and obtained by each student. Students can expect to study a variety of course subjects related to the field of computer engineering. Curriculum may cover subjects such as programming, program development, troubleshooting, computer networks, information technology, and much more. Accredited educational training programs allow students to receive a higher education by teaching a number of courses related to each individual’s desired career.
With a number of computer engineering specialists and professionals in the workforce students need to gain all the skills and knowledge possible in order to find employment. The number of openings is expected to increase for occupations and careers in this field. The type of career and degree desired will also help decide how much income the students can make. According to the Bureau of labor Statistics professionals in this field can make between $50,000 and $135,000 annually based on their level of degree and experience.
Continuing education courses are available for those looking to improve their skills in their career. Accredited higher education programs allow students to earn certificates in specific areas of the field in order to enhance knowledge.