Software engineering involves an in-depth study in connection with the design, development, and upkeep of software. The concept of software engineering was brought into being to attend to problems related to software projects struck down with inferior quality.
Such problems are triggered when software development surpasses timelines and budgets and causes poor quality standards. Software engineering alternatively referred to as software development makes sure an application is developed with accuracy and consistency, within budget and requirements, and on time.
What is software engineering?
It is a distinctive engineering branch that is involved with software product development. The operation of software engineering is encompassed by a predefined set of methods, principles, and best practices that have been meticulously honed all throughout the years. They change as technology changes and software evolves.
Software engineering gives rise to the development of products that are reliable and efficient in their operations.
Forms of software engineering
As an overarching definition, software engineering is associated with the design, development, and upkeep of software. Yet, companies or products may be in want of various forms of software engineering. However, issues seem to crop up when the quality of the software is inferior or the software is not thoroughly tested prior to its deployment.
The demand to hire software engineers is soaring higher and higher with every passing day. This is due to the fast pace at which network platforms, regulatory compliances, and user requirements are changing.
There are diverse levels on which the working of software engineering takes place.
Operational software engineering
It puts focus on the precise interaction of the software with the system. It also takes the following considerations into account.
Transitional software engineering
It aims to find out the nature at which software reacts when the time it undergoes a change or migration from one particular environment to the other. By and large, it considers the aspect of flexibility and scalability and puts them into deliberation.
Software engineering maintenance
It specifies the efficacy with which software works in a rapidly changing environment. The aspects that come to light in the maintenance part are as follows.
This facet of software engineering concentrates on the exact process of functioning of the software within the bounds of the currently operational system.
The contribution of software engineering is all-pervasive over the software development lifecycle. This includes the following actions.
4 top software engineering methodologies
Choosing the most suitable software engineering or development methodology for conceiving products depends considerably on a lot of factors such as business goals, and team size, among others.
To understand in more detail, you can pursue software development courses that provide indepth functioning and knowledge of these methodologies.
Described here are 4 highly recognized and widely used software development methodologies that help make the decision to select the right one for a particular business team.
As far as traditional software engineering methodologies are concerned, Waterfall fits the bill to the T. It is also known for its highly sequential structure. Even though Waterfall is considered old-fashioned or obsolete in current times, still it is useful to grasp its structure to acknowledge the pliability of the ultra-modern methodologies further.
Waterfall calls for lots of documentation and structure at the very outset. It is categorized into self-contained steps or stages. The preliminary stage is crucial. It demands an absolute understanding on the part of developers and clients conditional on the scope of work and demands of a project. This is required before anything else begins.
The stages of Waterfall are comparatively less flexible. Every so often, they follow a sequence. This is undertaken to ascertain the following things.
- The requirements of the project
- The scope of the project
- Analysis of the project requirements
- Support and maintenance
In the Waterfall method of software development, there is very limited flexibility. This implies what developers and clients envisage from the very beginning can only be brought to fruition. If there is any requirement to make changes or rectify mistakes towards the final stages, the method calls for re-do right from scratch.
Ideally, in Waterfall, the full completion of one stage is necessary before moving on to the next. This can help make each of the stages more organized prior to their start and allocation. Since the entire scope of work of the project is comprehended much in advance, the assessment of the progress made in software engineering at each stage can be easily done.
More often than not, Waterfall is employed by plan-driven, large teams that know the scope of the project inside out. But, in current times, the software development professionals do not operate in silos. So they are more inclined to derive better outcomes by harnessing the flexibility and agility of relatively more modern development techniques.
2. Feature-driven development
This methodology of software engineering adopts an incremental, iterative approach. The origin of Feature-Driven Development (FDD) lies in the Agile methodology, which is looked on as an alternative way to get FDD implemented. Akin to Waterfall, in general, FDD is also regarded as an old-school methodology, a kind of forerunner to the more modern Agile or Lean implementations.
Nonetheless, the focus of FDD still lies on the objective of frequently coming up with working software. Its approach is extremely client-centric. As a result, it is ideal for deployment by small-size software development teams.
As a matter of fact, FDD is replete with features that are rated highly among clients. FDD mandates the delivery of each feature every two weeks. Time and again, for the efficient production of tangible software, FDD involves 5 distinct steps.
- Step 1: The development of an overall model
- Step 2: The buildup of a compact list of features
- Step 3: The planning of features one by one
- Step 4: The design of the software feature-wise
- Step 5: The development of the software feature-wise
Steps 4 and 5 comprise the lion’s share of the whole engineering process.
In the course of every step, the activity of status reporting is carried out, which in turn helps keep track of the development progress, outcomes, and manifestation of likely errors.
One of the most remarkable attributes of FDD is its spontaneous and effective response to change. From the very beginning, if the requirements of the client, as well as the overall model structure, are perfectly understood, then the likelihood of any errors to crop up in the course of the development is eliminated to a great extent.
In addition, if the design and building of any specific feature take more than two weeks, the process should be further split into smaller separate features until the two-week rule is accomplished.
Even FDD has its share of inflexibilities because of which teams are reluctant to put it into practice, in particular, those teams that prefer to maintain equilibrium between break-fix and project-driven types of work.
This methodology had its origin in response to overcoming the several limitations of the Waterfall method and many other extremely structured and inflexible systems of methods. The Agile approach was delineated to make room for changes and produce items of software more quickly.
Agile attaches importance to individuals. It also appreciates the relationships and interactions they develop with tools. Agile is known for featuring customer collaboration all through the development process. it is highly responsive to the needs for change. It does not follow a rigid, unyielding plan. Also, it puts extensive focus on the presentation of the working software instead of documentation.
Agile, unlike Waterfall, is superbly equipped for handling project development-related complexities and changeability. By exploiting Agile to its fullest potentials, software engineering teams engage in developing short sprints. In software, a sprint refers to a pre-fixed time period in the course of which certain tasks need to be completed.
Each of these sprints involves a list of deliverables in random order. For the duration of each sprint, teams make an effort to reach the ultimate goal of putting the working software into action. Also, they may strive for delivering a few other tangible outputs that can be tested.
Agile is a heavily collaborative model that pays attention to the strengths and efficiency of the team, backed by feedback received internally from several departments and customers. Agile puts customer satisfaction as the topmost priority. And teams are able to achieve it by constantly delivering prioritized, functional, and tested features.
Simultaneously Lean is regarded as a workflow methodology and a preconceived mindset. Lean is carved out by consolidating practices and principles from a manufacturing viewpoint and widely applying them to various industries that include software development as well.
Lean is a compelling methodology to practically apply the best practices adopted by software engineering. Lean is capable of including instructions to scale these practices up or down all through the organization or implementing them beyond the scope of software development work.
Many companies that have already put Agile into practice start incorporating the philosophies, practices, and tools rendered by Lean to help innovate and heighten scalability.
The basic principles of Lean are as follows:
- To optimize in entirety
- To get rid of waste
- To infuse quality
- To create knowledge
- To not defer commitment and timelines
- To deliver fast
- To hold people in high esteem
Lean helps steer the decision-making process all through in such a manner as to aid in discovering potential issues and keeping up a healthy working culture.
The software development practices of Agile and the thinking prowess of Lean can be combined to generate and foster a healthy, sustainable culture that puts innovation on priority and turns the development organization as well as the whole system to their advantage.
You can get hands-on experience with all four methodologies by pursuing some of the best software development courses like full stack developer course and software engineering course for cloud, IoT and Data Science are available today.
The four methodologies so described are widely popular in the domain of software engineering. It goes without saying each of the methodologies has its inherent strengths and limitations. Yet, they are highly effective in diverse scenarios.
While choosing a software development methodology, it is always in the best interest to combine the useful elements from each of them so that the overall structure is relevant to and workable for a particular project. In this manner, a hybrid methodology can be fabricated to produce software efficiently and securely.