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Software engineering is a field of Computer science, for designing and writing programs for computers or other electronic devices. A software engineer writes software (or changes existing software) and compiles software using methods that make it better quality. Better quality software is easier to use, and the code is easier to understand, to maintain, and to add new features. Becoming a software engineer requires university level classes and practice writing code. Software engineering can be very difficult work. Software engineering is often done as part of a team.
Steps in creating software
Software engineering can broadly be split into the following steps:
- Requirements say what the software should do.
- Software design is usually done on paper. It says what the different parts of the software are, and how they talk to each other.
- After the design phase is done, each component (part) of the software is coded. Code is what tells the computer exactly what to do at each step.
- Testing is done to see if the components meet the requirements and that the system as a whole meet the requirements.
- Part or all of this process can repeat if bugs are found or new requirements are needed.
Tools used in creating software
Software engineers use many tools and practices in making software. Some of the most common are:
- UML diagrams
- Debugging tools
- Text editor, usually part of an IDE - Integrated Development Environment
- The British Computer Society
- The Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
- Computer Degrees and Careers
- Laplante, Phillip (2007). What Every Engineer Should Know about Software Engineering. Boca Raton: CRC. . http://books.google.com/books?id=pFHYk0KWAEgC&lpg=PP1&ots=bqe_WFF-gi&dq=What%20Every%20Engineer%20Should%20Know%20about%20Software%20Engineering.&pg=PA1#v=onepage&q&f=false. Retrieved 2011-1-21.