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Chapter 1 Introduction to Software Engineering. Why Engineer Software?. Air traffic control case study $2.3 Billion spent without any usable deliverable Enormous social cost of NOT engineering software Too many large-scale software development failures for too many decades

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Chapter 1 introduction to software engineering l.jpg

Chapter 1Introduction to Software Engineering

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Why Engineer Software?

  • Air traffic control case study

    • $2.3 Billion spent without any usable deliverable

  • Enormous social cost of NOT engineering software

  • Too many large-scale software development failures for too many decades

  • Software development initiatives fail for many different reasons, most of which are addressed by good software engineering practices

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Sources of Complexity in Software Development

  • Technical staff lacks expertise in the complex application domain

  • Difficulty in interpersonal communications

  • Ambiguity of natural language, used to express user needs

  • Difficulty of mentally grasping and coordinating the details of a large-scale development project

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How Software Development Projects Fail

  • No functioning software results

  • The resulting software does not adequately address the need of the users

  • Software contains incorrect computations

  • The software is too difficult to use correctly

  • The system response time is too slow to be used without frustration

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Why Inter-personal Communication is Difficult

  • Technical staff and end users have different background knowledge

  • Technical staff often do not possess the vocabulary used in the application domain

  • End users frequently do not understand how to effectively express their needs in terms that are clear to systems developers.

  • Ambiguity of natural language

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Maintaining Software Systems

  • Maintenance is an inevitable aspect of software development

  • It allows software to evolve with an organization

  • Too often too many resources are directed to maintenance and away from new development

  • Software requires excessive maintenance efforts if it is poorly structured

  • It is better to invest in well-structured software up front than to invest excessively in maintenance later

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Elements of a Software Development Paradigm

  • Conceptualization

    • What elements are instrumental in how the developers think about the software system?

  • Representation

    • Must convey what the software project is all about

    • Most effectively done with a software modeling notation

  • Implementation

    • Addresses how the source code is structured

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A Brief History of Software Engineering Techniques

  • Structured Programming

    • No gotos

  • Functional Decomposition

    • Top-down organization of subprograms

  • Structured Analysis

    • Recognition that analyzing the problem statement has critical influence on the success of the overall project

    • Formal modeling of subprogram interaction with dataflow diagrams

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More History of SE Techniques

  • Data-centered analysis

    • Uses techniques developed in structured analysis

    • Data modeling occurs using entity relationship diagrams before functional modeling

  • Object-oriented analysis

    • No longer segregates the modeling of functions and data

    • Objects aggregate data with functions that operate on the data

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Sample Dataflow Diagram

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Sample Entity Relationship Diagram




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Principles of the Object-Oriented Paradigm

  • Abstraction

  • Modularity

  • Modeling

  • Inheritance

  • Encapsulation(covered in chapter2)

  • Polymorphism(covered in Chapter2)

Shared by other paradigms

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  • Expressing the software requirements in abstract terms, suppressing details so that a comprehensive portrayal can be made

  • The abstract representation must then be connected to more detailed expressions, so that no information is lost in modeling the system

  • This allows us to reason about the breadth of functionality of the developing system

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  • Breaking a complex software system into smaller modules allows one to reduce its overall complexity

  • Modules should aggregate some coherent aspect of the system

  • Modules should present a simple interface

  • Classes, functions, and abstract data types are examples of modules.

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Abstract Data Type Example









12 24 98 33 13


Implementation Option: Array

Implementation Option: Linked list

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  • Modeling is the process of use a graphic notation to express properties of the software system

  • Models express how the system is built out of modules and how these modules interact

  • One objective of modeling is to express characteristics of the software system in an unambiguous manner

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  • A property distinguishing classes from abstract data types

  • Allows characteristics from one class to be passed on its subclasses

  • Subclasses may override inherited characteristics

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Cost of not Engineering Software

  • Need to restructure code

  • High maintenance costs

  • Software is unacceptable to end users

  • Unreliable code

  • Need to rewrite code

  • Difficulty integrating system modules

  • Difficult project management

  • Budget and time overruns

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Why Software Engineering is not Universal

  • Understanding software development as programming only without recognition of importance of analysis and design

  • Short-sighted technical management

  • Pressure of deadlines

  • Poor project estimation, thus unreasonable deadlines

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Working in Teams

  • Be conscientious about due dates

  • If you are less motivated by the class project, negotiate an equitable grade and take a lesser role

  • Meet regularly with your team

  • Always create an agenda for every team meeting

  • Rotate responsibility for chairing team meetings