Software engineering (SE) is the application of a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the design, development, operation, and maintenance of software, and the study of these approaches; that is, the application of engineering to software.
- Quotes are arranged chronologically
- Software engineering is the part of computer science which is too difficult for the computer scientist.
- Friedrich Bauer, "Software Engineering." Information Processing: Proceedings of the IFIP Congress 1971, Ljubljana, Yugoslavia, August 23-28, 1971.
- [Software engineering is the] establishment and use of sound engineering principles to obtain economically software that is reliable and works on real machines efficiently.
- Friedrich Bauer (1972) "Software Engineering", In: Information Processing. p.71
- Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.
- Fred Brooks (1975) The Mythical Man-Month
- Software engineering is an engineering discipline that is concerned with all aspects of software production from the early stages of system specification to maintaining the system after it has gone into use. In this definition, there are two key phrases:
- Engineering discipline Engineers make things work. They apply theories, methods and tools where these are appropriate... Engineers also recognise that they must work to organisational and financial constraints.
- All aspects of software production Software engineering is not just concerned with the technical processes of software development but also with activities such as software project management and with the development of tools, methods and theories to support software production.
- Ian Sommerville (1982/2007) Software Engineering. 8th edition. p.7
- Einstein argued that there must be simplified explanations of nature, because God is not capricious or arbitrary. No such faith comforts the software engineer.
- Applications programming is a race between software engineers, who strive to produce idiot-proof programs, and the universe which strives to produce bigger idiots. So far the Universe is winning.
- Rick Cook, The Wizardry Compiled (1989) Ch. 6
- [Software engineering is] the application of a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the development, operation, and maintenance of software.
- IEEE Standard Glossary of Software Engineering Terminology,” IEEE std 610.12-1990, 1990.
- As more and more good ideas come under the protection of patents, it may become increasingly unlikely that any one program can incorporate the state of the art in user-interface design without sinking into a quagmire of unending royalty payments and legal battles.
- Nathaniel Borenstein (1991) Programming as if people mattered : friendly programs, software engineering, and other noble delusions. p.52
- Some people have called the book [The Mythical Man-Month, 1975] the "bible of software engineering". I would agree with that in one respect: that is, everybody quotes it, some people read it, and a few people go by it.
- Fred Brooks as quoted in Daniel Roth (2005) "Quoted Often, Followed Rarely" on money.cnn.com, December 12, 2005
- The required techniques of effective reasoning are pretty formal, but as long as programming is done by people that don't master them, the software crisis will remain with us and will be considered an incurable disease. And you know what incurable diseases do: they invite the quacks and charlatans in, who in this case take the form of Software Engineering gurus.
- Computing spread out much, much faster than educating unsophisticated people can happen. In the last 25 years or so, we actually got something like a pop culture, similar to what happened when television came on the scene and some of its inventors thought it would be a way of getting Shakespeare to the masses. But they forgot that you have to be more sophisticated and have more perspective to understand Shakespeare. What television was able to do was to capture people as they were. So I think the lack of a real computer science today, and the lack of real software engineering today, is partly due to this pop culture.
- You are absolutely deluded, if not stupid, if you think that a worldwide collection of software engineers who can't write operating systems or applications without security holes, can then turn around and suddenly write virtualization layers without security holes.
- Theo de Raadt (2007) on the statement "Virtualization seems to have a lot of security benefits", email@example.com, October 23, 2007
- A Student's Guide to Software Engineering Projects - a free online guide for students taking SE project courses