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Software Engineering

Software engineering is an engineering discipline that is concerned with all aspects of software production.

Software products consist of developed programs and associated documentation. Essential product attributes are maintainability, dependability, efficiency and usability.

The software process consists of activities that are involved in developing software products. Basic activities are software specification, development, validation and evolution.

Methods are organised ways of producing software. They include suggestions for the process to be followed, the notations to be used, rules governing the system descriptions which are produced and design guidelines.

Software engineers have responsibilities to the engineering profession and society. They should not simply be concerned with technical issues.

Professional societies publish codes of conduct which set out the standards of behaviour expected of their members.

The first reference to the term "Software Engineering" was in the 1968 NATO  Software Engineering Conference and was meant to provoke thought regarding the perceived "software crisis" at the time.

Software development, a much used and more generic term, does not necessarily subsume the engineering paradigm. The generally accepted concepts of Software Engineering as an engineering discipline have been specified in the Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK).

The SWEBOK has become an internationally accepted standard ISO/IEC TR 19759:2005.

For those who wish to become recognized as professional software engineers, the IEEE offers two certifications (Certified Software Development Associate and Certified Software Development Professional). 

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE, read I-Triple-E) is a professional association headquartered in New York City that is dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence. It has about 425,000 members in about 160 countries, slightly less than half of whom reside in the United States.

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