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Software Development Process

Updated: Mar 21, 2020

Software engineering is the systematic application of engineering approaches to the development of software in a rigorous way. Software engineering is a direct sub-field of engineering and has an overlap with computer science and management science. It is also considered a part of overall systems engineering.

What is a computer? Computer is a programmable device. The essence of computing is programming. So programming development is the most essential use of the computer. Software engineering investigate programming development, how to do it efficiently and reliable.

It not only involves technical requirements but looks at who are the stakeholders and what are their needs and the end goal.

How is software engineering different from programming? Programming is all about the create part of software. Sofwware enginering is about whole life cycle and quality. issues long after you ship, which is ht elargest piece of sofware development. Value creation process.

Large and complex systems. World depends on software.

Why is it so hard to build software? It crashes all the time.




High Quality Software that works and fits budget

Three problems:

1. Rising Demand of Software

There's a software crisis in 1960s. Land on the moon, first Polaroid picture. Rising demand of software where there's a transition from hardware to software.

Growth in NASA's and Boeing's software demand exponential.

Software everywhere, software eating the world. Marc Andreessen famously said that “Software is eating the world” and everyone gushed into the room.

2. Increasing Product Complexity.

Development Effort in lines of code (LOC):

Size LOC Example

100 Class project ]Programming effort

1,000 Small project ]Programming effort

10,000 Term project ]Programming effort

100,000 Word processor ]Software engineering effort

1,000,000 Operating system ]Software engineering effort

10,000,000 Distributed system ]Software engineering effort

Each software by a factor of:

10^2 LOC

10^3 LOC

10^4 LOC

10^5 LOC

10^6 LOC

10^7 LOC

3. Slow developer productivity growth

a developer can't keep up with rising software size and complexity. Gap between what's needed and what's available.

So, software can be delivered but never used because it doesn't work properly or doesn't accomplish its goal. Software can be still usable after changes.

Software Development has to be systematic

Software Process:

  1. Waterfall - from one phase to another

  2. Evolutionary prototyping - no rigid steps, evolve based on feedback from customer

  3. RUSP rational unified process (USP) based on UML

  4. Agile - sacrifice discipline to be flexible and account changes in requirements

Software engineering LifeCycle phases:

  1. Requirements Engineering - what kind of system, who are the stakeholders and what needs the software solves

  2. Design - details of software system

  3. Implementation - write code of design

  4. Verification and Validation - code behaves as intended

  5. Maintenance for bugs - eliminate bugs or add new functionality

Tools & automation of the Trade:

Essential for efficiency and effectiveness.

software size and complexity vs developer productivity - close the gap with tools


Development - punch cards vs IDEs.

Languages - machine code vs high-level languages

debudding - print lines vs symbolic debuggers


IDE, advance editors, to compile, run, debug, test

Git, version control systems

Coverage & verification tools during testing

Requirements Engineering







Activities vs Design Products

-Architectual design -- System structure

-Abstract specification -- Software specification

-Interface design -- Interface specification

-Component design -- Component specification

-Data Structure -- Data Structure specification

-Algorithm -- Algorithm specification


Reduction of complexity

Anticipation of diversity - construction might change over time

Structuring for validation - easy to test

Use of internal or external standards - medical software regulations HIPPA

Verification & Validation

Validation - Did we build the right system?

Verification - did we build the system right?



Environment change - adaptive changes

Features request - perfective changes

Bugs - corrective changes


Water fall process

At each stage you review if project is ready to advance to next phase

Software concept --> requirement analysis --> architectural design --> detailed design --> coding & debugging --> systems testing

performs well where there's clear production definition. allows you to find errors early on to reduce cost. Not flexible. Not good for engineers that don't know how to build the product. Not ideal for most real world projects.

Evolutionary Prototyping

Start working on the parts of the system developers understand

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