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Keynote: Progress Toward an Engineering Discipline of Software

April 2015 Presentation
Mary Shaw

Mary Shaw discusses the evolution of software engineering, drawing on civil engineering and software architecture for examples that show the progressive codification of informal knowledge toward rigorous models and tools.

Publisher:

Software Engineering Institute

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Abstract

 Is “software engineering” really engineering? The term was coined in 1968 to call attention to problems with software production. Both theory and practice for software have evolved since then, but do we yet have a true engineering discipline? Classical engineering disciplines have emerged from craft practice and commercialization through the infusion of codified knowledge and science. Using this emergence pattern as a point of reference, I will sketch the evolution of software engineering, drawing on civil engineering and software architecture for examples that show the progressive codification of informal knowledge toward rigorous models and tools. This will provide the basis for assessing the maturity of the field and identifying our next challenges.