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The Collaborative International Dictionary
software engineering

Engineering \En`gi*neer"ing\, n. Originally, the art of managing engines; in its modern and extended sense, the art and science by which the properties of matter are made useful to man, whether in structures, machines, chemical substances, or living organisms; the occupation and work of an engineer. In the modern sense, the application of mathematics or systematic knowledge beyond the routine skills of practise, for the design of any complex system which performs useful functions, may be considered as engineering, including such abstract tasks as designing software ( software engineering).

Note: In a comprehensive sense, engineering includes architecture as a mechanical art, in distinction from architecture as a fine art. It was formerly divided into military engineering, which is the art of designing and constructing offensive and defensive works, and civil engineering, in a broad sense, as relating to other kinds of public works, machinery, etc.

Civil engineering, in modern usage, is strictly the art of planning, laying out, and constructing fixed public works, such as railroads, highways, canals, aqueducts, water works, bridges, lighthouses, docks, embankments, breakwaters, dams, tunnels, etc.

Mechanical engineering relates to machinery, such as steam engines, machine tools, mill work, etc.

Mining engineering deals with the excavation and working of mines, and the extraction of metals from their ores, etc. Engineering is further divided into steam engineering, gas engineering, agricultural engineering, topographical engineering, electrical engineering, etc.

software engineering

n. The subfield of engineering concerned with applying a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the development, operation, and maintenance of software.

Software engineering

Software engineering is the application of engineering to the design, development, implementation, testing and maintenance of software in a systematic method.

Typical formal definitions of software engineering are:

  • "research, design, develop, and test operating systems-level software, compilers, and network distribution software for medical, industrial, military, communications, aerospace, business, scientific, and general computing applications."
  • "the systematic application of scientific and technological knowledge, methods, and experience to the design, implementation, testing, and documentation of software";
  • "the application of a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the development, operation, and maintenance of software";
  • "an engineering discipline that is concerned with all aspects of software production";
  • and "the establishment and use of sound engineering principles in order to economically obtain software that is reliable and works efficiently on real machines."

Usage examples of "software engineering".

Though the newer Mark II version was unquestionably a superior product of computer software engineering, she had grown accustomed to the Mark I’.

He was an expert in the fields of software engineering and robotics.

The University has a surprisingly strong software engineering section.

The Dreamtime became the last, greatest software engineering project -- the gateway to the stars, the repository of wisdom, and the key to reincarnation.

Gary Corbertson, Director of Software Engineering from Datatrex Corporation, shook his head in disbelief.

The Oxfordshire plain stretched out to the west, with a scattering of lights to mark the slumbering villages where honest yeomen were settling down to sleep after a long day's editorial direction, financial consulting, or software engineering.