Introduction

A headline in the business section of the Washington Post [10.1] declared ''Fidelity Says It Reported Wrong Prices.'' The Fidelity was Fidelity Investments and it apparently provided out-of-date information on the value of its mutual funds. The reason? It was ''because of a computer software glitch, Fidelity reported.'' The impact of this glitch was not divulged, but it very likely had many investors rather unhappy.

This type of problem—some variety of computer software glitch—is experienced every day across the country. Our systems contain increasing amounts of software and we have not yet been able to migrate software development from mostly art to mostly engineering or science. There are many reasons for this problem, ranging from the fast-moving pace of the state of the art in software creation to lack of corporate infrastructures that adequately support the processes and products inherent in software development. For these reasons, we treat software engineering, defined herein as a subset of systems engineering, in a special and separate chapter. This chapter provides only an overview of software engineering, which itself is an appropriate subject for an entire book [10.2, 10.3, 10.4]. This overview attempts to capture selected highlights of software engineering in terms of dominant issues that are faced by industry practitioners.

It is also recognized that software development and engineering, in the main, developed without an explicit connection to the methods and disciplines of systems engineering. Thus, we are at least partially concerned with the relationship between systems and software engineering. This matter is also recognized in a software standard (Mil-Std-498) discussed in the next section.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment