Software Engineering is the discipline providing methods and tools for the construction of quality software with a limited budget and a given deadline, in the context of constant requirements change.
It involves the elicitation of the system’s requirements, the specification of the system, its architectural and detailed design .In addition, the system needs to be verified and validated, a set of activities that commonly take more than 50% of all development resources. Testing techniques and tools, at different levels (unit, integration, and system) are needed. Software development being a human intensive process, management and quality control techniques are also required to run successful projects and construct quality systems.
In most systems, including telecommunication systems, software is the overriding component in terms of cost and complexity. Good software engineering practices and tools can therefore make a substantial difference, even to the extent that they may be the driving force of the project success.
What is the role of SE in Telecom and System engineering?
Systems engineering is an interdisciplinary field of engineering that focuses on how complex engineering projects should be designed and managed. Issues such as logistics, the coordination of different teams, and automatic control of machinery become more difficult when dealing with large, complex projects. Systems engineering deals with work-processes and tools to handle such projects, and it overlaps with both technical and human-centered disciplines such as control engineering and project management.
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System engineering deals with all aspects of computer-based system development. Software engineering is a part of system engineering. System engineering is to identify the roles of hardware, software, people, database and other system elements involved with that system which is going to be developed. Software engineering is to tell the practicalities of developing and delivering useful software. From its beginnings, software engineering has helped shape modern systems engineering practice. The techniques used in the handling of complexes of large software-intensive systems has had a major effect on the shaping and reshaping of the tools, methods and processes of SE. Before software can be engineered, the ‘system’ in which it resides must be understood. To accomplish this, the overall objective of the system must be determined, the role of hardware, software, people, database, procedures, and other system elements must be identified, and operational requirements must be elicited, analyzed, specified, modeled, validated, and managed. It is these activities that are the foundation of system engineering.
During system design, developers define the design goals of the project and decompose the system into smaller subsystems that can be realized by individual teams. Developers also select strategies for building the system, such as the hardware/software platform on which the system will run, the persistent data management strategy, the global control flow, the access control policy, and the handling of boundary conditions. The result of system design is a clear description of each of these strategies, subsystem decomposition, and a deployment diagram representing the hardware/software mapping of the system.
Hypothesize a rationale for the following design decisions:
â€¢ “The ticket distributor will be at most one and a half meters tall.”
â€¢ “The ticket distributor will include two redundant computer systems.”
â€¢ “The ticket distributor will include a touch screen for displaying instructions and inputting commands. The only other control will be a cancel button for aborting a transaction.”
“The ticket distributor will be at most one and a half meters tall.”
Every person can purchase the ticket including children and people with short height.
“The ticket distributor will include two redundant computer systems.”
Alternative In case if machine fails to work.
Ticket distribution not to be interrupted.
For data backup.
To achieve a high level of availability.
“The ticket distributor will include a touch screen for displaying instructions and inputting commands. The only other control will be a cancel button for aborting a transaction.”
Enable substantial modifications to the interface.
To enhance interactivity.
Easier interface easily used by anyone.
To let users stop their transactions any time.
Specify which of the following decisions were made during requirements or system design:
â€¢ “The ticket distributor is composed of a user interface subsystem, a subsystem for computing tariff, and a network subsystem managing communication with the central computer.”
â€¢ “The ticket distributor will use PowerPC processor chips.”
â€¢ “The ticket distributor provides the traveler with an on-line help.”
First and second lies in system design decision while third one is requirements design decision.
A passenger aircraft is composed of several millions of individual parts and requires thousands of persons to assemble. A four-lane highway bridge is another example of complexity. The first version of Word for Windows, a word processor released by Microsoft in November 1989, required 55 person-years, resulted into 249,000 lines of source code, and was delivered 4 years late. Aircraft and highway bridges are usually delivered on time and below budget, whereas software is often not. Discuss what are, in your opinion, the differences between developing an aircraft, a bridge, and a word processor, which would cause this situation.
Requirements are non-sequential i.e. a new requirement may invalidate prior requirement.
No visible progress at end of day.
Non-deterministic demands results in change of design.
Many bridges and aircraft are simply refinements of other existing artifacts. This reduces the proportion of the overall effort that is dedicated to design.
Budget changes with every single change in requirement and with increased number of refinement cycles.
Use of mature technologies and well defined processes in case of bridges, airplanes, etc.
Innovative piece with no precedence.
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