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Software Engineering

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Software engineering is a discipline consists of a set of methods, tools and techniques used in the development of software.

This discipline transcends the programming activity, which is the fundamental pillar when creating an application. The software engineer is responsible for all project management so that it can be developed within a certain time frame and with the planned budget.

Software engineering, therefore, includes the previous analysis of the situation, the design of the project, the development of the software, the necessary tests to confirm its correct operation and the implementation of the system.

It should be noted that the software development process implies what is known as the software life cycle, which is formed by four stages: conception, development, construction and transition.

The conception sets the scope of the project and develops the business model; the elaboration defines the project plan, details the characteristics and bases the architecture; construction is product development; and the transition is the transfer of the finished product to the users.

Once this cycle is completed, software maintenance comes into play. It's a phase of this engineering where the errors discovered (many times warned by the users themselves) are solved and updates are incorporated to face the new requirements. The maintenance process also incorporates new developments, to allow the software to fulfill a greater number of tasks.

A field directly related to software engineering is systems architecture, which consists in determining and schematizing the overall structure of the project, diagramming its skeleton with a relatively high degree of specificity and pointing out the different components that'll be necessary to carry out the development, such as complementary applications and databases. It's a fundamental point of the process, and is often the key to the success of a computer product.

Technological advances and their impact on social life have inevitably affected the software development process for various reasons, such as the indiscriminate access of users to certain information that until a couple of decades ago they were completely unaware of and can't understand, since they don't have the necessary technical knowledge. A well-informed consumer is a consumer who can't be scammed, since he knows what he needs and has the ability to analyze the different offers of the market, comparing the proposals and benefits of the products; However, a poorly informed consumer is like a capricious child who cries, screams and kicks without stopping.

The first of all the stages of the work performed by software engineers is to study carefully the characteristics that are considered necessary for the program to be developed, and this is the point at which they must find a balance (increasingly difficult to achieve) between the excessive demands of bad consumers and the possibilities of the company. Time is money, and companies in the computer world know it very well.

Each function of a program, each feature that makes it more comfortable, more intelligent, more accessible, translates into a certain amount of time, which in turn carries the salaries of all the people involved in its development. But in addition to the cost of production necessary to make each of the pieces of a program, software engineering must decide which of them make sense, are consistent with the rest and are necessary to clearly communicate the essence and objectives of the application.

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