Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Software Engineering Body of Knowledge SWEBOK Reflection


The Software Engineering Body of Knowledge guide provides a detailed categorization of the software engineering discipline. The fact that it adopts the traditional waterfall model to begin the description of the knowledge areas in software engineering makes it easy to comprehend. An important feature of the guide is that concentrates on the software engineering process as a whole, instead of describing technologies. Thereby, it gives a thorough outlook of the functional components of the software engineering process. The organization of the document into knowledge areas, sub-areas and topics improves readability and understandability; so one can begin with the knowledge area of interest and then focus on a particular aspect.

Reading through each knowledge area and its topics refreshed my concepts of software engineering. Each knowledge area described in the guide provided great insight into the activities and processes involved in each phase of the software development life cycle. It introduced me to many new techniques, methodologies and concepts such as:
Ø  Emergent properties and FSM (Functional Size Measurement) in software requirements
Ø  Family pattern design, invention design, ADL (Architecture Description Language), and IDL (Interface Description Language) in software design
Ø  Extreme programming, scrum and static analysis in software construction
Ø  Oracle, mutation testing, fault seeding, and difference between fault and failure in software testing
Ø  Different types of maintenance categories in software maintenance
Ø  SCSA (Software Configuration Status Accounting) and SCSR (Software Configuration Status Reporting) in software configuration management
Ø  EF (Experience Factory), orthogonal defect classification and personal software process in software engineering process

An aspect of software engineering that I would like to have seen incorporated in the guide is Knowledge Management, which is gaining importance in organizations worldwide. Although KM is almost equivalent to the Experience Factory discussed in the software engineering process knowledge area, it also comprises of the knowledge and documents which are not part of the deliverables.

Since the guide is a dynamic document, it explains the evolving software engineering standards, best practices and processes and the inter-relationships between them and equips the software engineering professional with the necessary knowledge of what to do in a specified situation.

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