This list complements the software engineering article, giving more details and examples.

For an alphabetical listing of topics, please see software engineering topics (alphabetical).

Influence on societyEdit

Software engineers affect society by creating applications. These applications produce value for users, and sometimes produce disasters.


Software engineers build applications that people use.

Applications influence software engineering by pressuring developers to solve problems in new ways. For example, consumer software emphasizes low cost, medical software emphasizes high quality, and Internet commerce software emphasizes rapid development.


Software has played a role in many high-profile disasters.

  • Ariane 5 Flight 501
  • Mars probes
  • Denver International Airport
  • TAURUS - UK share settlement system and dematerialised central share depository.
  • Therac-25 - A radiation therapy machine responsible for six overdoses due to faulty software.
  • Airbus A320 - The Airbus A320, while a highly safe and successful aircraft, was highly controversial in software engineering circles, being the first civilian Fly-by-wire aircraft. In the Airbus flight control systems, the computer has the final say on all decisions, meaning the safety of passengers depends upon the accuracy of the software specification, and the competence of the engineering teams producing the (multiple, independent) software stacks. Other than the crash of the original plane (in which a demonstration of stability outside the envelope went awry) whose cause is still not fully known, the sole crash which has been attributed to software was the Strasbourg A320 crash of Jan 21, 1992. In this crash which killed 87 people, the pilots had the flat panel display in the wrong mode. It is believed that the pilots had a console in flight path angle mode, instead of vertical speed entry. On entering a vertical speed, the aircraft descended into the mountains, without issuing any kind of warning. This accident shows a fundamental problem of software engineering: even if you implement the specification perfectly, an error in the specification (here, what constitutes an effective user interface), can still be lethal. It also shows another problem with computer controlled vehicles: there is vested interest by the manufacturers to attribute responsibility to the (often deceased) flight crew/drivers, rather than in the design of the vehicle.

Technologies and practicesEdit

Skilled software engineers use technologies and practices from a variety of fields to improve their productivity in creating software and to improve the quality of the delivered product.

Software engineering topicsEdit

Many technologies and practices are (mostly) unique to software engineering, though many of these are shared with computer science.

Programming languagesEdit

Programming paradigm, based on a programming language technologyEdit


Graphical user interfacesEdit

Programming toolsEdit


Design languagesEdit

Patterns, document many common programming and project management techniquesEdit

Processes and methodologiesEdit


A platform combines computer hardware and an operating system. As platforms become more powerful and less expensive, applications and tools become more widely available.

Other PracticesEdit

Other toolsEdit

Computer science topicsEdit

Skilled software engineers know a lot of computer science including what is possible and impossible, and what is easy and hard for software.

Mathematics topicsEdit

Discrete mathematics is a key foundation of software engineering.


Life cycle phasesEdit


Deliverables must be developed for many SE projects. Software engineers rarely make all of these deliverables themselves. They usually cooperate with the writers, trainers, installers, marketers, technical support people, and others who make many of these deliverables.

Business rolesEdit

Management topicsEdit

Business topicsEdit

Community topicsEdit


Many people made important contributions to SE technologies, practices, or applications.

See also

Notable publicationsEdit

See also

Professional topicsEdit

Odds and endsEdit

Related fieldsEdit

Different languagesEdit

  • In Chinese, software engineer is called ruan jian gong cheng shi —— 软件工程师
  • In French, software engineering is called Ingéniérie logicielle.
  • In German, software engineering is called Softwaretechnik.
  • In Norwegian, software engineering is called Programvareutvikling.
  • In Spanish, software engineering is called Ingeniería del software,

Miscellaneous and to doEdit

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

  • Other


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.