In short Software engineering is the creation and development of software. Software engineers are required to research, design, develop and test software. They are also required to make software efficient and continue maintaining the software. The demand for software engineers is very high and it is one of the fastest growing professions.
In the 1940s digital computers had the instruction that made them operate wired into the machine. This was not a flexible design; In the 1950s programming languages started appearing. Even with these improvements software engineering wasn’t efficient and due to issues such as poor quality software resulted in the software crisis.
The first NATO Software Engineering Conference took place in 1968 at Garmisch, Germany. This was when the term ‘Software Crisis’ was coined. The software crisis was identified as an issue that was arising due to computers, becoming much more powerful and programming not catching up to it. When there were weak computers programming was not a big problem but when computers started getting more powerful, programming couldn’t follow. This issue was due to the software being inefficient, of lower quality, not meeting requirements, projects going over budget and projects running overtime.
The 1980s was a time when software started improving. In 1984 the Software Engineering Institute was found. This was a federally funded research and development facility that was situated on the campus of the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After this many other software engineering institutes started forming and popularity of software engineering grew considerably.
As Software engineering rose in popularity it started breaking up into sub categories. They are requirement engineering, software construction, software design, software configuration management, software maintenance, software testing, software development process, software quality and many other categories. The growth in the industry attracted large number of people. This led to many popular software companies that we know today to start forming. These companies include Apple, Microsoft and Google which are some of the most valuable companies in the world.
Globalisation has resulted in many companies outsourcing their work to India, China, Russia and other developing countries. This is due to cheaper costs for the company. Further many software engineers in developing countries have migrated looking for software engineering jobs.
All modern devices rely on computers and all these computers require software to run. The use of software has become widespread. All laptops and phones have multiple software that are installed in these devices. The number of laptops and phones are predicted to grow considerably. Further more and more corporations and governments have come to rely on computerised systems. As all of these increase so will the requirement of software engineers.