List of software engineering topics

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


Influence on society

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.

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, he 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 practices

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 topics

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

Programming languages

Programming paradigm, based on a programming language technology


Graphical user interfaces

Qt toolkit

Programming tools


Design languages

Patterns, document many common programming and project management techniques

Processes and methodologies


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 Practices

Other tools

Computer science topics

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

Mathematics topics

Discrete mathematics is a key foundation of software engineering.


Life cycle phases


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 roles

Management topics

Business topics

Community topics


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

See also

Notable publications

See also

Professional topics

Odds and ends

Related fields

Different languages

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

Miscellaneous and to do

See also

External links


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