Here’s a great presentation by Glenn Vanderburg describing the similarities and differences between software engineering and other engineering disciplines.  He notes that is not unusual that software is different from other engineering because all other engineering disciplines are in fact also different from each other.  He emphasizes the importance of testing because as in other engineering disciplines mathematical modeling is not proof, it is only used as a form of cost reduction.  Only empirical testing is “proof”.

Some assumptions about software engineering that were once true, but are no longer true:

  • Code is hard to read
  • Code is hard to change
  • Testing is expensive

Some assumptions that were once believed to be true, but were never true:

  • All engineering is like structural engineering
  • Programming is like building
  • Modeling and analysis are about correctness

It is well worth the 51 minutes, enjoy!

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