Brief History of Software Engineering

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Brief History of Software Engineering

Some people refer to software as a set of steps which the machine what task to perform, others refer it as computer program stored in a computer which includes defined procedures or set of rules that lead to development of an output from a given input procedure for solving mathematical problem, Subah A.(2001, 4). It is produced to satisfy customer’s or individual’s needs. Let us ask ourselves, where does it come from?

According to Subah A. ( 2001,2) , “ Robert C.Class divided the long history of software into three different periods; the Pioneering Era (1955-1965), The Stabilizing Era (1965-1990) and Micro Era (1980 to present). This three eras which Subah (2001,3) called them software evolution were somehow similar but he further said they were more appealing, the first evolution of computers it is believed that computers were not affordable, they could be afford by approximately fifty US companies Kutten L.J.( 1988,5). This rings a bell to us, how could people possibly have huge software development structure yet computers were scares?

Akash Saxen et al (unknown dated, 8), indicated that first and second generation of computer built extremely large computers in size and Subah A.(2001,5), again added that ‘they were stationed in the separate room from offices’. It is believed that users usually had to sign-up or register to use a machine at certain time even if the job is urgent. They took long time to process even a single simple task; one has to sign-up and continues to do other duties till the current process is done. They used punched cards that contained the program, its data and its control information then inside machine was card reader which will take quite long time to read and print results, Akash Saxen et al.

Furthermore, software personnel had to rewrite the program to run on the new computers as each one came along, because the invention of new ones happened after a year or two and most surprising was its difference from previous model, as the statement clearly states, early organisation of computers manufactures were not consistent in their makings and software developers were not efficient enough to design upward compatible computer applications.

Moreover, Subah A.(2001,9) added on software personnel had to translate or rewrite old software to meet the needs of the new machines. As every machine had its own language, Robert C. Glass page 15, indicates that ‘software programmers had to use the method of “automatic translation of one assembly language to another”. It was not easy task to perform because Subah A.(2001,13), further imply that 60 to 80 percent on the code was translated, the remainder was so complex and difficult and required manual human translation. One may ask how did those few programmers came up with computer applications?. Kutten L.J(1988 ,7) also indicates something called ‘software banks’ after manufactures agreed upon increasing availability amount of software, that interesting plan encouraged customers to band together into software sharing known as banks. Its main idea was each customer would deposit his/her own software and could withdraw other software others contributed, however the idea was a huge failure due to competition among companies.

Few years later after the first evolution, a company known as IBM released its system/360 mainframe in 1964, while the US presidential election was about to be held, IBM planned to use an early machine to handle data and procedures reports for CBSTV audience whereby Subah quoted Elmer C. Kubie on his article that Computer Usage Company was identified as first computer software company after it worked jointly with IBM for election report while Deitel H.M.(1983, 23) gave credit to IBM as “probably the most significant event in history of Operating System. With the development of IBM newer machine programmers no longer had to rewrite the old software every few years later, which was good...
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