Software Crisis

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Course Description
The term “software engineering” began to be used towards the end of the 1960s to refer to the area of knowledge being developed around the problems with the software of the time. During that period, the spectacular growth in demand for increasingly complex computer systems, associated with an immature computing sector (connected entirely to electronics) and with a lack of methods and resources, led to what is known as the “software crisis” (a phrase coined by Edsger Dijkstra) from 1965 to 1985. During this time, many important projects far exceeded their budgets and estimated deadlines, some of which were so critical (airport control systems, medical equipment, etc.) that their implications extended far beyond the million-pound losses that they generated. The software crisis ended not so much because of improvements in project management but partly because it is unthinkable to be in a crisis for more than twenty years and partly because progress was being made in design processes and methodologies. Thus, between 1985 and the present, tools, methodologies and technologies emerged that claimed to be the definitive solution to the problem of planning, cost prevision and quality assurance in software development. Of these tools, structured programming, object-oriented programming, aspect-oriented programming, CASE tools, ADA programming language, documentation, standards, CORBA, web services, and UML language, among others, were all acclaimed at the time as being the solution to software engineering problems, the so-called “silver bullet”. And each year, new ideas and initiatives emerge with this aim. Naturally, some people will have laid the blame on programmers for their undisciplined or anarchic developments. Ignorance and the occasional unusual case merged to create a false image of the programmer that still exists even today. Although they are often the “sufferers” of some of these methodologies or their poor implementation, it is logical...
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