Software Engineering (glossary)

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(1) The application of a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the development, operation, and maintenance of software; that is, the application of engineering to software. (IEEE 1990)

(2) The study of approaches as in (1). (IEEE 1990)


(1) and (2) IEEE. 1990. IEEE Standard Glossary of Software Engineering Terminology. Washington, DC: Institute of Electronical and Electronics Engineers. IEEE 610.12-1990.


P. Bourque and R.E. Fairley (eds), Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge, Version 3.0, IEEE Computer Society, 2014; Available at

Piscataway, NJ, USA: The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Inc. (IEEE). Available at:


The definitions listed above are also the accepted definitions used in the Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK), which was published by the IEEE Computer Society in 2004.

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