Software Engineering Requirements Analysis

This means that when engineers are investigating an issue, they should be able to get a clear picture of the problem in a short amount of time. They should be able to relay this information to key business stakeholders in a way that's concise and organized. And finally, they should be empowered to take action and fix the problem without causing a disruption to the application or to the customer. When a system is understandable, engineering operations become a straightforward process. Every time you and your team face a task, you just know what you need to do.

understandability in software engineering

It separates what are considered to be problems of architecture, or overall program concept and structure, from problems of actual coding, which solve problems of actual data processing. It applies additional constraints to the development process by narrowing the scope of the smaller software components, and thereby—it is hoped—removing variables which could increase the likelihood of programming errors. If the system is poorly designed and overly complex, people not involved in the original design of the system require additional time before they are able to make significant contributions to the project.

Software quality

A software architecture that is both stable and understandable will be easier to maintain, evolve, and extend over time, reducing the risk of errors and improving the overall quality of the system. Many if not most software-intensive systems have their mission-critical software modified by people other than its developers. The resulting misunderstandings often seriously compromise the missions the system is supporting (over 80% of the functionality in most current ground, sea, air, and space vehicles depends on software). Emphasizing high software understandability enables system maintainers to avoid these misunderstandings as they modify existing software systems. However, while many metrics for understandability have been developed, with the majority of them being source code based, little to no correlation has been found for these metrics with actual software understandability.

understandability in software engineering

"Talented engineers draw on their experience to express complex business problems in simple and elegant ways in both the software’s source code and architecture, creating an easier to understand software." Most commercial software has a complex structure which must be maintained over time, even as standards and requirements change - much like a building complex. In the context of software engineering, software quality measures how well software is designed , and how well the software conforms to that design , although there are several different definitions. It is often described as the 'fitness for purpose' of a piece of software. A big part of that complexity is inherent, due to the simple fact that the number of business requirements is ever-growing. The rest of that complexity is unwanted, caused by the way the application has been repurposed over time as well as poor design choices and is commonly referred to as tech debt.

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Having good documentation will save yourself and others from repeated headaches. The traditional ways to deal with this problem are less than ideal, writing endless log lines, and waiting for long re-deploys to get the data we need. Many times, the better option is simply to move forward with limited data, because it’s not worth the time and effort. But in a data-driven world, having the right data when you need it can make or break your business. Understanding the code of other developers is one of the oldest and the most consistent grievances that developers have. Implementation, Management of a security-aware and hardening development process, e.g.

understandability in software engineering

It doesn’t matter if it’s developing new features, tackling customer issues, or updating the system configuration. When you comprehend the software, you know how to execute in a consistent, reliable manner, without unnecessary back and forth. Software quality may be defined as conformance to explicitly stated functional and performance requirements, explicitly documented development standards and implicit characteristics that are expected of all professionally developed software. On the other hand, we have also challenged the assumption that Understandability can always be improved by tackling complexity and designing and writing better, simpler software.

The Importance Of Understandability In Software Development

He’s an advocate of modern software methodologies like agile, lean, and devops. With the rise of Software as a Service and other new software delivery paradigms, many organizations are practicing total ownership of software, empowering engineers to take responsibility for the application throughout its lifecycle. There’s nothing worse than having that pesky bug at the back of your mind while you’re writing new code. By understanding your code, you’ll be able to debug like it’s as easy and pleasurable as lying on a beach in the Bahamas or winning at Call of Duty. As theDEJ reports, 68% of organizations experience it, facing a tradeoff between working without the data they need or delaying those releases to get the data. In short, it’sthe dilemma developer’s facewhen they need to choose between needing data to write code or having to write code to get that data.

understandability in software engineering

The most straightforward, though sometimes most difficult, approach to maximizing understandability is avoiding complexity. When developing a new application, it’s imperative to have a clear understanding of the problem domain and the issue you are trying to solve. The simpler and more focused the business requirements are, the less complex the solution is going to be. With software embedded into many devices today, software failure has caused more than inconvenience.

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Contribute your expertise and make a difference in the GeeksforGeeks portal. It’s also worth noting that in certain environments such as Service-Meshes, Serverless, and even large monolith applications, connecting a traditional debugger might be a very complex task. This means you have to make sure your engineers have an environment where they can run the code they are writing, test it with different inputs, and even debug it. And even if nobody truly understands what’s going on, you are probably uncovering glimpses of the truth every day. By collecting that information and distilling it into your tomes of knowledge, you make the system that much more digestible for everyone involved. These are quite often technology-related and depend heavily on the context, business objectives and risks.

  • Unified process is an architecture centric, use case driven, iterative and incremental development process.
  • Then he continued producing prototypes until he obtained a response time of 0.1ms, which he considered good even taking new insights into account.
  • A good design should be easily understandable, for which it should be modular and all the modules are arranged in layers.
  • Several leaders in the field of software testing have written about the difficulty of measuring what we truly want to measure well.
  • In short, it’sthe dilemma developer’s facewhen they need to choose between needing data to write code or having to write code to get that data.

It is likely that at the same time the construction, transition, and production phases are being conducted, work may have already begun on the next software increment. This means that the five UP phases do not occur in a sequence, but rather with staggered concurrency. Software is given to end users for beta testing and user feedback reports both defects and necessary changes. At the conclusion of the transition phase, the software increment becomes a usable software release. It suggests a process flow that is iterative and incremental, providing the evolutionary feel that is essential in modern software development.


The design should have all the components like data structures, modules, and external interfaces, etc. A good design should be easily understandable, for which it should be modular and all the modules are arranged in layers. Make sure they have a good understanding of both the business domain and the technical stack involved.

That may mean that email begins to circumvent the bug tracking system, or that four or five bugs get lumped into one bug report, or that testers learn not to report minor annoyances. The difficulty is measuring what we mean to measure, without creating incentives for software programmers and testers to consciously or unconsciously “game” the measurements. There are a great many measures that are valued by some professionals—or in some contexts, that are decried as harmful by others. Some believe that quantitative measures of software quality are essential. Others believe that contexts where quantitative measures are useful are quite rare, and so prefer qualitative measures.

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This is usually done in the form of logging, metrics, tracing, and service maps. Many of the existing software measures count structural elements of the application that result from parsing the source code for such individual instructions tokens control structures , and objects. Software quality also plays a role in the release phase of a software project. Specifically, the quality and establishment of the release processes , configuration management are important parts of an overall software engineering process. I believe we need to take this concept of understandability to software.

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