Software Engineering Programmes are not Computer Science Programmes

David Lorge Parnas


Programmes in "Software Engineering" have become a source of contention in many universities. Computer Science departments, many of which have used that phrase to describe individual courses for decades, claim software engineering as part of their discipline. Some engineering faculties claim "Software Engineering" as a new speciality in the family of engineering disciplines. This paper discusses the differences between traditional computer science programmes and most engineering programmes and argues that we need software engineering programmes that follow the traditional engineering approach to professional education. One such programme is described. related to implementation are discussed.