Annals of Software Engineering

, Volume 6, Issue 1–4, pp 19–37

Software engineering programmes are not computer science programmes

  • David Lorge Parnas

DOI: 10.1023/A:1018949113292

Cite this article as:
Parnas, D.L. Annals of Software Engineering (1998) 6: 19. doi:10.1023/A:1018949113292


Programmes in “Software Engineering” have become a source of contention in many universities. Some Computer Science departments, many of which have used that phrase to describe individual courses for decades, claim software engineering as part of their discipline. However, 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 programmes that follow the traditional engineering approach to professional education and educate engineers whose speciality within engineering is software construction. One such programme is described.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Lorge Parnas
    • 1
  1. 1.NSERC/Bell Industrial Research Chair in Software Engineering, Department of Computing and Software, Faculty of EngineeringMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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