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The objective of this session is to introduce the subject of software engineering. When you have read this session you will understand what software engineering is and why it is important, know the answers to key questions which provide an introduction to software engineering, understand ethical and professional issues which are important for software engineers.

Introduction

Virtually all countries now depend on complex computer-based systems. More and more products incorporate computers and controlling software in some form. The software in these systems represents a large and increasing proportion of the total system costs. Therefore, producing software in a cost-effective way is essential for the functioning of national and international economies.

Software engineering is an engineering discipline whose goal is the cost-effective development of software systems. Software is abstract and intangible. It is not constrained by materials, governed by physical laws or by manufacturing processes. In some ways, this simplifies software engineering as there are no physical limitations on the potential of software. In other ways, however, this lack of natural constraints means that software can easily become extremely complex and hence very difficult to understand.

Software engineering is still a relatively young discipline. The notion of ‘software engineering’ was first proposed in 1968 at a conference held to discuss what was then called the ‘software crisis’. This software crisis resulted directly from the introduction of powerful, third generation computer hardware. Their power made hitherto unrealisable computer applications a feasible proposition. The resulting software was orders of magnitude larger and more complex than previous software systems.

Early experience in building these systems showed that an informal approach to software development was not good enough. Major projects were sometimes years late. They cost much more than originally predicted, were unreliable, difficult to maintain and performed poorly. Software development was in crisis. Hardware costs were tumbling whilst software costs were rising rapidly. New techniques and methods were needed to control the complexity inherent in large software systems.

These techniques have become part of software engineering and are now widely although not universally used. However, there are still problems in producing complex software which meets user expectations, is delivered on time and to budget. Many software projects still have problems and this has led to some commentators (Pressman, 1997) suggesting that software engineering is in a state of chronic affliction.

As our ability to produce software has increased so too has the complexity of the software systems required. New technologies resulting from the convergence of computers and communication systems place new demands on software engineers. For this reason and because many companies do not apply software engineering techniques effectively, we still have problems. Things are not as bad as the doomsayers suggest but there is clearly room for improvement.

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90 Pages
2015
English US
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Sample Questions from the My OCA Mock Exam

Question: Which MS Windows–based command-line utility will allow you to run the Java interpreter without launching the console window?

Choices:

javaw

interpw

java -wo

jconsole

Question: Of the following, which types of statements must be used to count the number of nickels in a String array of various coins?

Choices:

Assignment

Assertion

Iteration

Conditional

Question: What is the correct import package needed to use the ArrayList class?

Choices:

import java.awt.*;

import java.io.*;

import java.net.*;

import javax.swing.*;

import java.util.*;

Question: Which statement is not true about package statements?

Choices:

Package statements are optional.

Package statements are limited to one per source file.

Standard Java coding convention for package names reverses the domain name of the organization or group creating the package.

The package names beginning with javas.* and javaw.* are reserved.

Question: List four interfaces of the Collections API.

Choices:

ArrayList, Map, Set, Queue

List, Map, Set, Queue

List, Map, HashSet, PriorityQueue

List, HashMap, HashSet, PriorityQueue

Question: Of the following packages, which contain classes for building a graphical interface? (Choose all that apply.)

Choices:

java.awt

java.io

java.net

javax.swing

java.util

Question: You have created a set of classes for your company and would like to include them in a package. Which one of the following would be a valid package name?

Choices:

your company name

com.your company name

java.your company name

java.your_company_name

com.your_company_name

Question: Which of the following statements is correct?

Choices:

A Java class can extend only one superclass.

A Java class can extend multiple superclasses.

A Java class cannot extend any superclasses.

A Java class does not extend superclasses; it implements them.

Question: Which class in the java.io package allows for the reading and writing of files to specified locations within a file?

Choices:

File

FileDescriptor

FilenameFilter

RandomAccessFile

Question: Which statement represents a valid statement that will allow for the inclusion of classes from the java.util package?

Choices:

import java.util;

import java.util.*;

#include java.util;

#include java.util.*;

Question: What is the result of running the following command: javac Simulator.java

Choices:

The simulator program would be executed.

A bytecode file Simulator.class would be created.

A bytecode file Simulator.java would be created.

An error would be displayed because this is the wrong syntax.

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