Cagdas Basaraner is a software engineer graduated from Hacettepe University Computer Engineering department and Information Systems master program (Turkey). He has 5 years of professional experience, and is working on information systems with JEE web technologies. He is also a former developer of information systems with Microsoft .NET technologies and Command & Control (C4I) systems with Java technologies. Cagdas is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 23 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

20 Subjects Every Software Engineer Should Know

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Here are the most important subjects for software engineering, with brief explanations:

1.Object oriented analysis & design: For better maintainability, reusability and faster development,  the most well accepted approach, shortly OOAD and its SOLID principals are very important for software engineering.

2.Software quality factors: Software engineering depends on some very important quality factors. Understanding and applying them is crucial.

3.Data structures & algorithms: Basic data structures like array, list, stack, tree, map, set etc. and useful algorithms are vital for software development. Their logical structure should be known.

4Big-O notation: Big-O notation indicates the performance of an algorithm/code section. Understanding it is very important for comparing performances. 

5.UML notation: UML is the universal and complete language for software design & analysis. If there is lack of UML in a development process, it feels there is no engineering.

6.Software processes and metrics: Software enginnering is not a random process. It requires a high level of systematic and some numbers to monitor those techniques. So, processes and metrics are essential.

7.Design patterns: Design patterns are standard and most effective solutions for specific problems. If you don't want to reinvent the wheel, you should learn them.

8.Operating systems basics: Learning OS basics is very important because all applications runs on it. By learning it, we can have better vision, viewpoints and performance for our applications.

9.Computer organization basics: All applications including OS requires a hardware for physical interaction. So, learning computer organization basics is vital again for better vision, viewpoints and performance.

10.Network basics: Network is related with computer organization, OS and the whole information transfer process. In any case we will face it while software development. So, it is important to learn network basics.

11.Requirement analysis: Requirement analysis is the starting point and one of the most important parts of software engineering. Performing it correctly and practically needs experience but it is very essential.

12.Software testing: Testing is another important part of software engineering. Unit testing, its best practices and techniques like black box, white box, mocking, TDD, integration testing etc. are subjects which must be known.

13.Dependency management: Library (JAR, DLL etc.) management, and widely known tools (Maven, Ant,  Ivy etc.) are essential for large projects. Otherwise, antipatterns like Jar Hell are inevitable.

14.Continuous integration: Continuous integration brings easiness and automaticity for testing large modules, components and also performs auto-versioning. Its aim and tools (like Hudson etc.) should be known.

15.ORM (Object relational mapping): ORM and its widely known implementation Hibernate framework is an important technique for mapping objects into database tables. It reduces code length and maintenance time.

16.DI (Dependency Injection): DI or IoC (Inversion of Control) and its widely known implementation Spring framework makes life easy for object creation and lifetime management on big enterprise applications.

17.Version controlling systems: VCS tools (SVN, TFS, CVS etc.) are very important by saving so much time for collaborative works and versioning. Their logical viewpoint and standard cammands should be known. 

18.Internationalization (i18n): i18n by extracting strings into external files is the best way of supporting multiple languages in our applications. Its practices on different IDEs and technologies must be known.

19.Architectural patterns: Understanding architectural design patterns (like MVC, MVP, MVVM etc.) is essential for producing a maintainable, clean, extendable and testable source code.

20.Writing clean code: Working code is not enough, it must be readable and maintainable also. So, code formatting and readable code development techniques are needed to be known and applied.
Published at DZone with permission of Cagdas Basaraner, author and DZone MVB. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


Aravind Yarram replied on Mon, 2012/07/02 - 10:56am

What about secure coding?


Stephane Vaucher replied on Mon, 2012/07/02 - 12:17pm

I was laughing through this as this is mish-mash that reads like the ToC of a disorganized software engineering course mixed with a job description (yay for ORM...), but I almost spat my coffee all over my screen when I read:

"If there is lack of UML in a development process, it feels there is no engineering." 

Nothing to specifically address risks management?

"Software enginnering is not a random process. It requires a high level of systematic and some numbers to monitor those techniques. So, processes and metrics are essential."

Yes, processes are essential, but cowbow programming is technically a process (disorganized and ad hoc, but it is a process). Metrics (or software measures) should only be used if you know what you are doing. 

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