Friday, October 26, 2007

3 Characteristics of Engineering

Name: 3 Characteristics of Engineering
Type: Principles
Status: final
Version: 2007-10-26
Source: Chris Britton, Microsoft, 2007 (

The characteristics of engineering are:

1) The design is decomposed from top to bottom
Note: In contrast, software design is almost all low-level, and it is often hard to see how the entire system works.
2) All designs (high-level and detailed) are analyzed or tested to check for correctness.
Note: In contrast, software development relies almost entirely on testing the product only-in other words, the program code.
3) Implicit requirements, as well as explicit requirements.
Note: In engineering, there are some basic requirements-such as the fact that a bridge should not fall down-that do not need to be specified by the stakeholder.

And a nice quote of Chris': "Engineering is the art of scale."