Software engineering is collaboration of programmers over time

Russ Cox said:

Software engineering is what happens to programming when you add time and other programmers.

This is a great way to distinguish software engineering from just coding. Nothing wrong with "just coding", but if you write code that will be changed a lot by another people (or future you) during a long period of time... that's a whole different story.

Peter Bourgon also coined similar term Industrial programming in his article:

... I’m speaking today about programming in an industrial context. By that I mean

  • in a startup or corporate environment;
  • within a team where engineers come and go;
  • on code that outlives any single engineer; and
  • serving highly mutable business requirements.


Created: 2021-10-11