Producing Correct Software
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Producing Correct Software

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      Software development is a relatively new activity being utilized by an ancient profession. Construction and roadway engineering began in prehistoric times, and over time the industry has raised the standards in design, construction, and the documentation of practice. Through modernizing and improving design, construction, and maintenance, new approaches and technologies have been incorporated into civil engineering practice. Many of the new tools and technologies did not initially achieve the levels of reliability and standardization that the civil engineering profession demanded. Regrettably, software development and computer programs fall into this category. Software planning and development should emulate construction project planning, design, and construction, integrating testing and evaluation. The end result will be more reliable software and more reliable transportation systems. Software developers must use tools for improving software and catching design problems at an early stage of the software development life cycle, when fixing those problems is relatively cheap and easy. These tools must be easy to use for both the engineer responsible for software development and for the software developer. The software should not be designed for just those individuals with unusual mathematical training. In traditional software engineering, developers claim that testing is an integral part of the design and development process. However, as programming techniques become more and more advanced and complex, there is little consensus on what testing is necessary or how to perform it. Furthermore, many of the procedures that have been developed for verification and validation (V&V) are so poorly documented that only the originator can reproduce the procedures. The complexity and uncertainty of these procedures has led to the inadequate testing of software systems (even operational systems). As software becomes more complex, it becomes more difficult to produce correct software¾ and the penalties for errors will increase.
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