Software Engineering at Google

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Description

This book is titled Software Engineering at Google. What precisely do we mean by
software engineering? What distinguishes “software engineering” from “programming”
or “computer science”? And why would Google have a unique perspective to
add to the corpus of previous software engineering literature written over the past 50
years?
The terms “programming” and “software engineering” have been used interchangeably
for quite some time in our industry, although each term has a different emphasis
and different implications. University students tend to study computer science and
get jobs writing code as “programmers.”
“Software engineering,” however, sounds more serious, as if it implies the application
of some theoretical knowledge to build something real and precise. Mechanical engineers,
civil engineers, aeronautical engineers, and those in other engineering disciplines
all practice engineering. They all work in the real world and use the application
of their theoretical knowledge to create something real. Software engineers also create
“something real,” though it is less tangible than the things other engineers create.
Unlike those more established engineering professions, current software engineering
theory or practice is not nearly as rigorous. Aeronautical engineers must follow rigid
guidelines and practices, because errors in their calculations can cause real damage;
programming, on the whole, has traditionally not followed such rigorous practices.
But, as software becomes more integrated into our lives, we must adopt and rely on
more rigorous engineering methods. We hope this book helps others see a path
toward more reliable software practices

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