Software engineering employs a well defined and systematic approach to develop software. This approach is considered to be the most effective way of producing high-quality software. However, despite this systematic approach in software development, there are still some serious challenges faced by software engineering. Some of these challenges are listed below.
- The methods used to develop small or medium-scale projects are not suitable when it comes to the development of large-scale or complex systems.
- Changes in software development are unavoidable. In today's world, changes occur rapidly and accommodating these changes to develop complete software is one of the major challenges faced by the software engineers.
- The advancement in computer and software technology has necessitated for the changes in nature of software systems. The software systems that cannot accommodate changes are not of much use. Thus, one of the challenges of software engineering is to produce high quality software adapting to the changing needs within acceptable schedules. To meet this challenge, the object oriented approach is preferred, but accommodating changes to software and its maintenance within acceptable cost is still a challenge.
- Informal communications take up a considerable portion of the time spent on software projects. Such wastage of time delays the completion of projects in the specified time.
- The user generally has only a vague idea about the scope and requirements of the software system. This usually results in the development of software, which does not meet the user's requirements.
- Changes are usually incorporated in documents without following any standard procedure. Thus, verification of all such changes often becomes difficult.
- The development ofl1igh-quality and reliable software requires the software to be thoroughly tested. Though thorough testing of software consumes the majority of resources, underestimating it because of any reasons deteriorates the software quality.
In addition to the above mentioned key challenges, the responsibilities of the system analyst, designers, and programmers are usually not well defined. Also, if the user requirements are not precisely defined, software developers can misinterpret the meaning. All these challenges need to be addressed in order to ensure that the software is developed within the specified time and estimated costs and also meets the requirements specified by the user.