Definitions of Software and Systems Engineering Terminology

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Writing a "Good" Definition

To learn anything you need to understand the concepts that surround and inform the focus of your learning. Technical writing often disappoints when complex concepts are referred to but never explained leaving the reader alienated from the entire learning experience. Good concept definitions therefore facilitate and speed learning and engage your audience in the learning process.

You can judge the quality of a concept definition by evaluating its impact on the reader. A good definition helps your audience:

  • Generalise by correctly identifying new examples of that concept
  • Discriminate by correctly separating those things which may be closely related to the concept but are not the concept itself
  • Value the concept by understanding where the concept is relevant to your reader's situation
  • Apply the concept to real-world problems by following practical courses of action.

When writing a definition consider using some of the following devices:

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Software Requirements Specification. Many software projects fail for lack of a comprehensive statement of user requirements. It's not rocket science! There are many requirements specification processes and templates to choose from. Learn more.

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