Software Engineering Interview Questions and Answers

Ques.1. What is software engineering?
Ans. Software engineering is a branch of computer science that deals with the designing and development of software.

Ques.2. What is SDLC?
Ans. SDLC stands for Software Development Life Cycle. It is a process consisting of various phases to build software. Typical phases of an SDLC are Planning, Requirements Gathering and Analysis, Design, Development, Testing, Deployment, and Maintenance.

Ques.3. What are the various phases of SDLC? Explain each of them in brief.
Ans. Generally, phases of an SDLC can be divided into the following-

  • Planning – In this phase, detailed planning of the project is carried out. The stakeholders are identified, the budget and resources are finalized. 
  • Requirements Gathering and Analysis – In this phase, analysts collect the requirements of the system to be developed and after detailed analysis, the requirements are documented as the requirements specifications.
  • Design – Here, analysts, technical architects, and the development teamwork on the high-level design of the system.
  • Development – In this phase, the development team starts coding the features of the system to be developed.
  • Testing – Here, the testing team tests the system and tries to find any defects in the developed system.
  • Deployment and Maintenance – Once, the testing phase is over and the system is defect-free, it is deployed on the production for the end-users and the maintenance phase starts for any issues found on the production.

Ques.4. Can you give examples of various models of SDLC?
Ans. Some of the common SDLC models are-

  • Waterfall Model
  • Spiral Model
  • Incremental Model
  • Iterative Model
  • V Model
  • Evolutionary Model
  • Agile Model

Ques.5. Explain the spiral model in brief.
Ans. The spiral model is an evolutionary process model that is a combination of prototyping and waterfall models. As the name suggests, the software is developed in an iterative manner, allowing the incremental release of the product in each cyclic iteration. The initial iterations usually focus on developing the prototype and the later ones focus on the fully-featured system.

The typical phases of a spiral model are-

  • Planning – In this phase, requirements are gathered and elicited along with feasibility study; other activities of this phase are cost and effort estimation, scheduling.
  • Design – This phase includes developing high-level design of the system. 
  • Construction – Here, the system is developed based on the requirements, as the iterations increases, the builds are developed with higher clarity on the requirements.
  • Evaluation – Once the system is developed, the customer reviews it and provides feedback. 

The spiral model is useful when the project is complex and has high risk, the customer is not clear on the requirements and there are high chances that the requirements will change.

Ques.6. What is software project management?
Ans. Software project management is a subset of Project management that is involved in planning and monitoring of the project that includes allocating resources to develop quality products by keeping budget and time constraints in mind.

Ques.7. What are the major roles and responsibilities of a software project manager?
Ans. Defining project scope, resource planning, and allocation, time and cost estimation, risk management, progress monitoring, leading, and managing the project team.

Ques.8. What is a software project scope?
Ans. Project scope is a list of features or functionalities on which the development team would work for a specific release. The features included in the project scope should be delivered to the client at the end of the project life cycle.

Ques.9. What is software project estimation?
Ans. Project estimation can be of three types: Effort, Cost and Resource.

  • Effort estimation is the process of determining the efforts (in man-hours) required to implement the project.
  • Cost estimation is the process of determining all the costs to complete the phases of the project. 
  • Resource estimation is the process of identifying the resources needed to complete the project.

Ques.10. What is the baseline?
Ans. The project baseline is an initial point of the project plan from which all the project activities are measured. It has three components: Scope, Schedule, and Cost.

Ques.11. What are the four P’s of project management?
Ans. People, Product, Process, and Project. A good software project manager needs to focus on all four P’s equally for the success of the project.

  • People – Key practice areas for this element are the identification of skilled resources, communication, coordination, performance management, compensation, training, etc.
  • Product – Product objectives and scope should be clearly defined along with alternative solutions and various constraints.
  • Process – The project team should have defined a clear approach to the development of the software.
  • Project – The project manager should manage and guide the team members; with the help of other team members, s/he should identify and mitigate any risks, understand, and focus on the success factors of the project.

Ques.12. What is SCM?
Ans. SCM stands for Software Configuration Management. SCM is the set of activities developed to manage change in the software life cycle.

Ques.13. What is a requirement in software engineering?
Ans. A requirement is a system capability proposed by the stakeholders that should be part of the system to be developed. 

Ques.14. Explain the steps of the requirements gathering process in brief.
Ans. The first step in gathering the requirements is to identify all the stakeholders who will be giving the requirements. Next, after the initial research, via various gathering techniques such as interviews or questionnaires, elicit the requirements. Analyze these requirements and document them; write down any doubts and have another discussion with the stakeholders.

Ques.15. What is SRS?
Ans. SRS stands for Software Requirements Specification. It is a detailed document created post requirements gathering step that includes project scope, all the features of the system to be developed, any assumptions and dependencies, non-functional requirements, and so on.

Ques.16. What is software re-engineering?
Ans. Software re-engineering is the process of updating the software to make it more efficient, without affecting the current functionality. The process also focuses on improving the maintainability of the software.

Ques.17. What are the functional and non-functional requirements?
Ans. Functional requirements are the features or functionalities of the system. They define ‘What’ features are developed in the system.

Non-functional requirements are the various system characteristics such as performance, security, scalability, reliability, maintainability, etc. They define ‘How’ the system should do it.

Ques.18. What are the drawbacks of traditional software development models?
Ans. The different drawbacks of traditional SDLC models are-

  • Implementing a change in the ongoing project is very difficult as most of the traditional models follow a linear approach of software development.
  • Lack of client involvement can result in unwanted features. The client is involved only in the requirements gathering phase and s/he is shown only the completed product.
  • If any phase is delayed, it affects the subsequent phases that will make the teams miss the deadline or they will have to complete the later phases fast.

Ques.19. What is Modularization?
Ans. Modularization is done to reduce the complexity of the software by breaking it down into multiple independent modules. Also, the same module can be reused, if required.
 

Ques.20. What is Cohesion?
Ans. Cohesion is the measure of the degree to which the elements are related to each other inside a single module. Good software should have high cohesion.

Ques.21. What is Coupling?
Ans. Coupling is the measure of the degree of relationship between two modules. The good software should have low coupling.

Ques.22. What are Verification and Validation?
Ans. Verification and validation are both software quality assurance activities.

Verification is a process to ensure that the software has implemented functions as per the organization’s standards. It includes verification of design documents, test cases, requirements specifications.

Validation is a process to ensure that the developed software meets the customer requirements. It includes checking the system using various testing methods such as system testing, regression testing, etc.

Ques.23. What is Change Control?
Ans. Change control is a set of procedures and tools to control changes in the software project. It makes sure that unnecessary changes are not made, and everything related to the changes is documented.

Ques.24. What is Function Point (FP) metric?
Ans. The function point metric is used to measure the size of the software project. In FP metric, the following information domain values are defined:

  • Number of external inputs (EIs) – External input comes from outside the application’s boundary.
  • Number of external outputs (EOs) – External output is derived data that is generated within the application and sent to the user.
  • Number of external inquiries (EQs) – Eternal inquiry is an online input that results in software response in the form of online output.
  • Number of internal logical files (ILFs) – The internal logical file is the logical grouping of data that is maintained via external inputs and stays inside within the application’s boundary.
  • Number of external interface files (EIFs) – The external interface file is the logical grouping of data that stays external to the application.

This concludes our comprehensive list of top software engineering interview questions. Let us know in the comments if we have missed any common interview questions on software engineering.

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