Software Development for Engineers


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Software Development of Engineers using C, C++, Pascal, Assembly, Visual Basic and Java

Specialization in software development is becoming a thing of the past. Previously many software developers specialized on software languages such as FORTRAN, C and Pascal. This was mainly because these languages al-lowed access to all the required functionality. In modern times with the move towards graphical user interface programming a developer must choose not only the required software language(s) but also the required set of development tools for a specific purpose. Typical decision might be to:

Dr W.Buchanan,
Napier University,


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Minimize development time;
Create a useable interface (such as DOS, or Microsoft Windows or X-Windows, and so on);

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Operate within critical timings (such as the use of fast code, or that DOS programs generally operate are faster than Microsoft Windows programs, or that compiled programs generally work faster than interpreted pro-grams);
Integrate with other software or systems (such as the integration with previous written software, different operating systems or with precom-piled libraries);

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Maintain the long term development of the program (typical questions might be: will there be updates to the development tools?, will the development company still be around in a few years?, and so on).

Typical modern development languages are C/C++, Visual Basic, Ada (especially in military applications), Java and Delphi. This book introduces C/C++ which can be used in C/C++ and Java development applications. Pascal is useful in developing Delphi and Ada applications. Visual Basic is used to write Microsoft Windows applications and 80X86 Assembly Lan-guage programming is useful in writing extremely fast sections of code and in appreciating the operation of the PC. The main objective of the text is to provide a single source of reference and learning material for most of the main technical programming languages. It can be used by undergraduates through a course of study from first year to final and from introductory tutorial work to advanced user interfaces and project work. It can also be used by professional developers with a knowledge of one or more of the software development language who wish to learn some, or all, or the others, or how these languages can be used in 'real-life' applications. The text splits into five main sections:

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Section A: Pascal/C/C++ programming
gives an introduction to structured software development using Pascal/C/C++.

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Section B: Visual Basic programming
gives an introduction to the development of graphical user interfaces for Microsoft Windows.

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Section C: 80x86 assembly language programs
shows how the development of mixed language C/80X86 programs.

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Section D: DOS, Windows 3 and Windows 95.

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Section E: Applications
including digital input/output interfacing, PC Interrupts, PC Graphics and RS-232C serial communications.

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Section F: Projects
'real-life' student assigment projects.

The text uses C and Pascal to provide a basic grounding in software development. These are used to show structured software development concepts, such as repetition, decision making and modular development. The more advanced concept of object-oriented design is introduced with the C++ de-velopment. The Visual Basic section contains program examples which can be used to develop graphical user interface programs.

Many software development job advertisements now specify the re-quirement for a mixture of software languages on possibly several different operating systems. Software development has thus evolved to the point where it is possible to integrate different software tools to produce the re-quire system. The user interface of a program might be developed using a graphical programming language such as Visual Basic and various specialized modules within the program could be developed in C/C++. In summary, in a changing employment market: 'it is essential to become multi-skilled in different areas and applications'

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