Software Engineering emerged as a result of the software crisis of the early 1980s when many software projects experienced failures, late deliveries and budget overrun. Unfortunately, at that time, existing computer science improvements of programming languages, techniques and methodologies alone, could not mitigate the trending crisis. The increasing demand for software applications in transportation, finance, health, education and other critical sectors of the economy could not be slowed down because of the huge benefits of computerization. Fortunately, the concept of applying an engineering approach to software development provided a solution to the looming software crisis. Thus, while Computer Science is concerned with the theories and fundamentals of computer systems, programming strategies, etc., Software Engineering is concerned with the application of the practical, systematic and quantifiable approach to the development, operation, and maintenance of software systems.
The Software Engineering programme encompasses design, development and maintenance of quality software systems for organizations and businesses within the constraints of time, budget and other requirements. These include systems used in trains, airlines, vehicles, phones, banks, financial organisations, educational and health institutions, social networking applications, etc. In addition to its core Computer Science technical foundation, the Software Engineering discipline borrows and adapts from traditional engineering practice as well as from the field of project management. The other related disciplines are Information Technology, Quality Management, Systems Engineering, and Data Communications Engineering.
Nigeria represents virgin territory for the software industry and the field, in turn, presents huge opportunities for the sub-Saharan African region within the context of an expanding global economy. It is well known that the software industry is the only one that wealth can be created from zero or near-zero capital; only intellectual capital is needed. There is, therefore, the need for Nigeria to grow its own crop of software engineers as a force for sustainable socio-economic development. The Department was established in October 2019 and the Vice-Chancellor appointed Engr. Dr Lazarus O. Uzoechi as the pioneer Head of Department.