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Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK)

Why a SWEBOK Version 3?

Early on, the committee in charge of the 2004 SWEBOK Guide knew it had to plan for revisions, and in fact outlined a process for doing so in Appendix B of the 2004 Guide. There are many reasons for doing so, including the following:

  • Practices change. New tools, methods, and types of software make good practice in software engineering an ever-changing target. Topics that were once experimental may have now reached the state of generally accepted knowledge. And even though the Guide focuses on the most widely accepted and long-lasting of practices, it's possible for the environment that software operates in to change significantly because of business and job changes. For example, it has become clear in just the past few years that good software practice must pay increasing attention to security. Economics can also affect what methods become best practices in software engineering.
  • Other viewpoints emerge. Other Computer Society products—notably the Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP) exam and the Software Engineering 2004 curriculum guide—offer slightly differing views of the body of knowledge. So it makes sense to take the opportunity to examine them and better align the SWEBOK Version 3 with them where it makes sense. For example, it seems reasonable that there should be a core set of references for these products, so part of the work on the SWEBOK Version 3 will establish that core set. The comparison among these efforts has also suggested the need for new knowledge areas and the revision of others.
  • The body of knowledge grows. Since 2004, many of the books cited in the first SWEBOK Guide have been revised and new articles have been added to the body of knowledge. The SWEBOK Version 3 should account for these changes.

These factors drive the need for a new version of the SWEBOK Guide.

SWEBOK V3.0 Comment Resolution Report

More than 1,500 individual comments were received from the professional at large, international community. The complete comment resolution report for Version 3.0 may be downloaded here.

Notes on Reading the Comment Resolution Report

All received comments and new text proposed by the reviewers are in columns C and D. The "Closed" status in column E indicates that the comment has been adjudicated and resolved.

There are several kinds of comment dispositions by the KA Editors who prepared the KAs:

  • Accepted: the proposed change was incorporated as recommended.
  • Partially Accepted: the intent of the proposed change was incorporated but perhaps in a different way.
  • Refused: the proposed change was rejected, for reasons such as the change is not within the scope of the recommended placement or perhaps because the material in a proposed reference has been included from a different reference in the Consolidated Reference List in Appendix C.
  • Noted: these comments often require no response or resolution of the comment is deferred to the subsequent version 3.1 of the SWEBOK Guide.

In most cases the Disposition Rationale by SWEBOK Guide Coeditors is acceptance of the KA Editors' dispositions. Some of the Disposition Rationales add justification for the adjudication decision and in a few cases the Guide Coeditors have reversed the dispositions of the KA Editors, with the consent of the KA Editors.

A few of the received comments required action by the Change Control Board; for example, adding or changing a reference in the Consolidated Reference List or restructuring the outline of topics for a KA.