I’d like to start by first talking about software engineering itself, and whether it can legitimately be called engineering. The Oxford English Dictionary defines “engineering” as:
The branch of science and technology concerned with the development and modification of engines (in various senses), machines, structures, or other complicated systems and processes using specialized knowledge or skills, typically for public or commercial use; the profession of an engineer. Freq. with distinguishing word.
By this definition I believe it’s fair to describe the design and creation of software as “software engineering” and I’m going to proceed with the rest of this post on that basis.