The Knowledge Contribution of Engineers to Software Development: A Case Study

Nava Pliskin, Isaac Balaila, Isaac Kenigshtein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Engineers involved in prototyping usually have expertise in a specific knowledge domain. Their expertise makes them qualified both to develop the prototype and to use it for testing theory in practice. This has not been the case with prototyping in system development; software engineers usually lack domain knowledge in the area of application, and must seek domain knowledge from would-be users of the system. However, with the advent of microcomputers, domain knowledge is injected into prototypes more directly. In many manufacturing firms end user prototyping is commonplace: Domain knowledgeable engineers who are not software engineers prototype systems in fourth generation languages and expert systems shells. This paper presents the case history of an industrial engineer in an aluminum manufacturing company who becomes a sophisticated user of microcomputers, and thus successfully prototypes an expert decision support system. The observations gathered in the case study illustrate how end user prototyping, unlike rapid prototyping by software engineers, contributes to effective utilization of domain knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-348
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Transactions on Engineering Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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