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It is asserted that ad-hoc programming techniques do not work in the development of big software systems. The programs faced in developing large software include starting from fuzzy and incomplete requirements; enforcing a methodology on the developers; coordinating multiple programmers and managers; achieving desired reliability and performance in the system; managing a multitude of resources in a meaningful way; and completing the system within a limited time frame. The authors examine some of the trends in requirement specification; life cycle modeling; programming environments; design tools; and other software engineering areas for tackling the above problems. The authors suggest several phase-independent and phase-dependent techniques for programming in the large. It is shown how research in automatic programming, knowledge-based systems, metrics, and programming environments can make a significant difference in the ability to develop large systems.