Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Why Computer Programmers Should Stop Calling Themselves Engineers - The Atlantic

There are lots of analogies to be made between the construction trade and software development. Maybe a follow up piece? It's only natural to call the practitioners by engineering titles. Not everyone who codes is an engineer, just as not everyone who writes is a journalist. However, a lot of the same concepts go into each. The interesting part is how far the analogy holds, not probing at the weak points, but it would take a practitioner to appreciate it. I probobly wouldn't click on a story about blogging versus journalism. Why is a journalist writing about engineering? It seems the journalist in this case is making the same mistake he decries, or pehaps he's qualified. 

Professional licensing is almost singularly the only difference between the professions. It's called Software Engineering for a reason, with the emphasis on "soft", versus "hard", each with its own set of requirements. Not recognizing this difference only emphasizes the authors lack of subject matter expertise. Besides, there are volatile components, mainly memory that can inexplicably fail, causing a car to not start due to software failing to error check. That's a cost component, and we know how that works out in the manufacturing industry. The similarities across disciplines are more numerous and far more interesting than the differences.

Why Computer Programmers Should Stop Calling Themselves Engineers - The Atlantic:

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