I think the implications of security are only just now beginning to percolate into popular consciousness, which will create demand for higher standards with software "engineering." No. A great example of what computer "Engineering" can look like is the On-Board Shuttle Group (Lockheed/NASA). For humans to analyze and manage chemical reactions, we had to invent a new set of analytical tools that are specific to the level of abstraction that we call chemistry. How are they a different bunch than a 'software engineer'? Whereas APIs and packages are far more complex, and change constantly. This just reeks of no-true-scottsman. Where are the equivalent reams of standardized information for Electrical Engineering (circuits)? It sounds to me like you've never actually worked in software engineering. I've felt a significant shift in managing websites over the past year due to security. I'm not even going to read your article. I have not had the operation yet but, you should not discriminate against me. But software is similar in that every instruction (eg opcode, function, or program statement) has equivalent well-defined behavior. What do Voyager, Hong Kong's subway, and Google's cars have in common? > I completely agree with your assessment, except that I don't see CS as being B. Those are not the same thing (though I doubt a company is likely to hire an engineer who is so bad as to get their license revoked). Unless you're a junior developer you should be able to do more than just grunt work. You could be talking about software components, or mechanical components, or financial instruments... sorry, I just don't know what you're getting at here. The driver couldn't stop the car and this resulted in at least 10 deaths and a settlement of $1.1bn [4]. There are also, broadly speaking, liability ramifications for the people in all of those occupations. Programmers Stop Calling Yourselves Engineers - The Atlantic. It undermines a long tradition of designing and building infrastructure in the public interest. I completely agree with your assessment, except that I don't see CS as being B. It's interesting, when viewed through the lens of this discussion, EE seems like an early form of software - using specific materials for their ability to stay out of the way, seeking components that are a mathematical ideal, extremely reconfigurable, complexity is the enemy. you can do to protect yourself. (If you miss your appointment, or call to cancel or reschedule on the day or day before your appointment, you may be charged £25 on your next bill.) https://www.theatlantic.com | Created with Linqable. We are all engineers in our own right. http://www.fastcompany.com/28121/they-write-right-stuff [1996], "This software never crashes. Software engineer is one of those titles taken by programmers for prestige. So unlike physical engineering where you necessarily need to run calculations because testing is expensive, you have a tight feedback loop that allows you to tweak a system under test in ways physical engineers could only dream of -- and even so, better simulation tools are already saving physical engineers a lot of number crunching. (I have a feeling it's because bad software remains economically viable -- in turn because it's still actually useful to people. They seem to do it to distinguish themselves from the rest of the less gifted masses. Programmers: Stop Calling Yourselves Engineers . However thats just a title an official title and I don't care so much about that, since that says nothing about how much you could do. I have two ABET accredited degrees (BSc, MEng), but that doesn't seem to matter in the slightest to a large number of the companies that I've applied to/interviewed with. > The only way to make this (frankly uninteresting) argument end is to either hold programmers accountable for quality, or stop holding engineers accountable for quality. The only way to make this (frankly uninteresting) argument end is to either hold programmers accountable for quality, or stop holding engineers accountable for quality. Though to me, engineers are people who build bridges and follow pretty rigid processes for a reason.” Additional Information Groups. Sanitation engineers? Neither is much over 70 years old at this point. by Ian Bogost Nov 5, 2015 10 minute It makes me think of the various disciplines within science. Engineer is a title that can be applied to a person in countless types of engineering. Silicon Valley also has a higher standard of living and pays more. Or to put it another way: the currency involved here isn't physical money. And that's because it is real engineering work. Probably not for the same reason though. Btw. This is one of those flame wars that never seems to die down. Witch was fine when there was lots of overlap. "In contrast, the doctor has certifications, a professional order, etc. I agree that EE is the obvious precursor to software, but I think they are very different today. The argument that "simple" software is somehow not engineering is also bunk. I aspire to be a programmer. The goal is to come up with solutions that anyone can intuitively understand without explanation, regardless of whether they've been using computers their entire life or if this is their first time. Companies that were great at EE--like HP, Sony, Phillips, Toyota--have struggled with software. The liability aspect shouldn't be the key differentiator. > The way I think it should end is for software engineering to be separated from computer science at the university level. In this case the word "engineer" or "engineering" is cheapened as anyone can call themselves that regardless of their output. This is inherently a ridiculously difficult problem to solve because of human nature. San Antonio, Texas Programmers: Stop Calling Yourselves Engineers It undermines a long tradition of designing and building infrastructure in the public interest. Like it or not, software is a major component to engineering. Voyager I has travelled almost 20,000,000,000 (thats 20 billion) km since it left earth[1]. Programmers: Stop Calling Yourselves Engineers (theatlantic.com) 20 points by wtroughton 6 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 25 comments: kenrose 6 days ago. PEs (professional engineers) are generally concerned with quality, safety, and efficiency above all. That settlement doesn't include the ~$3bn that Toyota spent in recalls, probes, and redesigning the gas pedal[4]. We were just talking about how those can be just as bad as software (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10508494). So many words written protesting a natural evolution of language. The deeper problem is that most of the industry doesn't seem to care about degrees, much less ABET accrediting. What should someone who designs complex systems, databases, networks, etc call themselves? Geotechnical engineer Is an employee at McDonalds a chef? since mostly the newer generation with these titles knowing less and less. I believe there _is_ a legitimate issue around the quality of software. There will be bumps in the road. I’ve been both, and here’s how I make the distinction. In my experience, "engineer" conjures the image of a … And not all fields have anything like uniform standards. So while obviously nobody is physically restraining them from installing AutoCAD, they are not able to meet (common) contractual requirements in engineering work. I'm not unsympathetic to the authors views on the lack of certification, and due to fast feedback loops software engineering is very different to traditional engineering fields but there's a. But that doesn't mean that the "bottom" "fundamentalist" viewpoint is useless, either. In contrast, the doctor has certifications, a professional order, etc. However, firms operating under a Certificate of Authority do not require a specific engineer to 'stamp the drawings'; the firm itself can do so. Which isn't surprising - it's not like people were blind to the advantages of abstraction before computing. Engineer? > The title “engineer” is cheapened by the tech industry. I agree that these terms may have legal implications in some jurisdictions, but that's irrelevant to the discussion of whether they are accurate. > “Engineer” conjures the image of the hard-hat-topped > designer-builder, carefully crafting tomorrow. If you’re running a prepaid meter, then running out of credit will cause your supply to cut off and your boiler to stop working. Granted, the title is overused because scantly few companies have the scale at which it makes sense having a dedicated person for that but I've seen plenty of "art directors" prettying up PowerPoint slides, too. The term is probably a shortening of “software engineer,” but its use betrays a secret: “Engineer” is an aspirational title in software development. Google's autonomous cars have driven themselves over 1,250,000 miles since 2009 [3]. The default is shifting from "test security patches before deployment" to "deploy security patches instantly then see what we need to fix," because it's harder to recover from a hack than to adapt to documented breaking changes. Programmers: Stop Calling Yourselves Engineers (theatlantic.com) 4 points | by hudon 1 hour ago 1 comments nabla9 56 minutes ago technician - a specialist in the technical details of a subject or occupation. Engineer started as a word meaning one who is skilled in the design, construction, or use of, surprise, engines. Lists of components are like package repositories. Your first three bills may be different from what you expect. What about an 'engineer' (a person who designs components for a large corporation for money)? > Until then, you're using one word to refer to two groups of people with wildly different work requirements, and there will always be people complaining about that. The only way to make this (frankly uninteresting) argument end is to either hold programmers accountable for quality, or stop holding engineers accountable for quality. Remember the Toyota fiasco in 2009/2010 when the cars' gas pedals were getting stuck? Only if you constantly change them out! 0. The way I think it should end is for software engineering to be separated from computer science at the university level. One way to change that environment to encourage more rigor is to change the culture of the field, which IMHO can be helped by calling it "Engineering" and pushing it more towards so, rather than modeling the culture around eg flaky webcrapps. But 'Software Engineer' means what it means - someone who can not only code, but manage, design and perhaps architect. One of our guys with the same level of experience as everyone else couldn't be bothered with scripting all of his database schema changes (which was a boring and tedious task because of how we managed changes at the time, and he didn't bother to keep track of them as he made them) because he was an "Architecture guy". ", "The most important things the shuttle group does — carefully planning the software in advance, writing no code until the design is complete, making no changes without supporting blueprints, keeping a completely accurate record of the code — are not expensive. If you take software engineering as being fundamentally about managing complexity (and therefore imply that it couldn't really get started until we had horsepower to waste), then I'd call that viewpoint "from the top" in a sense. His problem is that his definition of engineering is ancient, not that many of those writing software aren't engineers. The disciplines that can become Professional Engineers are listed on the right hand column here http://www.peps.ohio.gov/Exams/ExamDates%7CDisciplines.aspx Unfortunately, software engineering didn't make the list, although, electrical and computer did. But then consider how often your late-model car fails to start inexplicably or your office elevator traps you inside its shaft. Programmers: Stop Calling Yourselves Engineers. I have a lot of friends who have passed their fundamentals exam (FE) and are on their way to become 'professional' engineers and I can guarantee you many accredited professional engineers do work that I would have a harder time calling engineering than a front end dev creating HTML files.