Software Engineer and Programmer definitions (was Software Engineer : salary expectations)

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Rats, Sep 12, 2003.

  1. Rats

    Rats Guest

    This could form an interesting discussion.

    I pose to you these questions:

    1) Is a nurse a doctor?
    2) Is an accounts clerk an accountant?
    3) Is a legal aid a laywer?

    Hence a programmer is not an engineer. A programmer is essentially a person
    that cuts code after the design is done by the engineers ... a bit like a
    mechanic that builds the car after its been designed.

    To be an Engineer you need to have an engineering degree just like you need
    a degree in medicine to be a doctor, a degree in law to be a lawer and a
    degree in commerce to be an accountant.
    Rats, Sep 12, 2003
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  2. Rats

    Rats Guest

    A more appropriate term for a programmer that does some design work is a
    Rats, Sep 12, 2003
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  3. Rats

    Rats Guest

    Let me guess. You don't have a degree.
    Rats, Sep 12, 2003
  4. Rats

    Rob King Guest

    one could define a 'software engineer' as one who is willing and able
    How do you make a BA's car go faster? Take the phone off the roof. :)
    Rob King, Sep 12, 2003
  5. Rats

    Evil Bastard Guest

    Let me guess. You do have a degree, possibly a significant student debt,
    and would love nothing more than the IT industry becoming a closed shop
    that shuts out the non-degreed, or at least permanently consigns them to
    junior positions and lower salary, regardless of their talents,
    experience, capabilities and character.

    Anyway, you didn't answer a single point I made.

    Evil Bastard, Sep 12, 2003
  6. Rats

    N Lawton Guest

    Well that ought to have him F*&^&$ - probably...

    Seeing as you raise it in support of your assertion, please do tell so that
    we may all see the difference between a humble programmer and a REAL
    N Lawton, Sep 12, 2003
  7. Rats

    Peter Guest

    this quote is from Evil Bastard of Fri, 12 Sep 2003 13:43 :
    The OP is correct. Like the other professions cited, one needs
    qualifications and experience to be an engineer. Whether you make the
    grade or not is decided by your peers (ie other engineers, lawyers, etc).

    As for correlation, I have worked with a great many technical people, (from
    trade quals, tech diplomas to degrees) over 3 decades and across many
    disciplines (electrical, mechanical, civil, chemical, ...). In my
    experience, there is definitely a strong correlation between qualifications
    and competence.
    IT is a special case, because it is so new, and people who spent their time
    in the field can gain skills matching those from university. But, given a
    few years, this discipline will mature, too, and the knowledge and insight
    gained from formal education will exceed that possible from first hand
    experience. Of course, practical experience is still essential, it's just
    that it is so much more powerful when backed up with theoretical knowhow.
    Quite right. These traits matter, and you don't get them from schoolbooks.
    However, people of intelligence and energy tend to be the ones who get
    themselves a good education and this normally means a degree. People who
    lack the traits you list either don't try for a degree, or they fail in the
    Thus, selecting someone with a degree is a good way of getting someone with
    at least some of those desirable traits, even if the degree itself is
    totally irrelevant to the job.

    Peter, Sep 12, 2003
  8. Rats

    Murray Symon Guest

    To be an engineer you need to drive a train! ;-)
    Murray Symon, Sep 12, 2003
  9. Rats

    Murray Symon Guest

    On Fri, 12 Sep 2003 17:20:32 +1200, Rats wrote:


    Merriam-Webster dictionary has the following definitions of engineer:

    1. a member of a military group devoted to engineering work
    2. obsolete : a crafty schemer : PLOTTER
    3a. a designer or builder of engines
    3b. a person who is trained in or follows as a profession a branch
    of engineering.
    3c. a person who carries through an enterprise by skillful or artful
    4. a person who runs or supervises an engine or an apparatus

    You really are just playing with semantics.
    Some countries do have laws that restrict the use of the title
    "engineer" to members of designated professional organizations,
    though. I think Canada is one.

    btw - do professional architects get upset about "software
    architects? I honestly don't know. I have seen the word
    "architecting" used in Computerworld lately, with respect to
    software development. Maybe that's better than just plain
    old engineering?
    Murray Symon, Sep 12, 2003
  10. Rats

    Rats Guest

    I did not raise this as support for any assertion of mine. Evil Bastard made
    some assumptions about student debts etc, so I merely pointed out that he
    was mistaken.
    Rats, Sep 12, 2003
  11. Rats

    Rats Guest

    Well said!

    And again!
    Rats, Sep 12, 2003
  12. Rats

    Jay Guest

    I agree.
    You have stated you case very eloquently.
    Obviously you are not a qualified engineer!
    Jay, Sep 12, 2003
  13. Rats

    bambam Guest

    I thought they just drove trains. :)
    bambam, Sep 12, 2003
  14. Rats

    Jay Guest

    Peter wrote:

    Yet people of superior intelligence quickly understand that everything
    that is taught at university can be aquired by other means.
    It is only people of limited uintelligence who believe that they
    must attend a formal education process to acquire what is freely available.
    One thing universities should teach more of is logic!
    Obviously you went to university and didn't aquire much.
    Jay, Sep 12, 2003
  15. Rats

    Rats Guest

    As I said, being in debt or otherwise has nothing to do with this topic.
    That is irrelevant. Thanks for making an attempt to contribute to this
    topic. I suggest you look elsewhere for your trolling.
    Rats, Sep 12, 2003
  16. Rats

    Rats Guest

    They are correctly referred to as developers.
    Then you are unique. Good on you.
    Rats, Sep 12, 2003
  17. Rats

    T.N.O. Guest

    I must be sick... I'm fully in agreement with Jay... who knew it could
    T.N.O., Sep 12, 2003
  18. Rats

    AD. Guest

    It's the same in most of Europe as well. But not the case in NZ.

    In NZ 'engineer' generally means 'fitter and turner' (sadly).
    I was about to bring up the same point. Does he get just as anal about
    systems or network 'architects'?

    And since you asked, yes I have heard some Architects object to the use of
    the term in the IT industry. I suppose it has some relevance though - an
    Architect designs what it looks like, but an Engineer has to make it stand
    up hehe.

    Silly question for Rats: Can I call myself a software engineer? I
    have no real IT/CS related qualifications (apart from the odd cert, and
    two first year computer science papers), but I have a Civil Engineering
    qualification and work in the software industry. :)

    AD., Sep 13, 2003
  19. Rats

    Rats Guest

    I can't comment for architects. I'll leave them to make their cases.
    It's quite simple mate. If you do not have the qualifications to be a
    software engineer then you quite simply not a software engineer.
    Rats, Sep 13, 2003
  20. Rats

    Allistar Guest

    All new positions that get filled at one of my clients go through me for
    assessment and approval, and I have a policy of favouring developers with
    drgrees over developers without degrees. So much so that Not having a
    degree is nearly enough for me not to consider them.

    Yes, I know that experience has a lot to do with it, and that is taken
    into account. The reason I have this policy is born from experience. I have
    been disappointed a few times before by "developers" who have done 6 month
    courses, and have never been disappointed by someone who has completed a 3
    year degree. The fact that they lasted threee years says a lot for their
    commitment and ability to get the job done.

    My 2c.
    Allistar, Sep 13, 2003
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