Rumors of Software Engineering’s Death are Greatly Exaggerated

Posted on January 4, 2009  Comments (3)

Rumors of Software Engineering’s Death are Greatly Exaggerated by Steve McConnell

Indeed, one of the hallmarks of engineering as opposed to science is that engineers will work with materials whose properties are not entirely understood, and they’ll factor in safety margins until the science comes along later and allows more precision in the engineer’s use of those materials.

Software engineering already has been defined as engineering, we have an international reference standard for that definition, the field’s two largest professional bodies have jointly adopted a professional code of conduct for software engineers, we have accreditation standards for university programs in software engineering, we have university numerous programs that have already been accredited, and several countries are licensing professional engineers in software.

Related: Who Killed the Software Engineer?Is Computer Science a Science?What Ails India’s Software Engineers?Federal Circuit Decides Software No Longer PatentableA Career in Computer Programming

3 Responses to “Rumors of Software Engineering’s Death are Greatly Exaggerated”

  1. Ted
    January 4th, 2009 @ 8:03 pm

    What is software engineering ? Does programming in Esterel, Modelica, UML / SysML qualify as writing software ?
    It seems to me as the definition of software given by the mainstream programmer (and Eric Wise, and some university curricula) is restrained to very few languages and programming paradigms.

    I believe that one does not necessarily have to write lots of computer code to qualify as a software engineer; and conversely, one may churn out huge amounts of code while being no more than a skilled worker.

    To me being a software engineer has to do with team organization, abstract thinking and priorities management much more than dealing with the technical aspects of programming. And it’s true that many university graduates in CS may not be called ‘engineers’ right away – although that’s the title advertised on their diploma.

  2. martin
    January 5th, 2009 @ 9:54 pm

    agree with you ted, these days even even UML and designer call enginer . for example CSS author is often refered as programmer/engineer . that doesnt make sense . does it?

  3. Anonymous
    December 16th, 2009 @ 10:53 am

    That’s one of my favorite Mark Twain lines, “The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated”. He said it after a papers report that he had passed on. I had to give him credit.

    Great Blog, one of the best.


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