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Well, engineering is not like engineering. You can't paint all "engineering" and all "engineers" with the same brush: we're not all alike.

I've designed (physical) devices where the customer needed the end product ready in a few days, and others where it took months. Sound anything like software?

Software engineering is simply the process of using known concepts to build a software product. That's no different from "traditional" engineering. Just as you apply a different approach to a 3-page website versus an enterprise inventory app that must failover smoothly between 5 servers, a mechanical engineer will apply a different approach to designing a pickup truck versus a "Little Tykes" car.

The reason programs don't look like they're engineered isn't because we don't know how to (I'd like to think my software engineering degree counts for something), it's because we usually don't bother.

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