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I've waxed eloquent about this on HN before, but some subfields of software development is rather treated like engineering (and, I would dare say, qualifies as engineering).

I work on avionics software. There is a lot of planning. There are formal requirements based on industry standards and the needs of the users. There are oodles of verification procedures to ensure that the software written does what the requirements demand. There are peer reviews. There is certification paperwork. There are quality audits on the requirements, the code, the verification, the reviews, and the certification paperwork. There are on-ground tests. There are flight tests.

We do require the "engineers" to have relevant degrees, and if our software crashes... well, hopefully nobody dies, but, it's a real and sobering possibility.

On the other hand, all of the engineering-esque work that goes into avionics would likely be utterly wasted on most web applications, iPhone programs, and video games.




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