In every context where the services of a PE / PEng (Canada) are truly required, no one will be relying on that person's email signature or business card, they will be asking for the relevant documents to be signed and sealed.
Licensing boards would do well to devote more effort to regulating large engineering firms which often play fast and loose with the rules, hiring cheaper, unlicensed people to do most of their work and then have one or two PEs seal all of it with minimal review.
In short the idea is we trust the PE's signature that everything is copacetic. In more modern fields like automotive, aerospace and software engineering that idea is laughable. Everything is about process, audit and testing.
I think most product companies are essentially self-insured. If Ford releases the Pinto and they get sued, they're paying the settlements themselves, not filing an insurance claim. So they are free to use whatever method they like to verify the competence of their employees.
That has nothing to do with the law, though. Ie. any insurance company ought to be able to decide for itself what qualifies as "engineer". There's no need for the state to define this and sue people -- the insurance company can simply refuse to sell an insurance unless the work was done by people considered, by the insurance company, as "engineers".
The biggest issue in this case is that the state was using it punatively against a person who was not providing a p eng sign off or advertising services as a p eng. Having a regulatory shared definition is fine and helps smooth commerce.
But if you want to use something that's not CSA, then it does need to be reviewed and signed off by an engineer.
A home's electrical design doesn't have to be signed off by an engineer, but it has to meet code and be inspected.
If it doesn't meet code and you want an exemption (for instance because you are doing something that wasn't anticipated by the code), then you need an engineer to sign off confirming that what you're doing is safe and truly requires an exemption.
And how do you know the process, auditing and testing was done? With documentation signed by someone who can verify this and is legally liable if it wasn't done properly.
As for legal liability, that falls primarily with the company. The chances that an individual is going to be held legally liable for a process failure in a corporation is very low, and whether or not that person has a PE will be irrelevant.
1. This person has performed the work that went into this plan/design/report or, if someone else performed it, the signing person carefully verified every important aspect of the work
2. If they used software to perform calculations, they have designed a reasonable method to check and verify the output of that software, either by using selected hand-calculations or comparing to another, independent, software system
3. They have employed a quality assurance process that is suitable for the type of work being done, which may include peer review, non destructive testing, testing to failure of a sample, etc.
4. If field work is being sealed, the PEng has personally verified the field work, or provided detailed specifications for another qualified person to do quality assurance on the field work
Now whether most PEngs really follow these "best practices" is an entirely different story. And yes, for fields that often involve very complex systems, the idea of any one single person meeting the quality management guidelines to place a professional seal on, say, an entire 787 aircraft, doesn't make sense. And when those systems also have life safety implications, it makes sense to test rigorously wherever possible.
In many fields, professional engineers are effectively delegated the authority of government under a system known as "professional reliance". Rather than the city government hiring hundreds of people to review the plans of every building, they simply require developers to have a professional engineer certify that the plans meet the building code. This strikes a balance between the city having to review everything (and the associated increase in costs), and the developer being able to tick the box saying everything is fine with no real accountability beyond their numbered company that is owned by another numbered company in the Cayman Islands.
Working in Canada where my degree was not certified, all the PEng people would get seriously uptight if I even said "I studied Engineering" or "I have a bachelor of Engineering".
If they have an engineering conference in Canada, and a notable engineering expert comes from abroad to speak but isn't from a Canadian certified school (perhaps they're from a British one instead) do they get uptight about that as well?
At some point they must accept that non-Canadian-certified people can be engineers as well?
Found a link about it: http://m.spiegel.de/international/germany/title-fight-us-aca...
By whom? Canadian software engineers, other types of Canadian engineers, or by some professional engineering body that's trying to protect their profession?
In Canada engineer is like lawyer. You can specialize in a certain part of law (e.g. patent, corporate, criminal). just like you specialize in certain fields (e.g. aerospace, mechanical, geomagnetic, biomed). What matters in both cases is being given a license.
Why would this be the defining characteristic of engineering?
As a Canadian engineering graduate myself, I don't think that's true. Saying you studied engineering is fine, that's literally what the degree is. Calling yourself an engineer is a different story, and that requires more work. It's like calling yourself a doctor without a doctorate. Notice how I didn't call myself an engineer, and that's because I didn't get my PEng.
I studied engineering in Germany. There's no such thing as a PEng in Germany -- the only thing is that the title of Dipl.-Ing. (equivalent to MEng), which was the culmination of my studies, is protected.
How does it make you feel for me to claim I'm an engineer?
(BTW, I get seriously uptight at all the web designers who like to call themselves engineers :-) )
I feel similarly to you, but would extend it to cover most software development, period. With feet in multiple traditional engineering disciplines, I don't see the majority of software development as coming close to the bar of engineering (though some certainly does). And I don't mean that in the sense of licensure, nor am I merely trying to be snooty. But to hear the software world co-opt "engineering" to mean "technical work" is grating.
You can boil engineering down (maybe a bit much, but bear with me) to: plan, execute, measure, adjust. The difference between software /programming/ and software /engineering/ is that programming often stops after execute, and hands measure to someone else maybe, whereas a software engineer is constantly measuring what they are doing and trying to understand why it may be deviating from plan, and how to make it better in the future.
To wit, you don't need software engineers to build you a web application, but you had better have them working on your file system.
A civil engineer is not credentialed because they took physics and DiffEq. They are that because their field has defined a body of knowledge and rigor that has been shown to adequately protect the public within a narrow band of services.
I am not aware of any such effort anywhere in software, which is why many engineers consider the whole notion of “software engineering” to be a farce.
Q: Are there many software engineers who build poor-quality roads in their spare time?
The Rust Evangelism Strikeforce is working hard to change that.
I'm not making a point about degrees and coursework covered per se, more so about the practice of the profession. Of course, education prepares one for practice, so they are very linked.
I think the practice of computer engineering straddles the line more between engineering and craftsmanship than does say typical software development which is largely (though as I noted before, not entirely) in the craftsmanship camp. For what it's worth, I have a Computer Engineering degree as well.
> You can boil engineering down (maybe a bit much, but bear with me) to: plan, execute, measure, adjust.
I get your gist, but it misses some essential elements. Engineering is about understanding your objectives/requirements/constraints well and ensuring that what you implement satisfies those while being correct/sound. Of course, there is almost inevitably a circular dependence between the understanding of objectives/requirements/constraints and correct implementation.
If soundness is trumped by other considerations, e.g., "development velocity", developer availability, convenience of tooling, etc., I would say you are not practicing engineering. It's not that most software development sets out to implement bugs or design flaws, it's that there's an irreconcilable difference between the mindset that treats their elimination or preclusion as a first-order consideration and lets the development approach fall out accordingly, vs. choosing a development approach and then trying to weed out soundness issues after implementation. The heated arguments in favor of continuing to develop mass-deployed or high-stakes systems in languages like C or C++, or weakly-typed languages shows the strong bent of the software development world toward craftsmanship over engineering. It's one thing when those are the only tools available; it's another thing when there are viable options that force more correctness yet people can't get over how unencumbered they feel when they go the unsafe route.
I recognize these statements probably offend, but my point is not to troll with a polemic. It's to say that software is a new technical vista compared to traditional engineering disciplines. It provides a kind of power and speed of system implementation radically unavailable in the physical realm. Our ability to construct software systems far outstrips the allotted time, and often until recently the ability, to reason about them.
This is definitely changing, and the work going into enabling soundness-by-construction through tools accessible to any competent developer is worthy of innumerable plaudits. I think we are heading toward most software development as engineering, but we are far from it today. The daily news of "hacked" systems and the never-ending stream of "system security updates" is proof.
I think you could argue they might be engaged in other forms of non-recognized engineering (like process engineering), but I agree that software is not what they're engineering.
No, it's not about a "bonus" because it's physical. erikpukinskis  and blihp  captured essential reasons for the differences in their comments, and I did so in my response to yc-krain . I mean this in no way condescendingly, but if the bulk of one's technical experience is all in software with no deep exposure to the engineering lifecycle in the physical realm, it could be hard to grok the underlying theme of rigor that these comments get at.
For example: one can't be certain that someone with a Computer Science degree even knows how to program or has any other specific knowledge or skills. Or that someone supposedly with X years of experience with Y understands Y at all vs. just repeating tasks learned by rote. Or that someone who went to a Z bootcamp can actually do anything useful with/in Z. Maybe someday we'll get there, but it's still a long ways off.
In some countries most medical doctors don't have any kind of doctoral degree. In the UK for example doctors have a bachelor's degree.
I find it slightly annoying too. However, my degrees are in engineering and it makes sense to me that the engineer term is reserved.
I did a little Googling and in Ontario there are exceptions for flight engineer, train engineer, sound engineer, aircraft maintenance engineer, operating engineer, stationary engineer, and hoisting engineer.
It would annoy me if someone without any engineering education or experience tried to pass themselves off as an engineer in a way that exaggerated their competence, but if a guy from Iran with 20 years solid experience as an engineer who hasn't yet jumped through the excessively many hoops to obtain a PEng in Canada wants to write "engineer" in his email signature, that's fine with me. It's the term that best represents his competencies. The only limitation is that he won't be able to take responsibility for plans or designs without an actual license.
He is an engineer as far as I am concerned (and time served as well as his quali):
Jarlstrom, who holds a bachelors of science degree in engineering from Sweden
This was rotten of Oregon, but there are generally laws like this to make sure everyone knows what to expect from an engineer. Of course it looks rediculous that a Swedish engineer wasn't allowed to point out a flawed system (I agree it is a violation of free speech), but they also can't take his background at face value, just like someone with a medical degree from Cuba probably can't practice medicine in the United States without going through licensing and taking classes to make sure the degrees truly are equivalent.
The true point of being a professional engineer is that you've satisfied the MINIMUM requirements to be licensed and, therefore, you are licensed by the state to sign off on documents within what you consider your expertise. It relies on you to make that determination with the understanding that you should know better, recognizing the legal and professional ramifications if you practice outside your expertise.
I disagree with the Oregon ruling: holding yourself out as an engineer without licensure is not acceptable and should not be encouraged. It creates confusion amongst the public about what a licensed engineer is and who to trust.
The guy could have easily put out his findings as an interested party or something without trying to invoke the goodwill that people like you and I have put so much effort into engendering.
I got an Engineer-in-Training certificate out of school (basically taking a GRE-type exam) because, in the field I was working in at the time, senior engineers got PEs so they could sign off on blueprints for regulatory agencies. And, in due course, I would have gotten one.
But anyone who thinks there's something special about working for a few years in the industry and then taking a few hours of tests... I'm not violently against these types of certifications but they tend to become artificial barriers (degree requirements, specific work experience, and the certification itself) and don't really indicate a lot.
However, I think it is incredibly important to note that the story in question had a guy who was claiming to be an engineer and talking about traffic signal timing. Traffic engineering (and all other subsets of civil engineering) is definitely NOT one of the fields that has abandoned licensure. Civil engineering has the highest percentage of licensure of any engineering discipline that I know of. Anything related to a traffic signal, in my experience, has had to be dual stamped by both a licensed civil engineer for the traffic and electrical engineer for the light.
The minimum requirements have, historically, resulted in engineers who put out public facing designs that, more often than not, do not bring harm to the public.
As someone who “has passed those tests” and been practicing for almost a decade, I can tell you first hand that sometimes the guy with a license who is actually at “the minimum” does not always put out something that is safe.
If someone claims to be a licensed CPA, they are likely to be a licensed CPA.
Look at what you need to do to become "an accountant" in the UK:
So congrats on actually being a doctor.
yet there are defenders who will pop up with any threat to the licensing by citing extreme examples but most of this is to protect the businesses who both "train" to meet the licensing requirements as well as those who hire because it becomes an expensive business to compete in
I'm fine with forbiding speech regarding life/safety impact like shouting "fire" and protecting the use of PE for liability and public safety reasons, and letting anyone call themselves a hacker, engineer or whatever else floats their day. To be clear: there ought to be a level of professional rigor where lives are on the line, but otherwise it's caveat hiring manager.
The work merely being of poor quality is almost never going to give rise to enforcement action. If you design a crappy drainage system for a road and it double the owner's maintenance expenses because it keeps washing out, you aren't going to get sued.
This case essentially removes engineer from the list of recognized professions. That club now only belongs to the doctors and lawyers. Even hairdressers cannot call themselves such without state recognition.
The guy didn't claim he was licensed. All he said was "I'm an engineer". All the court said was "He can say he's an engineer".
This doesn't sound very problematic to me. Like, presumably you'd ask where they were licensed, right? You wouldn't just accept anyone who said they were an engineer, and then rely on the state to issue a $500 fine to anyone who dared use the "E" word without being licensed in the US?
Steam locomotives aren't commonly used anymore, so I assume you're making a joke about somebody on a train being a "firefighter".
Why are US train drivers called engineers?
Having a ChBE BS, I am an engineer (although no longer working as one). I am not a Professional Engineer (not a licensed PE). There’s a difference - doesn’t mean I should not be able to call myself an engineer, and I’m sure others w engineering degrees would agree
I am also an engineer and approach the world with an engineering mindset. And I would never use "Engineer" as part of my title. For me, once it becomes a title/capitalized, it's no longer an adjective but a designation.
My first initial is D and I use that instead of my first name. When people address me as "Dr Casey" I correct them on that too.
Unfairly handing out red light tickets is rotten, but fining the man who pointed it out is beyond rotten. It's corrupt. There's no question Oregon was defending its income with that move. Dirty money.
I don't feel like reversing the fine is nearly enough of a response. There was effectively no punishment for issuing that fine.
But, I'm still pleased with the outcomes Järlström keeps accomplishing. It may not completely offset the chilling effects caused by the initial transgressions, but hopefully it can inspire others.
All in all, it definitely reflects very poorly on the Oregon State government. I hope they're happy with the reputation damage done.
His side of the story is here: http://www.jarlstrom.com/redflex/ . In short, the timings don't account for the time it takes for a car to _clear_ an intersection.
His lawsuit against the city's yellow light timings was dismissed because he failed to show standing. It is somewhat interesting that he took the tack of hypothetical damage as a pedestrian instead of a contested red-light ticket. Perhaps the ticket(s) that precipitated the research didn't satisfy the exact conditions of this challenge.
I feel like we've had to ask you this kind of thing a lot and have cut you way more slack than we do for most. If you'd review https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and take the spirit of this site to heart, we'd appreciate it.
You might find these other links helpful for getting a clearer idea of the original spirit:
Happy new year.
Here's a couple others:
38 CFR 38.630 - Headstones and markers. - "VA will furnish, when requested, a memorial headstone or marker to commemorate an eligible individual whose remains are unavailable." - https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/38/38.630
Who is threatened with violence for breaking that law? At most, a VA employee can be fired, yes?
36 U.S. Code § 106 - Constitution Day and Citizenship Day - https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/36/106
That's another completely voluntary law ("are urged"), and the Supreme Court didn't get involved.
There is no implicit argument that additional forms of authority are necessary.
In other words, never assume someone is implying something else when making an entirely different argument.
There's no such confusion when it comes to the other professions listed, no huge gray area where everyone calls you a physician even though you only work with animals: those are veterinarians.
2 of 68 in my graduating class of BSE students took the PE exam. I think almost all of us now have business cards which include the word 'engineer'. That's not a gopd position from which some outsiders can selectively declare that the term is protected.
My experience has been that anyone who claims 'engineer' is protected is selling something, or at least trying to protect the value of the scheme they bought into. There are a couple jobs that legitimately need it where the regulatory environment requires, but they know who they are and know they are rare.
Just an aside, but that is a gigantic undersell of veterinarians. The difficulties of becoming one aside, just seeing that "humans-only" doctors only work on one kind of ape, compared to the many very different kinds of life forms a veterinarian has to deal with (of course they specialize too), I don't understand why one would think a veterinarian would deserve the word "only".
Speech can never be a crime "They have uttered the untoward words! Imprison them."
Speech can breach a contract "You agreed not to yell fire in my theater, you owe me damages"
Speech can be a crime. Google limitations on free speech. The specific example you gave is in fact a crime.
I don't think it's fair to say speech can be a crime on its own.
This is a fundamental misunderstanding. Intent is a necessary component of the crime, just like intent is necessary component of most crimes. The intent to cause harm is not the crime.
>Thats why the crime is "yelling fire in a crowded theater" not just "yelling fire". Notice the difference and how it becomes a completely different action altogether despite saying the same thing.
Actions in themselves aren't universally crimes in all contexts, that doesn't mean they aren't crimes in specific contexts.
If what you are trying to argue is that no string of words can be a crime to utter in any context, then yes you are correct, but by that standard no individual action can be labeled criminal.
>I don't think it's fair to say speech can be a crime on its own.
SCOTUS has ruled many times that all speech isn't protected by the first amendment. Some speech can be made, and has been made criminal.
As for physician or lawyer, people generally have no idea which terms are protected, so it tends to be a bit meaningless. There seems to be something of a permanent argument over who gets to be called "doctor", so even people in the industry might not know if it's meaningful: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5026525/
Oz has been a professor at the Department of Surgery at Columbia University since 2001. He directs the Cardiovascular Institute and Complementary Medicine Program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. His research interests include heart valve replacement surgery, minimally invasive cardiac surgery, and health care policy.
If your TV had Dr Gambiting giving medical advice is carries more credence.
Due process can cause some predators to roam free, or cost taxpayers and victims expense to the benefit of evil people.
This argument that something should be illegal because it can cause harm is really shallow.
However, I do see the harm in someone pretending to be a doctor and giving medical advice that can hurt or kill someone.
Howver, I don't see how you can come to the conclusion that ordinary people should not be able to tell their children, friends, parents, or anyone, medical advice. If so, where does it end? Can you tell your child to take medication? Which medications? Can you help victims of accidents? Give CPR? Can you tell your Father not to get that particular medical treatment? Can you tell someone to not trust a particular doctor? What you're suggesting sounds like a litigious nightmare of egg shells through life.
On principle, should we not err towards advocating for granting power to the people instead of centralized, corporate and government authority structures? Or do you just not believe in that?
Please do not strawman my position. The discussion was about people purposely portraying themselves as doctors and then dispensing medical advice.
I have no problem with someone giving medical advice. I do have a problem with someone pretending to be a doctor while giving medical advice.
But, we are also saying there shouldn't be any repercusions for someone just saying that they are a lawyer in any non-financial, non-professional context. If you go out and say to someone "hey, I'm a lawyer and I am very smart" then this shouldn't be illegal in any way or form, just like saying you are a pope or Bonaparte isn't - you're just making an idiot out of yourself. As long as you don't go and act as a lawyer(try to represent people for money for instance) then knock yourself out. This should be double obvious seeing as we're on the internet, where you can say you are a noble-winning physicist or a NASA engineer and without a way to verify it it matters nothing. It is scummy, immoral, unfair to lie about it? Of course it is. But it shouldn't be illegal.
Realtor's are a cross between a MLM and a guild.
And no Realtors/real estate agents in no way is anything close to an mlm. They work as an authorized extension of a licenced broker. They work on their behalf with oversight and receive compensation. But that is literally every job.
Realtors (a trademark of the National Asociation of Realtors) are members of a private organization.
Which sucks, doesn't it. It's advertising (ie. a lie) that's been repeated so much that it's become accepted.
I know many software "engineers". They aren't real engineers, they just didn't like being called software programmers or coders.
> Engineers, as practitioners of engineering, are professionals who invent, design, analyze, build, and test machines, systems, structures and materials to fulfill objectives and requirements while considering the limitations imposed by practicality, regulation, safety, and cost
This fits a lot of software development (esp. "systems"). The process of developing software is an engineering process, not a mathematical or design process, so it makes sense to use the term "engineer". However, I wouldn't use the term for all programmers, as not all programming does the full process.
In any case, the term "engineer" is very vague and has broadened significantly over time, whereas terms like lawyer and physician have stayed pretty consistent.
-  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engineer
Quacks like a duck.
I wouldn't be surprised if he uncovered something involving the timing of traffic lights that the state engineers knew about, but never did anything about it since it increased the chance of driver violations ever so slightly, and, therefore, more sources of revenue.
It's not cynical if it's true, you know.
> He was investigated by the Oregon Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying for the “unlicensed practice of engineering,’’ after he sent his traffic light calculations to the state board, and identified himself as an engineer to local media and the “60 Minutes” TV news program, and in discussions with the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying.
Mats Jarlstrom was investigating traffic light policies and was fined $500 by the state for unlicensed engineering.
It's not like he have made calculation of bridge steel welds or something without proper legal papers. He complained over the yellow light timing ...
Suppose he had. Suppose he found a bridge suspicious, did some calculations, and told a newspaper/transport safety agency about it. Should that be illegal, because the state of Oregon didn't give him permission? Is it okay to very literally fine someone for 'unlicensed use of math'?
Thankfully the ruling very strongly implies 'no'. It's important to be precise, or regulation of engineering can become regulation of speech.
Say what you want about the usual insanity of the law in Texas, but they handle lots of these overzealous professional state agencies in a healthy manner by means of the "Texas Sunset Commission": https://www.sunset.texas.gov. Basically, every few years state boards come up for review to see if their existence is worth it.
For example, a few years ago the state veterinary board was excoriated as part of the sunset review process when the board went after a leader in the animal No Kill movement. It's a good periodic check that these boards don't become the little fiefdoms that they so often turn into.
I'm not saying we don't need occupational licensing whatsoever. But there is no reason someone can't learn to drill a cavity in 6 months of training. $400k of dental school debt is not required.
Cosmetology, by contrast, is mostly aesthetic, and the risks that need managed are relatively simple ones, e.g. learning how not to cut or stab someone with scissors or razors, proper use of dying agents to avoid chemical burns, hygienic practices to prevent spread of lice and fungus, and other stuff like that. So long as you don't make those kinds of errors the worst you can do is leave someone looking not great.
And of course dentist itself isn't as high as you can get; these are procedures they won't do that you have to be referred to an oral surgeon for.
Anyway, point is, it's not nearly so simple as to just say that occupational licensing is extremely overdone in dentistry.
However, getting the law changed to allow this has been fought tooth-and-nail, so to speak:
Like all licensed professionals, dentists are part of a cartel ("guild"). Some guilds are better than others for their members and/or consumers.
Partners at big city law firms are obviously very well-compensated. But the glut of lawyers has been something of a story in recent years and employment difficulties/low salaries for graduates of second and third tier schools are the norm.
Neither of these professions are examples of highly constrained supply except to the degree that there are only so many ex-military pilots and Ivy League law review grads.
"Commercial jet pilot" has median salary of 6 figures.
That is not an entry-level pilot position.
Example: crew reacted incorrectly to autopilot problems following pitot tube obstruction by ice on AF 447 and stalled the aircraft, leading to death of all on board. 
My point is that I don’t think there’s a strong correlation between risk to public safety, and remuneration, nor between training and remuneration. There’ll likely be some correlation for both, but you can find huge variations in remuneration across different industries that can’t be explained by those factors.
It occurs to me, though, that vehicle cost might be a factor. How much does a new semi cost? $100,000, maybe? How about a new 737? $80,000,000. Does that influence pay?
If someone has not done a procedure before, I don't trust them regardless of their qualification. If they have done a procedure 100 times, I trust them unless their track record is terrible.
I certainly don't think the government needs to enforce these standards the way they do, occupational licensing is not the answer. Information and voluntary schemes would be a lot cheaper, and probably lead to similar quality.
For a cavity, I could see a DDS diagnosing it and also determining that their Certified Carries Tech can handle it on their own. They pass the work off and move to the next patient.
To keep things safe, require a dentist to be available if the need arises.
And doctors usually work very long hours too, suggesting there is still a shortage even with the immigration. But, I guess this keeps salaries high
What do they call people who drive trains in Ontario?
edit: https://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/e120e.php#66 section J
Oh, and they serve as the engineer's eyes when locomoving in reverse. :-)
Not on any system I've taken in the US. The trains have a special control car on the non-locomotive end of the train, and the engineer switches positions when switching travel directions. There is also the practice of using two or more locomotives, with at least one pair facing opposite directions so the set can be hitched to either side of the train, and dual-cab locomotives that can also be hitched to either side with a forward-facing control deck.
I recall talking to a person years ago when I was between jobs as a [job title].
"What do you do?"
"Oh, I'm a [job title]."
"Oh nice. Where do you [job title] at?"
"I'm not [job title]ing anywhere at the moment."
"Oooooooh, well! Then you're not a [job title]!"
By this logic, you're not a blacksmith if your not pounding out red-hot horseshoes. Or a doctor if, after 20 years in surgery, you've granted yourself a two-year vacation in the Bahamas.
In this POV, though, ex-political leaders, ex-military leaders get to keep their titles. Say what?
Linkletter was right: people are funny.
Although I agree with the sentiment of the article, I do think it would be deceptive for a politician to claim to be an engineer if they hadn’t done any engineering.
“Unlike an “M.D.” or “certified public accountant,” there is no fixed meaning to the title “engineer,” but many different types of engineers, the judge found.”
Haven’t really thought through all the ramifications of this, but it could actually be beneficial for software engineers to have an official accreditation. It could help develop accountability and best engineering practices.
I've waffled on this, and I'd be curious to hear input from others. On the one hand, software engineers are building systems which have incredible reach and impact. It's reasonable to want to ensure these systems are being built by people with some solid body of knowledge and skills.
However, software engineering as a field changes relatively quickly, and we hardly ever reach a consensus about the best way to do anything. It's often somewhat unclear to me whether we're making forward progress at all (because we keep inventing "new" ways to build the same things). And because software is in every kind of system, two very skilled and productive software engineers might actually have very few overlapping tools in their toolbox. Could we ever agree on what should be part of the official accreditation, and how long would it be good for?
Have you ever read books about that? There are multiple layers of awful ideas about software engineering, touted as best practice. It's a cesspit of idiocy. Too many morons are going around trying to say things about engineering practices for it to be possible to make a useful accreditation.
It would also end up being a negative hiring signal, like existing certifications and Master's degrees.
I'm at the point in my career where it won't make a bit of difference, but I would still figure on it being a mild positive if I were going into the hiring process through the front door. Maybe it will refresh my memory on algorithms enough to do well at one of those useless Google interviews :)
Like all things "It Depends (TM)", I wouldn't worry about it. Since the introduction of the bachelor/master system here more people have stopped after getting their bachelor, but the "default" in much of continental Europe for technical degrees (as far as I can tell) is still to finish a master.
All my friends and colleagues with masters and PhDs in CS seem to have 0 issue finding jobs or getting contacted by Google/Facebook/Amazon recruiters. So worrying about it being a negative signal seems like a waste of time.
I'm not sure I'm being sarcastic.
I'm doing a working master's program myself (yay OMSCS!) so I'm not missing out on the drudgery known as the current industry while I'm pursuing academic solutions to non-existent problems...
In the software field, people are expected to develop skills without handholding through school.
This applies mostly to professional software masters than to pure comouter science masters or masters of engineering.
There's also the the xenephobic angle that a USA masters degree is a common way for a foreign national (from a foreign undergraduate school) to get access to the USA job market.
This attitude is changing, especially as more schools get ABET CS programs, but old ways of doing things change slowly.
They have shown themselves repeatably to be neither trustworthy nor competent and thus have negative credibility. Software engineers have a reputation of being like cats - you don't herd them to an official standard, you lure them unofficially to something with 'tuna' and some may prefer chicken anyway.
It would be a great negative signal. I love it.
I agree, but this is an argument for newspapers, magazines, and websites to make, not for the state licensing board. Regulating the speech of politicians campaiging for office undermines the democratic process, as it allows those in power to control the speech of those with less power trying to unseat them.
I think that distinction is important. Here in NZ engineer could mean a trained engineer with a 4 year degree or it could mean a fabricator / fitter turner trained via an apprenticeship.
You also have people like my self. I hold an engineering degree but I have not pursued membership in my nation engineering body. So I'm not a “registered professional engineer” as there is no local support for this in the software field I went into. I'd never call my self a registered engineer but I may consider using the term to describe my qualifications.
Glad to see that the English language is being defended and not being used for what is clearly state sanctioned bullying.
Maybe I should start using the term engineer...