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Yeah, I wasn't entirely clear on that bit :) There absolutely is plenty of room for a word more specific than "problem-solver". But our choice of words matters — words carry nuance.

In some ways I'd consider "software engineer" as equivalent to "novelist" or "journalist" where "programmer" maps to "writer" and "coder" corresponds to "typist". Software engineer, novelist, journalist all encapsulate a lot of responsibilities, where writer and programmer both talk just about primary means of achieving the job, and coder/typist bring it down to the mechanical skills you require to get the job done.




I actually go the opposite route; I hate calling myself an engineer, because that word actually carries weight due to older, more established professions. The tech/software industry wants the prestige of that title without the work and effort that goes into it.

We are not engineers. We have no standardized certification process or tests. We have no (or very little) accountability. We have no codes of ethics. We may or may not be following proper, accepted development workflows. We may not even know what industry standard processes are.

I am a software developer because I solve problems primarily via software. This can and does include many different responsibilities and skillsets, but at the end of the day I primarily architect and write code.

It's up to you to educate the layperson as to what a software developer actually does. Although I'm not a writer, I understand that a "writer" doesn't literally only write. People can understand better than you're giving them credit for, I think.


I think of myself as an "engineer", but more in the "keep the steam engine from exploding" sense.


it's fair to say that if you don't like it, then don't speak about it

that's your definition of engineering, or whatever officials that define it

more so, who cares about your skills other than your employer? And your employer cares about your skills, why should he care about your title?

even if other programmers who like to address themselves as software engineers, is it up to you to decide whether they can be hired?

It's just a title for god's sake


> it's fair to say that if you don't like it, then don't speak about it

I would like to see the status quo changed, which is why I do discuss it. Of course it's fair that I hold an opinion and discuss it. There is no obligation for you to respond if you disagree :-)

> that's your definition of engineering, or whatever officials that define it

It's not my sole opinion:

> As with many other professions, the professional status and the actual practice of professional engineering is legally defined and protected by law in some jurisdictions. [3]

It's understood that if someone holds the title 'Engineer', they went through a certification process from a regulated body, traditionally. You can see this for example in countries and per state. [0] [1] [2]

> In Canada the designation "professional engineer" can only be used by licensed engineers and the practice of engineering is protected in law and strictly enforced in all provinces. [3]

In Canada (and I believe some states), it is illegal to sign off an email or other correspondence as a "Professional Engineer" if you're not actually licensed as such. [4]

---

> is it up to you to decide whether they can be hired?

When did I mention hiring? All I said was the term 'engineer' is loosely used in the software industry, and it has absolutely no standard around it.

> employer [...] why should he care about your title?

I wasn't talking about my employer at all. I only referenced skills because I was responding to a portion of the parent comment.

> It's just a title for god's sake

It isn't. How we frame something is very important in my opinion–just as important as the concept itself. [5] If it's "just a title", then people should have no problem calling themselves programmers or developers. However one can see that we call ourselves "engineers" because it sounds prestigious, despite the software industry being a total joke when it comes to standardization or even following basic modern practices consistently.

[0]: https://engineerscanada.ca/accreditation/about-accreditation

[1]: https://ncees.org/engineering/

[2]: https://www.ncbels.org/

[3]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulation_and_licensure_in_en...

[4]: http://www.occupationalhealthandsafetylaw.com/ontario-man-fi...

[5]: Consider for a moment the term "Global Warming" versus "Global Pollution Epidemic". I strongly believe if we had gone with the latter instead of the former, there would not have been pushback to the scale that we've seen. It certainly would have avoided the confusion of "oh, but this winter is so cold, global warming must be a hoax"! It also shifts the focus from an effect of pollution, to the pollution itself. This example is quite different than the software engineer/developer example, but I think it illustrates my point that how things are framed is very important.

We are not software engineers, and we won't be until regulatory bodies exist, and we develop codes of ethics.


> We are not software engineers, and we won't be until regulatory bodies exist, and we develop codes of ethics.

Nobody said that you are software engineer, you can just call yourself whatever you want

Those who called themselves software engineers are indeed software engineers, no one can forbids it

Fancy term like engineer is for marketing purposes, just like you said it's prestigious, they use it because they want to impress people, anything wrong with that? No, it's correct.

And it's also correct if anyone think they don't fit the title engineer, because it's his/her opinion which the software engineers won't likely give a fuck.

No one can stop them from using the term.

As for the Canada's law, the earth is bigger than that AFAIK. China and US software engineers are waiting for arrest. Except for Texas FYI

Standardization/basic practices mean shits by the way, it's research and development phases during engineering, people can invent what they want in their own ways as long as their products are legit

From Wikipedia:

> Engineers, as practitioners of engineering, are people who invent, design, analyse, build, and test machines, systems, structures and materials to fulfill objectives and requirements while considering the limitations imposed by practicality, regulation, safety, and cost.

Wikipedia can be sue at anytime, as you like


> It's understood that if someone holds the title 'Engineer', they went through a certification process from a regulated body, traditionally. You can see this for example in countries and per state. [0] [1] [2]

I think you're misinterpreting the intention of the title of "Professional Engineer". As far as I can tell, it's for accountability for public projects (buildings, power, etc.). It's not strictly limiting what job titles can have the word "engineer" in it.

Most engineers in the aerospace industry don't even take the FE exam. Would you refuse to call most aerospace engineers "engineers" then?


I’ve posted it before. But it gets confusing on the global stage. Software Engineer is a protected title in some countries. In mine it means studied a great amount of advanced math in college, almost nothing else. We usually prefix it with a word that tells if we studied 3 or 5 years. SE in US seems to mean just Software Developer I guess?


In Ontario, Canada you can call yourself a Software Engineer. It's prefixing that title with, Professional that will get you in trouble if you're not licensed with the Professional Engineers of Ontario under the Professional Engineers Act.

Requirements are pretty high: http://www.peo.on.ca/index.php/ci_id/2057/la_id/1.htm

But I suppose industry/capitalism loves the fact that we don't require licensing in order to produce software even if use of said software should be safeguarding health, property, economic interests, etc.


In Quebec, Canada Software Engineer is a protected title and you must be registered with the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec (http://oiq.qc.ca)




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