Software Engineering

Jesse Stay jessestay at gmail.com
Sat Sep 9 23:13:51 MDT 2006


On 9/9/06, Levi Pearson <levi at cold.org> wrote:
> I read through that when you last pointed it out.  You probably
> noticed, but the IT-related section was very Canada-specific.
> Apparently you can get in trouble calling yourself a software
> engineer in Canada.  In the US, however, everyone realizes that a
> 'Software Engineer' is not the same thing as a 'Professional
> Engineer' and we all just deal with it without making too much of a
> fuss, except sometimes when it comes to naming degree programs at
> colleges.

I agree - I think it is very Canada Specific, and refers to a
"Professional Engineer".  I am unsure of what is meant as to whether
Software Engineers meet the same standards as a "Professional
Engineer".  I think several Engineering fields wouldn't meet the
qualifications based on that page, yet they are still considered
Engineers by many businesses.  I got the following from my old College
TextBook, "Software Engineering", by Ian Sommerville (6th Edition):

http://www.acm.org/serving/se/code.htm

Also from the book, page 14:

"Software Engineering is obviously bounded by local, national and
international laws.  Software engineers must behave in an ethical and
morally responsible way if they are to be respected as professionals".

Regarding certification, the ACM produced one in the 1980s but
discontinued it due to lack of interest.  The IEEE has one as well,
but only about 500 individuals have passed it (also from wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_engineering#Certification).
Looks like Canada even regulates the use of the title (as with
"Professional Engineer" as in your article) with a certification, so,
yes, by that definition, Software Engineers are "Professional
Engineers".

I am unaware one way or the other whether other Engineers even need
certification in the US to be considered accepted as so.  I think in
the end, as with Software Engineers, it's up to the businesses hiring
the individuals to do their research in the schooling of the
individual, any certifications, if necessary, as to whether they
consider them as "Software Engineers".

Does that answer your question?

Jesse

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