Though I agree with the opening lines of Ivar Jacobson's and Ed Seidewitz's article "A New Software Engineering" (Dec. 2014) outlining the "promise of rigorous, disciplined, professional practices," we must also look at "craft" in software engineering if we hope to raise the profession to the status of, say, electrical or chemical engineering. My 34 years as a design engineer at a power utility, IT consultant, and software engineer shows me there is indeed a role for the software engineer in IT. Consider that electricity developed first as a science, then as electrical engineering when designing solutions. Likewise, early electrical lab technicians evolved into today's electrical fitters and licensed engineers.
The notion of software engineer has existed for less than 30 years and is still evolving from science to craft to engineering discipline. In my father's day (50 years ago) it was considered a professional necessity for all engineering students to spend time "on the tools," so they would gain an appreciation of practical limitations when designing solutions. Moving from craft to engineering science is likewise important for establishing software engineering as a professional discipline in its own right.
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