Why not just fire all engineers?

  • Why not just fire them all and hire new ones? Clearly they all suck?? Serious question.

  • I think you mean programmers, developers, code writers - not engineers.

  • @LemuelB2 not sure what you mean. Are you saying that they are coders but not software engineers because their work lacks any kind of engineering? If so, I agree.

  • I am a mechanical engineer. There are also electrical engineers, civil engineers, architectural engineers, and even chemical engineers - all of whom use principles of physics, electricity and chemistry in their work. These are engineers.

    Unless you are coding a game or simulation involving the effects of gravity, collision, inertia, reflection, refraction, etc. - you aren't engineering anything. Catan definitely doesn't come into the "engineering" category.

    I certainly would not consider the developers, programmers, coders of Catan as engineers of any kind. It is like calling a garbage man a "sanitation engineer" - it's insulting to real engineers. One exception is a train conductor - they are engineers because they are responsible for running a locomotive engine. ;-)

  • @LemuelB2 Then why are they called software engineers? It's because they use scientific principles to design complex systems that are required to be optimized and reliable. I've never seen a definition of engineering that said you have to use principles of physics, chemistry and electricity specifically, or that the objects being planned and manipulated have to be bridges or buildings and not software.

  • @ramseszerg Check out any dictionary definition of the word engineer. You will note that the primary definition has nothing to do with software. Also, college courses in engineering (EGR classes) aren't about developing software. Engineers and engineering existed prior to the existence of computers and software. The application of the terms "engineer" and "engineering" to areas outside the application of physical sciences are derivative of the original and primary meaning of the words.

    When you start a topic with the question "Why not just fire all the engineers?" you are painting with too broad a brush. Software developers, programmers, coders, etc. are much closer descriptive terms for the group you are unhappy with. :-D

    And I do agree with the intended sentiment - they absolutely should get better software "engineers". :thumbsup: :grinning:

  • @LemuelB2 Dictionary definitions evolve with usage of language. We are discussing linguistics (I don't know why) more than engineering and exhibit A, you knew exactly what I meant. Exhibit B, millions of people refer to software engineers as software engineers. And many people shorten "software engineer" to "engineer". If language gets used in a certain way, then that is the correct usage. Also, just because it was added later as a discipline does not mean it's not a discipline. By that logic if occupational medicine was recognized as a specialty later than internal medicine, for example, would it mean that occupational medicine is not a branch of medicine? I agree though that technically, what I should have said is they should fire their software engineers and/or coders, since they are not the same thing, but I didn't know that a mechanical engineer would take issue even though, again, they knew what I meant.

  • I know it's just semantics and I am being overly sensitive. It probably has something to do with me being an old fart who started in the engineering field a little bit before computers and software were widely available. When I started, if a company had computers they were main-frames and the users input information on punch cards or at a terminal. It probably also has something to do with the title "engineer" being used in more and more fields (like sanitation engineer) so that it doesn't have quite the same prestige it once did.

    My wife is about the same vintage as me. She started her career in computer science as a "programmer" and she currently works in the IT field, so it isn't that I don't have any respect for software engineers - they need to know plenty of math, speak a lot of languages and understand system architecture. I just didn't like being lumped in with the Catan Universe developers - whose software certainly isn't "optimized and reliable." ;-) Calling them "engineers" just doesn't seem right to me, especially when the person who is credited with coining the term "software engineer" (Margaret Hamilton) said, - “I fought to bring the software legitimacy so that it—and those building it—would be given its due respect" :thumbsup: :smiley:

  • @LemuelB2 I agree. I'm sure you're a great mechanical engineer, and the people who made Catan don't deserve to be mentioned in the same breath. I change my original wording from "engineer" to "the people who tried to hack together the code for Catan"

  • @LemuelB2 system “architecture” don’t you know what an architect is? 🤣

  • @AllenInSLC Yeah, an architect is an engineer who designs buildings. :wink:

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