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Re^2: What do you call yourself?

by thraxil (Prior)
on Jun 04, 2004 at 19:20 UTC ( #361162=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: What do you call yourself?
in thread What do you call yourself?

Sam, as someone with an engineering degree, I thank you.

i find the tendency to stick 'engineer' into every job title somewhat offensive. graduating with an 'engineering' degree from an accredited program means jumping through additional hoops and working as a professional engineer should mean being held to higher professional and ethical standards. in most engineering fields, like civil engineering, to have 'engineer' in your title, you have to be licensed by the state you're working in, which involves working a certain number of years under a licensed engineer and passing some very intensive tests (including a required ethics test). This is because, in many fields, lives can depend on engineers; if a civil engineer signs off on a bridge design and the bridge collapses, they will lose their license and possibly face legal consequences. In canada at least, having 'engineer' in your title without being licensed (with the exception of a couple fields like train engineers, who have an historical precedent), is illegal. it may be in the US as well, but the canadians actually enforce it.

i have an engineering degree, but my job title is only 'Programmer Analyst', and that's perfectly fine, because i'm not held up to the same standards that a real professional engineer would be. if i were writing the software that controlled life support systems on a space station or something, i would certainly expect it to be different.

so anyway, whenever i meet someone who calls themselves a 'user experience engineer', or 'information engineer', or something stupid like that, i have to choke back the desire to rant.


Comment on Re^2: What do you call yourself?
Re^3: What do you call yourself?
by arden (Curate) on Jun 04, 2004 at 19:49 UTC
    thraxil, I've noticed the same tendancy. I myself went to the University of Iowa, College of Engineering, for Electrical Engineering. When I hear people referring to the MCSEs as qualifying them for the title of Engineer I want to slap them! Of all the wicked things The Evil Empire has done to this world, that is one of the worst! When the US Army (who I worked for at the time even though I'm US Air Force) gave me and the others in my office the title of Information Systems Engineer, I wasted about fifteen minutes of breath attempting to explain to the Major why that wasn't right. After all, I was the only one with the degree and I've never done the apprenticeship. In the end, as most things military do, as the junior ranking person I lost the battle.

    There are laws in the United States like the one you speak of in Canada, but it is unfortunately not enforced unless you are claiming a specific ABET title (like Civil Engineer or Electrical Engineer) that you haven't earned.

    - - arden.

      I'm a grad of NC State. There, Computer Science is currently in the Engineering department, and we have the same Calculus, Physics, Chemistry, etc, requirements as the electrical engineers and materials science folks and nuclear engineers.

      Like heck I'm an engineer -- because I've been through the same boot camp.

      But my work is seriously screwed up, I can scarely call what I do there engineering. I despise the "Software Engineer" title, since assembling prebuilt components and reading lame RFQ's is not high quality design. Some places, I'm sure it's engineering, but most places it's peacemeal. Good programming (and software development) to me, is a mixture of art, strong strategic planning (and problem solving), and mathematics.

      I call my self a Software Developer, though I really want to claim I'm a "Computer Scientist" my job still sucks too much and I don't get to play in the theoretical areas that I love. Maybe someday.

      Actually, I think I want to be a moose photographer. Seriously.

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