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Re: (tye)Re: Why, not How

by royalanjr (Chaplain)
on Dec 14, 2000 at 02:34 UTC ( #46491=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to (tye)Re: Why, not How
in thread Why, not How

I will agree that there is a lot of software out there with all kinds of things wrong. But I do not think that you should need a license to be a paid programmer.

Say I got hired as a Perl programmer tomorrow.
I would be unemployed in two weeks, tops.


I simply am not that good yet.
That would become obvious, and I would be (hopefully politely) asked to leave.

If management has their eyes open, and cares, then only programmers that knew what they were doing would be hired. But as we all know, management is often blind and/or doesn't care.

Roy Alan

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Re: Re: (tye)Re: Why, not How
by Albannach (Prior) on Dec 14, 2000 at 03:34 UTC

    Should you need a licence to design a freeway bridge? An aeroplane? A skyscraper? A real-time train switching control system? Pacemaker firmware? Insulin pump?

    I am a licenced professional engineer (yea, whoop dee doo, but I have had some experience with this) and everywhere I've worked in my field (i.e. not software!) there have been many unlicenced staff working under the supervision of a licenced engineer. Most of the time this is required by law, but sometimes it is simply required by the client, who wants some assurance of quality (and no, ISO 9000 ain't gonna give you a better bridge).

    Granted, the safety argument is a no-brainer, so let's just consider costs. A poorly designed road may be safe enough, but it might not last very long, meaning higher maintenance costs and capital replacement costs, both of which can be estimated fairly accurately. What does a bug in a banking system cost? An inventory control system? Is it because these are harder to quantify (that is if anyone wants them quantified which I doubt) that few seem to care?

    Like it or not, I think software will become regulated as a profession sooner rather than later, and it's up to all you who think of yourself as software professionals to see to it that standards are set, met and kept. Just as a clarification, licencing doesn't have to mean Big Brother, as most professions are self-regulated under powers granted by the government, but not controlled by government. Sure it takes away the sort of microchip cowboy image that many enjoy, but that can be reserved for your time off. When society is paying the tab, it eventually learns to get what it wants.


    I'd like to be able to assign to an luser

(tye)Re2: Why, not How
by tye (Sage) on Dec 14, 2000 at 02:51 UTC

    But I do not think that you should need a license to be a paid programmer.

    Neither do I. I think that most companies need to be required to hire at least one licensed programmer. Most of the programmers will continue to be unlicensed and continue to be paid but will be supervised by licensed programmers.

    Of course, there are no licensed programmers yet so even that can't happen overnight. I'd just like to see things get started in that direction because I'm sick of fixing other companies' code.

            - tye (but my friends call me "Tye")
      One problem (that the original article points out) is that the term Software is very vague. Consider the following things: Web programming, database work, embedded systems, device drivers, consumer applications, video games, expert systems - one could easily go on. It's clear that these are very different skills, all lumped together.

      The requirements for responsible code are very different for Yahoo Shopping and Ultima Online and Word 2020. I might have to live with periodic bugs and outages in my free online Fantasy Baseball team, but not in my pacemaker. How do you even begin to come up with licensing programs that deal with the diversity of the software world?

      What about the open source world? Lots of projects have no central authority, and no real place for a 'licensed programmer'. Not to mention being hideously international. How could you begin to enforce any of this?

      And practically, it'd throw a monkey wrench into the economy of small companies. Many commercial projects are just two or three people. Licensed Programmers may make sense for big companies, but for startups, they could drive up costs and create artificial barriers to entry. It's hard enough getting a software company off the ground as is.

      There may be virtues to having the concept of a programming license, but the practical realities are very difficult to solve, and I think that it's far from inevitable. Companies don't want it, programmers don't want it, and consumers don't want it - at least, not in large numbers yet.

      -- Kirby

      Tuxtops: Laptops with Linux!

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[Discipulus]: from txt to array, from array to polemic, from polemic to flame?
[Corion]: Discipulus++ # profound insight
[Corion]: :-D
[Discipulus]: the very same topic was discussed in CB yesterday at lunch time
[Discipulus]: or can I ask for a module to do the back conversion from flame to txt?

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