Sunday, August 19, 2012

Around the world, over the years...

I would like to make it clear that my intentions are to advocate software engineering through this blog. Having worked for about 3 years under the title of 'Software Engineer', I realized that it is a little more than just programming. However what I did was mostly programming. On the other hand, I have been working since 5 months using the title "Web Programmer" while most of what I was doing should be considered software engineering. I have been involved in planning, requirements elicitation, process engineering, architecture, data migration, database design, user interface design, and also programming (in a language I had very little prior experience in: remember learnability!). I smirk at the irony.

Around the world, over the years...

It has been over two months since my last update. Yeah, I know that I say that every time I post something new. This time, I decided that I would rest it out and see what other bloggers have to say about software engineering. (I despise using the word 'blogosphere', a quick xkcd comic for that: http://xkcd.com/428/)

To begin, I read a blog post by Matthew W. Johnson titled "Engineering Icons, not Programming": http://imagine.kicbak.com/blog/?p=193 . I found that he made the same points as I made when I started this blog. Matthew begins to compare software engineering to civil engineering and brings in a bridge analogy. This made me question that who would make a better software engineer: A computer scientist or an engineer in another field? Understanding the facts that a regular engineer will be familiar with the general concepts of engineering and would apply them to his or her field while a computer scientist will be an expert in understanding computers and software programs. In fact, I have met a few people with no formal programming background become better software engineers than those who do. This might be a question for debate.

Another article which I found interesting was by Steve McConnell (author of various textbooks on software development and its aspects) written way back in 2004. http://www.stevemcconnell.com/psd/04-senotcs.htm . This was particularly interesting to me because McConnell would ask candidates questions related to software engineering during recruitment. He further goes on to explain how software engineering should evolve out of just plain development. To add to that, there are other project objectives that should be met. 

I would like to find counter arguments to software engineering which may bring about a healthy discussion. However, till then, I will try to update about more of the nuances of software engineering.

Cheers!