DEV Community

loading...

Discussion on: What does it mean to be a Software Engineer?

Collapse
sak_to profile image
Stephen Kawaguchi

Check out a book by Pete McBreen called Software Craftsmanship: The New Imperative. It does a wonderful job exploring this issue along the lines of what Tariq was alluding to. It was written more than 15 years ago but still absolutely applies. I think that's where you'll find out some surprising things about software engineering that ring true - at least to me as a (mostly) self-taught programmer, and about how science, engineering, and art intersect in the activity we call programming. If you're looking at this from the perspective of how this affects your workflow, there's also a great talk by Martin Fowler and Neil Ford of ThoughtWorks that further explores the effect Frederick Taylor's theories on scientific management have had on us. It's an Agile talk, but it's intertwined. There's also the pretty famous Mythical Man-Month by Frederick Brooks that explored this over 40 years ago. I'm sure there's much much more, but those are the most enlightening resources I think of off the top of my head.

It's a great question. Thanks for raising it!

Collapse
oneearedmusic profile image
Erika Wiedemann Author

Thanks for all the resources! 'Software Craftsmanship' seems most interesting - I don't think I've read an argument (yet) about how software engineering isn't enough. I've heard plenty about how it's overkill or not true engineering.

Collapse
sak_to profile image
Stephen Kawaguchi

Yeah, software engineering is not true engineering as far as I understand it. Computers are still too young and so you can't create truly defined processes out of it. But that doesn't mean it's not valuable.

Read the book. It's under 200 pages so it's a quick read. It'll start to answer your question better than I can in the time I've got.