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Software engineering vs real engineering

     
5:08 pm on Dec 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Recently I was looking for a job as a web developer, and in many job descriptions I could see the job title "software engineer".
I reflected upon the meaning of this job title....Is there anyone who honestly believes that a job that requires no knowledge in math and physics can be called engineering? that someone without college education, as often happens with web developers, can be called engineer? Or maybe, just maybe, it's nothing but a fancy title?
5:19 pm on Dec 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'm always intrigued by the job title 'software engineer'. A quick google showed the definition of engineer as 'a person who designs, builds, or maintains engines, machines, or structures'. I guess a piece of software can be called a structure so technically a 'computer programmer' (which is what I call myself) is also a software engineer.

However I've always thought that when a job ad says 'software engineer' they mean they are looking for someone slightly different than a 'software developer', not sure in what way though. After that I usually skip to the programming language requirements to see whether the job is a fit for me or not.

But yeah, possibly just a fancy way of saying 'computer programmer', 'IT developer', etc

Can I ask what makes you think being a web developer requires no knowledge of maths?
5:23 pm on Dec 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Because calculating the padding + margin of a div isn't really math. Any child can do it.
5:43 pm on Dec 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Software engineer is a bit of strong term for a programmer, imho. I would have thought that a true software engineer is the one that devised the code, whereas a programmer, or developer is the one that uses the code to develop applications and programs.
4:59 pm on Dec 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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In the field of electronics, for some reason I never came across the term "electronics developer", only "electronics engineer". Why is that I wonder...
5:15 pm on Dec 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I think "software re-engineer(er)" might be applicable in some cases.
8:07 pm on Dec 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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joined:Oct 2, 2003
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Hi there Mister_L,

you really should not concern yourself with the meaning of "engineer".

Languages and individual words are not and never have been static.

Until very recently, the word "gay" used to mean someone who was
happy or light-hearted, but now...

  1. [poynter.org ]
  2. [ideas.ted.com ]
  3. [buzzfeed.com ]



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