Are Developers Programmers or Engineers?

After a couple of years in this Web game, I’ve noticed that there is often a widespread misconception amongst Developers that they are, in fact, Engineers.

Think about this for a second, if you will. An engineer is often formally trained, state licensed, and well-schooled in the fundementals of their particular discipline.

When developing customer portal software you don’t just need to think about the software itself but how customers will interact with it, or not so if they don’t like the design.

This means that Engineers have the necessary knowledge of physics, electricity, and other concepts necessary to solve problems in a broadly-defined manner.

Contrast that with a programmer- Web or otherwise. Many have minimal formal training, aren’t subject to mandated certification, and probably have little to no knowledge of the low-level concepts required to be an engineer.

“The act of constructing software is, in fact, not an engineering process,”
Cooper said. “Engineering to me is problem-solving, which is very different
from solution implementations, which is what programmers [do].” Title
inflation is endemic to the industry, he said. “Web designers are called
programmers, programmers are called engineers, and engineers are called
architects, and architects don’t seem to ever get called,” Cooper

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Just becasue someone can cut an appendix out with a steak knife does not make them a surgeon.

I have always taken exception to non-degreed programmers calling themselves ‘architects’ or ‘engineers’. It’s pure fallacy, driven by ego.