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Comment Re:Definition (Score 1) 568

Interesting. I had not heard of this before. I wonder if the PE is recognized by the national bodies yet? Definitely something to look into, but I know the legal definition hasn't changed yet (my title at work is software engineer to customers and I do work with public/government entities so it would matter).

Comment Re:Definition (Score 1) 568

Actually even private entities it can apply to if there is contract stipulations properly written into the agreement (which actually happens a lot). US is the same way as Canada, engineering legality is all about public, but it applies to advertising and such as well (go try to register a company that touts engineering and see how fast the regulatory boards get the state up your ass if you have no licensing for the work). There is legal recourse, its just like how accountants are governed by a non-profit board and there is legal recourse if someone does work that is not signed off on by a CPA.

Most people have no clue unless they have gotten involved in some type of engineering work or a company. Now I will give you a lot of people do use the term and get away with it, but if the state found out they can get into some serious shit for it.

Comment Re:Definition (Score 4, Informative) 568

Not entirely true. When I took Engineering Ethics in college we went over this and the legal definition (in the US and Canada at least) is actually either a person who holds a P.E. in their respective discipline or someone working under the guide of a person holding a P.E (guide can mean they just review your work, we have to do this all the time at my company since P.E.s are not valid in a state unless issued by that state's P.E. authority). Software engineering is the only legal exception. Since no software P.E. actually exists a person can legally call themselves a software engineer if they hold a mild amount of experience (which is legally fuzzy) and there is no recourse if they screw something up. You can read all about it on the National Society of Professional Engineers website www.nspe.org/

All that said, many (including myself) have argued for years software engineers should have a P.E. simply because it holds the people that wrote the code much more accountable for their actions. This way you can't leave a glaring security bug in the code that you knew about but just didn't want to fix and get away without any consequence for it. Texas, Florida and the Canadian boards have all actually supported this, but without the support from the broader group across North America it won't take any time soon. The standards probably would not be any where near as rigorous as other disciplines just because it is too difficult to check/prove/test software like other fields, but a baseline standard would help tremendously.

So no the dictionary definition may not indicate that, but the legal definitions do.

Comment Re:Something something question in headline equals (Score 3, Insightful) 568

Yea agreed, working in the airline industry for my career there is definitely a huge difference in systems that my company has to deliver and systems the average tech company pushes out. We spend more time developing the specifications, test plans, and running through them than I've ever heard from other people working in other software fields. Not only that, but when anything we have even has a hiccup (and a lot of times not our fault) our support group is immediately engaged and sometimes spends hours on the phone helping them limp along and fix the issue (the systems we deliver are not allowed to have downtime, most of them have to run for a decade with maybe a couple of hours a night to do cleanup/maintenance). When working with physical equipment and having to maintain extreme high availability/fault tolerance it qualifies as engineering in my opinion.

That all said, I actually feel like there should be engineering oversight and regulations for software because allowing it to be the wild west and letting morons sling code out like crazy is exactly why we have all these security issues and such. I've argued for years that no matter how hard it is there should be some basic standards developed for software in general, but people either don't want it because it makes development more costly or they just dismiss it as impossible. I will conceit that it would be very difficult to develop standards equivalent to that of electrical or structural engineering, but it is definitely possible to at least create some to eliminate the morons that don't even know how to organize their code from spewing bug riddled messes out...

Comment Re:no profit in patches (Score 1) 17

Or when you get it install DD-WRT, Tomato, etc. and use the very nice hardware they packaged for you but not the terrible and feature deprived firmware... Seriously, no reason a router should no be able to support things like standard VPN access and yet none of the companies build this into half their high end routers... I like netgear, but their firmware blows ass...

Comment Re:I'm with Jeff Atwood on this (Score 1) 217

My high school offered it as an elective and my brother convinced me to take it my sophomore year (I was already interested in engineering, just wasn't sure what field). Out of the entire nearly 2000 students there was ONE class (both CS 1 and CS 2 combined) with less than 50 people taking it over the course of 3 years. There were about 8 of us that were actually any good, out of them I believe 3 (including myself) turned it into a career. The rest pretty much cheated off us or we had to help them through the assignments and tests. Our teacher was very aware of this and didn't have much choice but to curve things and ignore the cheating otherwise most of the class would have bombed out.

My senior year I had completed the 2 allowed years of the class, but I was still on the programming team for the school so I was somewhat involved with the new class that year. We had a large group of AP students that realized they could take the elective to improve their GPA (since AP classes were weighted higher), so they did. I had 90% of the class coming to me for help and most of them even by the end of the year straight up said they have no idea how I even understood most of the class, much less excelled. The first two weeks consisted of alternative number bases and how to do math in them, their minds were collectively blown (admittedly mine was when I first learned about binary too) and they had serious problems getting a handle on that within the first semester. These were people in the top 10% of my graduating class at a NATIONALLY RANKED public high school (several of them were in the top 20). They were not idiots by any stretch, but even they had problems just comprehending the subject...

Comment Re: In three years ... (Score 1) 217

Pretty spot on. I keep hearing this parroted over and over again and it seems to gain steam more from people that don't understand the engineering involved in proper programming. The best example I have heard is cars are ubiquitous in our society but does that mean everyone needs to learn how to work on them? I can drive a car, extremely well even, without having hardly any clue how it actually operates. Even if we teach "baseline" programming skills, so? What is the end game?

I didn't learn enough in high school to do much beyond create a few small scale applications, games, and scripts that were not of much use to anyone but me (and even then, they weren't major improvements). After college, different story but I majored in CS and now work as a full time software engineer. Even people getting into the field at entry level have issues making a proper application from the ground up. You want to see bug riddled applications that are security nightmares and totally unmaintainable? Let someone who has the high school level of education try to write a basic application and that is what you will get. Hell I remember going to UIL competitions and hearing people from other schools who had 2 years in a CS program start asking 'Alright, now what are these class things again?'

This 'programming should be a basic skill' crap needs to stop. Half of it boils down to companies hoping to flood the market with cheap labor to drive software developers wages down, but it won't happen. They want top skill for bottom dollar. Instead we will end up with a mess of people that know just enough to be dangerous and fuck things up repeatedly because they were 'taught this as a basic skill!'

Some people are much better at it than others, doesn't make a software developer any smarter or more intelligent than those that are not good at it, it is just a different skillset. Other engineering disciplines are equally as intelligent as I am, but I have electrical engineers in my office that fucking program PLCs still not able to grasp everything that my software does... Hell even opposite end of the spectrum with people doing liberal arts work, I've known English majors that I would consider down right brilliant, but they didn't know a damn thing about programming and some said they couldn't learn if they tried...

Bottom line, dumbass talking heads and politicians need to shut up about things they don't understand. And the ass holes at tech companies that keep spouting this needs to be taught to everyone are mostly just greedy. Not saying all though, some programs are actually geared toward giving opportunity to those that wouldn't even have it, but they are not trying to shove it down the populations throat.

Comment Wired or $$$ (Score 1) 158

Most of the solutions for this sort of thing I have done involve wired HDMI extenders over Cat6 and a wireless USB mouse/keyboard. There are "wireless" solutions but all of them are way overpriced for residential use and many are limited in application because they HOG bandwidth. Technically you can do it, but it won't be very responsive without using ac wifi. I personally ran my own extender to do this at my house, was actually really easy to do with some fish tape/firebreak drill bits. That is what I would recommend and just make it modular so you can use the outlet jacks for whatever (I actually set mine up to have keystones in the wall and at the top of the attic boards where they come out so you can move the actual cable between wall jack without splicing and re-terminating constantly).

Comment Re:Just GBE everywhere! (Score 1) 557

Standard Cat6 is not that much more expensive than Cat5e and has the extra headroom for go up to 10 gbps later on (I'm thinking like 30+ years ahead type of thing). While Cat6A or 'Cat7' would be literally triple the cost for the same amount (I'm not kidding at all I was able to get 1000 feet for about $150 and my buddy who gets pricing through AT&T gets Cat6A at $450 for 1000 feet). Your standard household probably doesn't have a need for over 1, but considering MY network is actually being designed for in home media streaming, VPNing and a development network on the side etc., yes I actually can utilize 10 in the future if it becomes standard.

That said, its hard to predict what the future may hold even for a standard consumer need in a standard household, and for a minimal cost increase on Cat6, I would just go ahead and use it. The installation isn't that difficult (punch down and crimp on Cat6 certified RJ45 plugs and connectors is really quick, no different than Cat5e to Cat5e connectors) and you are covered in case a need does arise later. Achieving the proper distance for full speeds isn't really that hard either, very few homes are going to have 150 to 200+ feet runs where you would actually lose speed if conditions are not right. Even in my long ass house I only have one run that goes over 150, and its only by 15 feet.

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