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   Re: [xml-dev] [offtopic] The Airplane Example (was Re: [xml-dev]Streamin

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On Fri, 31 Dec 2004, Alan Gutierrez wrote:


>    3) Programming is part of the HCI. It will continue to be part
>        of the HCI. So, long as it is part of the HCI, so long as
>        there is Flash, for example, everyone is a programmer.
>        This is as it is.
>        Is not Techo a form of computer programming? Must I go
>        through your eight-year certification track to screw around
>        with Garage Band?
>    What you're positing, an end-of-centry world where computers
>    have evolved to a where they are the domain of shamen, sounds
>    like the old "I think there is a world market for about five
>    computers" remark, dubiously attributed to Thomas J. Watson.

I am bemused by this entire thread. It has almost nothing to do with what 
I wrote.

What I said:

    By the end of this century, I will be amazed if you will still be able
    to call yourself a 'software engineer/progammer' without a legally
    mandated certification, license and professional standards.

Notice I didn't say that you would not be able to program or write 
software without a license. I said you would not be able to call yourself 
a software engineer without one. That is a subtle but important 

Right now, you can personally do a number of jobs that professionally 
licensed engineers can do. And, with the exception of jobs _requiring_ a 
licensed engineer, no one will stop you. Unless you put on your letterhead 
the word 'Engineer'. That is a legally protected title that identifies the 
person as a _licensed_ engineer with knowledge, skills, experience and 
legal responsibilities specified by law.

Software engineering has no equivalent right now. What I said is that, by 
the end of the century, it most likely would.

Could I be completely wrong? Yes. The entire profession may become 
obsolete, although I doubt it. The requirement for obsoletion would be the 
replacement of programmers by supra-human artificial intelligences. And if 
that happens, all bets are off for far more professions than computer 
programming. Barring that event, the need to translate human requirements 
to computer instructions (however represented symbolically) is unlikely to 

But assuming the the entire profession doesn't become non-existent, I see 
little doubt that licensing and legal requirements for the specific title 
of software engineer (or some similar title) will happen.

Benjamin Franz

"All right, where is the answer? The battle of wits has begun.
It ends when you click and we both serve pages - and find out who is right,
and who is slashdotted." - David Brandt


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