Will Ed need a license to code?

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I don't know why but I started laughing hysterically after reading this one. Kind of like that old saying. A day late and a dollar short. BFD (Big Fat Deal) or whatever. . .


From Sanger's review


(Colin Barker, VNU Newswire/Computing)


"While the Gartner Group is downgrading the risk from Year 2000, it still believes there will be enough failures to prompt the U.S. to introduce laws to regulate application development." In other words, according to Gartner analyst Paolo Magrassi, there's a 70% chance that some sort of law will be introduced that licenses people to write some kinds of code. (As though such a law would have prevented Y2K.) "Part of the reason for this will be the predominance of 'amateur' programmers over the next three years."

-- Anna McKay Ginn (annaginn@aol.com), November 12, 1998


Texas is requiring - or has proposed requiring such a license. I'm not sure if it passed but think it did. Since they don't have a test yet, they will accept 16 years experience as a programmer in lieu of the test. Lessee - 1982 - no IBM PC - no Microsoft - not even MS- DOS. CP/M was king of the desktop, 64kb of ram was good, 1 floppy was standard but the rich had 5mb Winchester drives. On the mainframe side - UNIX was strictly a mini computer OS, VM was king and IBM was the power behind the throne. COBOL was common, C was rare, relational databases were just barely invented, and no one had heard of Visual anything. Yep, really relevant experience - unless you are doing Y2K remediation for old mainframes. BTW Ed was traveling around promoting top down structured programming at the time I believe, one of my college profs had a framed certificate from one of his courses.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), November 12, 1998.

So what's wrong with requiring people to be licensed to program computers? If all this stuff, or even a bit of it, comes to pass, somebody needs to be accountable, for future purposes. How about the ones who put the thinks, or the wrong-thinks, into the computers to begin with? As dependent as the world has become on computers, licensing is entirely sensible. Especially if, as has been blared so repeatedly, our dependence on computers can be 'life-and-death'. Doctors are licensed aren't they?

Look back into the archives, I bet they didn't require driver's licenses until some automobile crashes came about. Don't know that for fact, but it stands to reason. After-the-fact regulation is the American way. (Ten people die at an intersection, THEN they put up a stop light)

-- Itt Figgers (be@careful.net), November 13, 1998.

What a stupid idea!!

If you can't code competently, no one will hire you anyway. Let the market take care of itself. Y2K was not caused by bad programming. It was caused by bad and faulty business decisions most of all. If a programmer had put 4 digits in the years field back in the 60's and 70's, he would have been fired for incompetence and wastefulness.

More government regulations is the last thing we need. How do you decide what constitutes programming? Is creating a macro in WORD programming. How about designing a web page? What if the web page has some Javascript in it, but not too much. How about if all I do is copy and paste modules that were previously written and combine them to make another program?

What about the tens of thousands of competent programmers that are self taught and can code circles around some of the university graduates?

More regulations.............shoot, why don't we just send all of our paychecks to the government so they can hire more beaurocrats to make our lives miserable..........

-- Craig (craig@ccinet.ab.ca), November 13, 1998.

Craig has some good points here.

However, I would like to see something done about people using the word "Engineer" in their titles...software engineer, network engineer, MS Certified Engineer. There are already laws on the books about declaring oneself an engineer. How come these people are getting away with it? All you have to do for a MSCE or CNE is take a multiple choice test.

-- Buddy (DC) (buddy@bellatlantic.net), November 13, 1998.

I'd just like to add that Buddy has a good point when he says that Craig has a good point.......he he he he.................

The engineer bit is spot on too.....

Everyone claims to be an engineer these days. Housewives are domestic engineers, bakers are grain enhancement engineers, plumbers are doodoo dispensing and removal engineers, and the two things on either side of Pocohontas' head are injuneers.

The preponderance of multiple guess exams is a bit silly too. However, they are far easier to mark. Also, they save on pencil lead and ink when all ya gotta do is check a little box.

At least we don't have to put up with exam questions like the ones I used to get. Stuff like..........Compare and contrast the development of the Windows operating system with the influx of Norwegian lemmings into the geographical area of Sveginor, and how both affect the peasants ability to analyze otherwise permissible criteria.

-- Craig (craig@ccinet.ab.ca), November 13, 1998.


I'll bet you have no problem figuring out which "grownups" had trouble as kids with "word problems" in math!

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), November 13, 1998.

A question the assembled masses - who needs certification; or "what level of software development would require certification/signature release?" What level would require only "fix on errors" (as seems the case all too often now)?

What is the difference between a software engineer, a programmer, an expert user, a regular user, a technician, a data entry clerk, and a network ???? (engineer/administrator/manager/sysop - you decide)?

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), November 13, 1998.

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