Re: suggested proposals for federal electionintegrity legislation

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Sat Nov 25 2006 - 14:56:29 CST

Barbara,

> Hi, Kathy. I've looked at your list, and I have a number of comments
> and thoughts. One that I'll throw in right now is that you should not
> use the phrase "computer engineering". "Engineer" has a very precise
> meaning, namely someone who has passed a set of requirements and
> tests to become a licensed Professional Engineer (PE). ....
>

Wait a minute! You've just denied most of the people in the computer
engineering community the "engineer" title!

People doing engineering work are commonly called "engineers," whether or
not they've passed PE exams or received a degree in engineering. I've
worked in the computer industry (9 commercial products at Borland and Intel)
with a music degree. EVERYONE doing engineering work on these products had
a title that included the word "engineer."

I never called myself an "engineer" until I worked at Borland. When I
started making a living as a programmer (1989), I called myself a
"programmer." At Borland, we were all "engineers." My title was "QA
engineer." Same thing at Intel.

The computer industry has a long history of significant engineering
accomplishments being done by "engineers" that would not fit your notion of
"engineer."

Did you know that Steve Wozniak went to UC Berkeley for a computer science
degree? But that was after Apple. Virtually all of the important computer
engineering work he did was before he graduated from UC. BTW, he used the
name "Rocky Clark" at Cal. Almost no one knew who he was. I happened to
know his [former] father-in-law, Johnson Clark (Wozniak's assumed last name
was from his former wife Candy Clark).

IMHO, the most important attributes of "engineers" have to do with
inventiveness and imagination.

Alan D.

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Received on Thu Nov 30 23:17:12 2006

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