The Software Engineering: Ongoing Debate About the Term ‘Engineering’

April 17th, 2014

In 2004 there were more than 760,000 software engineers employed in the United States. To put this in perspective there were about 1.4 million engineers (combining all engineering disciplines) employed in the United States that same year.

During the 1990s it became acceptable to list ‘software engineer’ as a description of past jobs having even remotely to do with the creation of modification of software. Though this is still practiced, it is becoming more frowned upon. At the other end of the spectrum, now that there are Software Engineering degrees given by accredited universities and colleges this more official credit is found on resumes nowadays.

Because of these blurry lines and mixed standards, many people outside of a given corporate setting may believe that there is no distinction between the one-time software engineer or the ‘software modifier’ and a fully certified and degreed software engineer. In practice, the existing system of checking out the past work citations submitted by job applicants is considered to be adequate for hiring and legal liability reasons.

Many people feel that the term ‘software developer’ is much more apt to describe the creation of software than that of ‘software engineer’. Those of this school of thought seem to agree that there should be some limitation on just how far removed from concrete, physical materials applied ‘engineering’ can be.

Still others feel that the term ‘software craftsmanship’ would be more appropriate than ‘software engineering’ in that there is no strict set of procedures and rules to the development of software. In other words, software needs and end product suites differ so widely that it makes more sense to refer to the practice of creating software as ‘software craftsmanship’. Promoters of this term argue that there is a clearer focus on the skills of the developer rather than the product. For example, just as not every worker on a construction site is a civil engineer, not every person who writes code is a software engineer.

Engineers of the more traditional and physical senses sometimes argue that the designation ‘engineer’ should only be given to those who have undergone extended and highly specialized education, or that a science as young as software engineering does not warrant such a definitive title. It is clear that the field of software development is changing and evolving so rapidly that members of the industry often agree themselves that there are better, more descriptive titles than ‘software engineering’.

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Some Ideas On Design Engineering

December 24th, 2013

There are a lot of ways to approach and break down the terms inherent in design engineering, the first aspect of this can be thought of as being the issue of design, and then a consideration of what engineering is as it relates to design. Design is many things to many people, there are many ideas tossed around as to what design means in all totality, and a few definitions speak of design pertaining to artistic demeanors or pursuits. Most think of this in degrees as of those that may be acquired in specific areas such as commercial art, especially in terms of design that colleges would have courses on, but there are more mechanical points of this issue.

Taking for example the supposed degree in commercial art, and there is much that a student would have to understand before the honorary mention was made, though not all of this would not preclude any kind of art history or formal study in programs that work in conjunction with these degrees. Most of these programs would have to do merely with the technology utilized in recent years to create computer-generated images to be used commercially, or in other words, to generate more consumption of the product provided by a particular manufacturer through sale.

There are other ways that relate to these issues of design and engineering, and one of the most commonly pronounced features today happens to be in the use of the computer as a medium to create new vistas of understanding things in a more realistically rendered approach through images that can be printed or seen directly. A few programs are used more exclusively than others in the particular field of design engineering, one of them happens to use of the computer-aided drafting programs that are currently in a wide use by many manufacturers to get a better result before testing.

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What is Civil Engineering?

November 24th, 2013

Civil engineering is a very broad field of engineering that itself is broken up into several different smaller categories. For the most part though, civil engineering deals with planning, construction and maintenance of public works or structures as they relate to water, earth or civilization.

Today most civil engineering has to do with bridges, power plants, roads, trains, water supply, structures, the environment flood control and traffic. One way of looking at civil engineering is that it is a profession highly concerned with making the world a more comfortable place in which to live.

Civil engineering is sometimes utilized or seen as a way to track and judge how manmade constructs and devices have affected natural constructs and environments. In older times, engineering was considered to be comprised of only two major subsets, those of military and civil engineering. Even though there are many subclasses of engineering today, civil engineering is still a very large umbrella for unclassified subfields of engineering.

General civil engineers work intimately with specialized civil engineers as well as surveyors and other specialists to construct and serve fixed size projects where they will consider the given factors of community, project site and public interest and requirements. General civil engineers spend a great deal of time traveling to and from the work site and revising and explaining designs for the current project.

Civil engineering is broken into several main subcategories, including structural engineering, fire protection engineering, geotechnical engineering, transportation engineering, environmental engineering, hydraulic engineering, construction engineering and water resources engineering.

A common misconception about civil engineering is that civil engineering work is completely unrelated to computer science and mathematics, when in reality much of what we know of as computer science was co-created by civil engineering, in which network structural analysis issues required parallel computing and development of algorithms.

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Computer Engineering

October 24th, 2013

As technology continues to evolve, there are increasingly blurred lines about the various subfields of engineering having to do with electricity, computers, computer software and several other engineering fields. Computer engineering has many of the same classification difficulties as software engineering and other technologically modern subfields of engineering.

To further complicate matters, there are differing schools of thought about classification and terminology whether you’re talking to computer engineers, corporate and other business managers who interview and hire computer engineers, or professionals of more traditional types of engineering. It seems like everyone has an opinion about the designation and classification of this area of engineering.

Computer engineering is a specialty discipline that combines the academic areas of both computer science and electrical engineering. Sometimes computer engineering is referred to as ‘electronic and computer engineering’.

Typically, computer engineers start out as electrical engineers and then go on to receive additional training in software-hardware integration and / or software design. Computer engineers are often involved in many aspects of computers and computer design.

From design of individual computer systems to the designing of supercomputers, microprocessors and personal computers, as well as circuit design and a number of other systems involving electrical engineering and the design of motor modules as well, computer engineers are a mixed lot of professionals with an assorted lot of skills and expertise.

Some other computer engineering projects include things like working with analog sensors, writing embedded software for microcontrollers, designing mixed signal circuit boards, designing VLSI chips, as well as the design of operating systems. Many computer engineers are also suited for robotics research positions as well.

As an academic discipline many accredited universities as well as technical schools are offering degrees in computer engineering. These programs typically involve both analog and digital circuit design in their curriculum, as well as electronic engineering in addition to so-labeled computer engineering classes.

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Engineering Jobs: Weighing Your Options

September 24th, 2013

If you’re looking for engineering jobs the internet is a wonderful resource. Not only are there online job search tools, but there are professional discussion forums where you can find support from people on similar paths to your own.

Are you still trying to decide if a career in engineering is right for you? If so, there are many websites that will help you weigh your decisions with appropriate information from those in the know. For one, there is the Occupational Outlook Handbook that is published by the United States Department of Labor each and every year.

You can access the Occupational Outlook Handbook on the internet by visiting You can use this system to explore requirements for given goals, or what particular paths will lead to. For example, you can find out what type of education and professional experience is required to become an electrical engineer, or you can input the educational program and major that you’re working on and find out what you will be able to do with this experience as related to engineering

The Occupational Outlook Handbook is an invaluable resource that can tell you what different types of engineers made last year on average, or what the working conditions were, as well as what it’s like from day to day working as an engineer. This publication also helps people weigh different options in terms of future prospects for the given paths of education or professional experience that are being considered.

Whether you’re still in school or in the market for a new engineering career, it may help you to consider some online job websites such as . Here you’ll be able to form some idea of the types of engineering jobs that are available in your area and other areas, as well as what is required to obtain a professional job in general –for those of you still trying to get accustomed to adult professional life.

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Modern Chemical Engineering

August 24th, 2013

Chemical engineering is a branch of engineering that deals primarily with the application of chemistry, physics and other fields of physical science, as well as mathematics. These areas of knowledge are put toward the conversion of raw materials or chemicals into more valuable or useful forms. Chemical engineering is also concerned with innovations involving new materials and techniques and as such is an important type of research and development for many industries.

More recently, chemical engineering has come to encompass many more processing than those that could only be classified as related to chemical engineering. Nowadays chemical engineers are involved in the development and production of a wide spectrum of products, as well as in specialty and commodity chemicals.

The newer types of products into which modern chemical engineering techniques an products are put, include such things as high performance materials used in the automotive, aerospace, biomedical, electronic, military and environmental industries for all different kinds of applications.

Some example product applications for chemical engineering include ultra strong fibers, adhesives and fabrics for vehicles, bio compatible materials for prosthetics and implants, pharmaceuticals, gels for medical applications, films with spectroscopic or optical attributes for opto-electronic devices and many other specialty materials for various applications.

Chemical engineering is also often combined with biomedical engineering and biology for many medical applications, from practical and daily treatment materials to surgical implants and other more critical applications. Many chemical engineers work on biological projects like mapping the human genome and understanding biopolymers.

The American Institute of Chemical Engineering website at is a wonderfully informative website full of the latest chemical engineering news, job information, discussion forums and so much more.

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On the Topic Of Mechanical Engineering

July 24th, 2013

The invention of devices to aid in the progression of a society constantly on the edge of creative potential is a necessary function to bringing out those traits that are needed in order to both make life more convenient, and to better fulfill the potential of the greater majority, instead of allowing for the whole of understanding to stay in the dark on knowledge that can assist in progress. It is not an easy task to undertake, and not one to be taken lightly without determination, however talent makes up for any real need for too much training unless it happens to be a chosen vocation.

This broad field applies physical principles for use in the analysis, design, manufacturing, and maintenance of mechanical systems. This field of study is made of many groupings that are related to the understanding of mechanics as well as the movement and energy of physical objects, mechanical engineers use many principles to further these subcategories of input, and to contribute to the process of optimizing the overall usefulness of what we use and what could be of use. This process can be as simple as the design of a computer desk, or as complex as optimizing the speed that an engine is capable of, the usefulness of mechanical engineering as a whole is unmatched by any other pursuits that are out there today.

There are many aids in the field to allow for the engineers to optimize their time as well on any particular projects that they might be working on currently, some of these systems like computer-aided drafting and others allow the engineer a full array of tools in order to better understand what needs to be done, and how to best approach that particular item that needs to be revised or looked at from a different perspective. It is this that the mechanical engineer becomes proficient in doing to better order to world around us, and to make things more convenient as a whole, to better optimize the creative potential in everything.

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What is Engineering?

June 24th, 2013

Put as simply as possible, engineering is solving human problems! Using the application of technical and scientific knowledge engineers put judgment, imagination and reasoning to work in order to come up with new solutions to human problems or news ways to solve old problems.

The results of engineering is the production, design or / or operation of useful processes or objects. There are many major branches of engineering. Below we’ll discuss some of the major areas of engineering.

Civil engineering is a very broad field of engineering that itself is broken up into several different smaller categories. For the most part though, civil engineering deals with planning, construction and maintenance of public works or structures as they relate to water, earth or civilization.

Today most civil engineering has to do with bridges, power plants, roads, trains, water supply, structures, the environment flood control and traffic.

By contrast, computer engineering is a discipline that combines portions of both computer science and electrical engineering. Computer engineers often have additional training in areas like hardware or software design and integration. Computer engineers do not focus so much on physics and power as traditional mechanical engineers do, but are more concerned with overall computer functioning. They may focus on all aspects of computing, from design of microprocessors to circuit design and even integration of systems and larger networks.

Mechanical engineering is another broad subset of engineering that deals primarily with the application of physical principles for the analysis, design and manufacturing of mechanical systems as well as the maintenance of these systems. Some common subdisciplines include kinematics, mechanics, and the study of the energy of physical objects.

Mechanical engineers utilize principles surrounding force, heat and the conservation of energy and mass in their contribution to the design of aircraft, ground vehicles, cooling and heating systems, buildings, industrial machinery and much more.

For more information on the different types of engineering I invite you to perform your own search of the internet. There are many exciting subfields of engineering that you may have never even heard of yet. A good place to start is the Wikipedia page on engineering at

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What’s Up About Engineering Colleges?

May 24th, 2013

Besides the fact that they seem to create students that are inspired to create all the things we take for granted each day, and the reasoning that we as people have absolutely no idea about what engineering entails is enough to give some people headaches, though luckily those that do not suffer for this ailment find themselves with a mild to raging interest in what exactly engineering is and how it works. Some are interested in this study in particular with the idea of becoming an engineer themselves, but not everyone has what it takes to be that individual that can create these ideas, manifesting them into progressively helpful ways.

An engineering college offers many degrees that are applicable to whatever it is that you might think is necessary to better see the reasoning behind what it is that an engineer is capable of doing, but one should be weary of online colleges that seem to be more than they are worth the effort of getting into, as financial aid could be a problem without prior arrangements. Most reputable engineering schools will require at least a scholarship to allow a student to better their studies at a professional facility, a place that the student can be comfortable with both in understanding the knowledge, and classroom work that will help to give each student a certain edge that can give them an advantage once they have the degree in their hand.

An engineering college can be just the thing to starting off with your career in engineering to build up a better idea for oneself before becoming a little more than a wage slave if you feel the need to aspire to more, always look to augment a previously overlooked interest to find out how it can contribute to the understanding you wish to acquire over the time period of your study, and make sure that the foundations you make will only serve to make you feel better about yourself among many of the details inherent with pursuing your goals.

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A Brief History of Early Electrical Engineering

April 24th, 2013

The field of electrical engineering first became a recognizable occupation around the end of the 1800s. This was during the time of early commercialization of the electric telegraph as well as electric power supply. Electrical engineering deals primarily with the application and study of electronics, electricity and electromagnetism.

Though electrical engineering can be related to electronics engineering, this intersection is generally restricted to large-scale electrical systems like motor control and power transmission, whereas electronics engineering has more to do with the design of small-scale electronic systems such as those in video game systems and personal computers.

Though electricity has been a huge scientific interest since the 1600s or earlier, it wasn’t until the 1800s that research into the field of electricity became intensified. During this era, Georg Ohm quantified the relationship between the potential difference and electric current in a conductor, James Clerk Maxwell published a unified field theory of magnetism and electricity and several other pivotal discoveries and studies related to electricity were carried out.

It wasn’t until the late 19th century that universities began awarding degrees in electrical engineering. Until that time electrical engineering was considered to be a subfield of physics. During the 1880s several universities set up electrical engineering departments.

It was during this stepped up interest and application of electrical engineering that Edison initiated the first power supply operation in lower Manhattan that delivered electrical power to fifty-nine customers in 1882.

In 1887 Nikola Tesla competed with Edison’s direct current power with his offerings and patents for alternating current electricity. For several years the two battled over which would be considered The accepted form of electrical power. After some debate it was clear that AC (alternating current) was much safer and could reach much farther than direct current.

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