Software Engineers?

Lots of Software Developers call themselves Software Engineers but legally that’s not kosher, even if some do approach the standards of an Engineer.

<p>But that may be changing.</p>
<p>Slashdot had <a href="http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/10/09/2119235">a good discussion</a> about software liability and EWeek is running <a href="http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1873318,00.asp?kc=EWRSS03119TX1K0000594">a story</a> equating the effect of the Railroads on meat packing to the Internet on software development.</p>
<p>I’ve made the analogy before to the Road system - you can run anything you want on your private track, but to participate on the public road system you have to have a street-legal vehicle and be licensed.  There are provisions for small-volume private vehicle manufacturers and publicly funded training for licenses.</p>
<p>What remains to be seen is whether people want to buy quality software.  If Windows has 1 line in 250 buggy and the Space Shuttle has 1 in 50,000 are people willing to shell out $1000 for a less-buggy version of Windows (or is Microsoft willing to make less profit?)</p>
<p>Open Source has the potential to be effected but things like certified network libraries or object brokers could lessen the impact.</p>
<p>Talking to my contracts lawyer today, he pointed out there’s a different standard for professional and commercial levels of service; we need to ask ourselves what we want to be when we grow up.