Monday, April 28, 2008

Licensing of Software Engineers

If I was one, I wouldn't get licensed.

As a licensed engineer, you accept liability for the health, safety, and wellfare of the public. Also, you have a certain legal obligation for negligence.

If I write error-prone code, that causes a business down time, does that mean I am personally liable? As a licensed engineer, I think it does.

Maybe licensing software engineers will be a good thing. Forces the person to verify code more to avoid those troublesome conflicts, lock-ups, and crashes that cost users dearly. Can you imagine all the lawsuits as corporations sue individual P.E.'s for negligence based on error-prone code, or code that allowed hackers or viruses to infiltrate?

I'm all for licensing for engineers. I think licensing software engineers will force code to be better written based on the personal liability for bad code. I also think that industrial exemptions will be rampant for software engineers and hardly any will bother. Where's the benefit in licensure compared to the liability?
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