[prog] State of software engineering profession

Jenn Vesperman jenn at anthill.echidna.id.au
Tue Apr 15 02:29:53 EST 2003

On Mon, 2003-04-14 at 20:41, Jimen Ching wrote:
> On Sat, 13 Apr 2003, Jenn Vesperman wrote:
> >On Sun, 2003-04-13 at 17:18, Jimen Ching wrote:
> >> Cars aren't designed on an assembly line.  I don't see why the design
> >> process of software needs to be different from the design of everything
> >> else.  A software application is a system, just like products in every
> >> other industry.  And there are a few 'visionaries' that design software
> >> like everything else.  It's just that our industry doesn't do it that way.
> >Forgive me, but I don't understand your premise. Once a car's rough
> >design is made, a prototype is manufactured and tested. But the
> >prototype cannot be burned to disk and have millions produced, and a
> >prototype is never manufactured in assembly-line fashion.

> >When, in software, can the assembly line be used? Software IS design,
> >down to finer and finer grain detail until finished.
> I mentioned that our profession is not there yet.  Note, I do
> differentiate the difference between design and implementation.  Design
> can not be done on an assembl-line, see above.  But implementation could.

How can implementation be done on an assembly line? 

My position is that software implementation IS design, down to finer and
finer amounts of detail.

> I've worked for a company that have software departments with specialized
> programmers that only write code for a specific purpose.  I.e.  those who
> write the GUI, those who write the networking code, those who write the
> drivers.  This is a crude form of assembly-line software implementation.

No, this is still design. It's no different from the design of a car,
where one person specialises in designing electrical systems, and
another in designing fuel systems.. you might even have someone who
specialises in designing fuel pumps or fuel filters!

> Of course, each step in the assembly-line performs some minor design.  So
> this can't be considered the same type of assembly-line construction as in
> the car industry.  We're far from such a state. 

And never can be.

Jenn V.
    "Do you ever wonder if there's a whole section of geek culture 
        	you miss out on by being a geek?" - Dancer.
   My book 'Essential CVS': published by O'Reilly in June 2003.
jenn at anthill.echidna.id.au     http://anthill.echidna.id.au/~jenn/

More information about the Programming mailing list