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Software Engineering: A New Professionalism

  • Colin Myers
  • Tracy Hall
  • Dave Pitt

Abstract

Computing is at a stage in its development that engineering was at in the United States 80 years ago. It is at that point where it can decide to become a “profession” or remain merely a profitable occupation. This is a significant decision for computer practitioners and for society at large. Many conceptual muddles have to be avoided or cleared up before making this decision. I believe one such muddle has to do with the concept of a professional as it is related to Software Engineering. I argue that the traditional concept of professionalism is not appropriate for Software Engineering. There is a newer, more appropriate meaning of profession which is currently achievable by software engineers and will move Software Engineering in a positive direction. The evidence for my argument is drawn from three computing societies’ developing codes of ethics, conduct and practice. These codes indicate an awareness that a different sense of professionalism is required for Software Engineering to be a profession.

Keywords

Software Engineer Traditional Concept Professional Conduct Professional Competence Normative Code 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Colin Myers
    • 1
  • Tracy Hall
    • 1
  • Dave Pitt
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Computer Science and Information Systems EngineeringUniversity of WestminsterLondonUK
  2. 2.Worldwide Information SystemsNCRLondonUK

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