TITLE: The Lumbering Lethargy of Software Engineering AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: February 19, 2013 3:36 PM DESC: ----- BODY: Graham Lee makes an ironic observation in Does the history of making software exist?:
"[S]oftware engineering" ... was introduced to suggest a professionalism beyond the craft discipline that went before it, only to become a symbol of lumbering lethargy among adherents of the craft discipline that came after it.
It's funny how terms evolve and communities develop sometimes. There are a lot of valuable lessons to be learned from the discipline of software engineering. As a mindset, it can shape how we build systems with good results. Taken too far, it can be a mindset can stifles and overloads the process of making software. As a university professor, I have to walk a fine line, exposing students to the valuable lessons without turning the creation of software into a lethargic, lumbering process. My courses tend to look different from similar courses taught by software engineering profs. I presume that they feel different to students. As a programmer, I walk a fine line, too, trying to learn valuable lessons from wherever I can. Often that's from the software engineering community. But I don't want to fall into a mindset where the process becomes more important than the result. -----