Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 24th Jul 2007 15:16 UTC, submitted by danwarne
Linux "Con Kolivas is a prominent developer on the Linux kernel and strong proponent of Linux on the desktop. But recently, he left it all behind. Why? In this interview with APCMag.com, Con gives insightful answers exploring the nature of the hardware and software market, the problems the Linux kernel must overcome for the desktop, and why despite all this he's now left it all behind."
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RE[4]: Brilliant
by Ravyne on Tue 24th Jul 2007 19:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Brilliant"
Ravyne
Member since:
2006-01-08

Programming most definitely *is* engineering, although it is the engineering of processes, rather than of physical structures. I would argue that the flaws of the software engineering process is related to the confusion many seem to have over what that process really is. You, for instance, claim that software is *not* engineering, others will claim that it is and model their process tightly to traditional engineering processes. I would argue that neither claim is true, and that the truth lies somewhere in the middle of all reasonable assertions, as it often does.

We know from our other human pursuits like math and science that some information and very often processes and methodologies carry over to other fields of study with little or no modification. Indeed, the ultimate pursuit of the "discovery" sciences is to find the one truth which simultaneously explains or is the root device which can explain everything in the natural world around us; This is the reason why Einstein's theory was such a huge breakthrough: It brought together two previously disjoint elements -- matter and energy... Mathematicians would love to discover a way to represent all of our current number systems in a single, consistent & elegant system.

Based on this previous experience, I think its more than safe to assert that software engineering *is* engineering in the true sense, in much the same way that Chemistry, Biology and Physics are all sciences: different fields of study ultimately bound to the same underlying laws and principles.

Software engineering is still quite a young process, with much less than a century under it's belt, while we have been building tools and buildings for many thousands of years. Software engineering today is much the equivalent of stone knives and grass huts.

It is the condition of these young pursuits of ours that they will often remain disjoint from more established pursuits as the study of and theory behind them matures and, eventually, worthy pursuits will be integrated into the established.

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