Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 9th Sep 2008 08:52 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems When China launched its first microprocessor, the Godson 1 in 2002, it wasn't much of a competitor to what Intel and AMD had to offer. The 64bit Godson 2, released in 2005, still didn't worry the Western chip makers, but the chip did start to pop up here and there outside of China. Expect to see a lot more of them in the coming years, as the Godson 3 promises to be a chip that can compete head on with the big ones: quad-core, eight core version in the pipeline, and 200 extra instructions aiding in x86 compatibility.
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RE[3]: Bad News
by rayiner on Tue 9th Sep 2008 23:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Bad News"
Member since:

I disagree that there is no problem with our education system. Pretty much my first year of college was spent undoing the brain-damage that had been done to students in public schools.

That said, I agree with you about the cost/benefit issues of going into engineering. If you're smart and hard-working enough to get through engineering school, then you're smart and hard-working enough to get a good LSAT score and do well in law-school. Considering the pay difference between a good lawyer and a good engineer...

The problem along those particular lines is that engineers themselves haven't protected the value of their profession in the way doctors and lawyers have. Engineers create plenty of value in the economy, but they're quite willing to simply be worker-bees and let their company take most of the value they create. This is true even among very good engineers. There is nothing akin to, for example, the private law segment of the law profession, where partnership allows individual employees to get a stake in their firm. Engineers have allowed their profession to become commoditized, even as the rigorous demands for working in the field have not been reduced.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Bad News
by Yamin on Wed 10th Sep 2008 00:03 in reply to "RE[3]: Bad News"
Yamin Member since:

I agree with you 100%.

Engineers could have protected their field through licensing. Then again, we probably wouldn't have had facebook ;) But especially for government, banks, operating systems...

On the other hand, if licensing protection is not your cup of tea, engineers could have at least formed partnerships / employee owned corporations instead of being corporate workerbees.

On the other hand, many engineers miss the 'easier money', to provide a constant stream of money. Google for example makes money off ads and then funnels that into all kinds of projects some of which don't have a direct revenue stream. Imagine if Engineers owned a telecom or something. We could plow the money earned from those into R&D and what not.

Nonetheless, I think we're in agreement here ;)
Suffice to say, my kids aren't going into this field.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Bad News
by unclefester on Wed 10th Sep 2008 06:29 in reply to "RE[3]: Bad News"
unclefester Member since:

There is a huge difference between writing software (it ain't engineering BTW) and medicine. A software crash is in most cases no more than a nuisance. The simplest medical 'glitch' is highly likely to result in serious injury or death.

For the most part software architects do not act like engineers. The primary goal of an engineer is to ensure safety and reliability. An engineer (or doctor) can be sued or even imprisoned for negligence. No commercial software writer has that pressure.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Bad News
by collinm on Wed 10th Sep 2008 13:00 in reply to "RE[4]: Bad News"
collinm Member since:

i hope it's a joke?

you don't remember the software bug who died some astronaut

you don't remeber the software bug in the medical cancer machine who burned some burned...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Bad News
by Yamin on Wed 10th Sep 2008 15:26 in reply to "RE[4]: Bad News"
Yamin Member since:

"software crash is in most cases no more than a nuisance. The simplest medical 'glitch' is highly likely to result in serious injury or death. "

I'm going to preface this by saying I agree with your post.

Unless you're talking surgery or major prescription, an error is unlikely to result in a major problem. But even surgery, that's really no different from so much of the other work that occurs. What happens if the surgeon screws up... someone might die. What happens if the construction workers doesn't weld something correctly and the engineer misses it? The bridge could collapse killing hundreds. What happens if the software engineer writes the wrong code for your automobile or airplane? It could cause it to crash. What is the minimum wage restaurant worker screws up and infects your food? You could also die then. What happens if the software of the airline industry fails and holds up a million people?

Should we also pay the restaurant worker, welders, and civil engineers 200K/year?

There are consequences to everything that affect your life. Singling out doctors is just not that accurate.

True and that is part of the problem that we have had without licensing software.

Everything runs on software these days. From you car, to banks, to social networking sites, to telecommunications. These all have severe reliability and security considerations. Look at what has happened because qualified people have not been designing these systems. We've had identity theft, unsecure network, system crashes (for example the one on the London Stock Exchange recently).

Truth be told though, software cannot be like all other engineering. Every thing you do is new. Most of the time in other field of engineering the 'new' stuff is only done by really experienced top of the line engineers or scientists. Most regular engineers just follow the same old routine.

In software, it's not uncommon to have a new grad just out there writing the software that runs the internet.

That said, it's doubtful we'd have had the innovation in the software world we it so regulated. So it's been an interesting trade off.
For me personally, one of the reasons I've been frustrated in the field is the lack of quality people and products. It's tiring working a bridge that's been duck taped and super glued together ;)

Edited 2008-09-10 15:31 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1