Why are programmers not called "engineers" when they are making video games, but only when they're making websites?

@JordiGH Devaluing of the same work when it's done for an entertainment/art product?

@ink_slinger Maybe! Or maybe overvaluing the other one, I don't know.

I want "engineer" to be a licensed profession, with regulations and a code of ethics.

@JordiGH That's a good point. And, actually, engineer *is* a licensed profession (albeit a self-governed one). Are computer engineers licensed and regulated in the same way as, say, mechanical engineers? As far as I know, they aren't, but I may be wrong about that. Why are they even allowed to use the word?

@ink_slinger And there has been rare enforcement of the term "engineer" in Canada, but last I heard about it was in Québec, 16 years ago. I think the term "engineer" has been bandied about since then without a lot of enforcement.


@JordiGH I didn't realize it wasn't regulated in the US.

@ink_slinger I know, that's so nuts to me. FREEDOM!!

It's as crazy to me as having anyone go and say they're a physician or a lawyer, with nobody checking up on their credentials.

@JordiGH On the other hand, you have things like retired engineers basically selling their stamp to anyone willing to pay, as if it's totally fine for a retired chemical engineer to stamp plans for a suspension bridge or something. Of course, because it's regulated in Canada, that could come back to badly bite that person in the ass if the bridge collapses.

@ink_slinger Really, I didn't know chemical engineers were stamping bridges for money. That's another problem.

I actually took an engineering ethics course in university, despite not becoming an engineer. They made a big deal about the iron ring and how its sound of scratching on paper as you sign was supposed to remind you of your duty to society.

@JordiGH I don't think it's common. And it's definitely not ethical. But it happens.

@ink_slinger @JordiGH mmmmm engineer here (EIT) registered with APEGA, ask me anything. For what it's worth chemical engineers can't just stamp off on a bridge, much less retired ones. If you retire you are no longer registered with your engg org, and you wouldn't be able to practice.

And if you have evidence of someone misrepresenting the profession do share because APEGA and related orgs have the ability to take action on stuff like that.

@ink_slinger @JordiGH I also now work in America where everyone is an engineer for whatever reason and it is frustrating, because the regulation of the practice keeps public confidence in engineering.

But I think there's a lot of myths out there about what APEGA is and what they do. If you haven't gone through the classes or registered through them, you probably misunderstand some of how this works.

@thatgeoguy @ink_slinger Wait, regulation of the practice? There is regulation in the US about who can call themselves an engineer?


@JordiGH @ink_slinger Sorry, I work in the US but am registered with APEGA in Alberta. There is no regulation of engineering practice in the States.

The thing that is frustrating is people who take a one week coding bootcamp and feel they can call themselves engineers.

It is also frustrating that explaining why the practice should be regulated and the word should be protected makes you look like some kind of word nazi and people accuse you of gatekeeping.

@thatgeoguy @ink_slinger I wonder why the US has this thing about calling you a word nazi about engineers but not about doctors, lawyers, or airline pilots. It's so weird. Maybe because they romanticise the lone inventor?

@JordiGH @ink_slinger It's understandable because classically controlling words and titles is a way to disenfranchise women or people of colour and keep them out of the workplace. Doctors has a very strong risk of malpractice, but calling yourself a web engineer doesn't pose the same individual risk, so it is perceived differently.

It's also a means to kickstart careers in Silicon Valley. Nobody trusts "guy who dropped out of high school who works in his garage" but they do trust an engineer.

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