Archive | shit stirring

Please don’t be a donkus with your code

Wake up, Donkus

First, some background…

About two weeks ago, Dan Langille sent me a short email. He just wanted to to let me know that he was about to post a bit on his personal blog about mod_watch, and that he was going to try to generate some community interest in getting it working properly. His post goes into more detail than I’m willing to about the shortcomings of mod_watch but the important part is that I maintained an unsanctioned Github mirror of mod_watch because it’s a tool that I found useful; Dan wanted to reference my repository as a starting point for the work, and I had no problem with this.

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I am not an engineer (je ne suis pas un ingénieur)

Wikipedia defines Engineering as:

… the science, skill, and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, economic, social, and practical knowledge, in order to design and also build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes.

The important word there was “profession.” Nowadays we refer to any trade you’ve practiced for a while (more than 2 years, less than maybe 20) as a profession but that word has an actual meaning:

noun; A paid occupation, esp. one that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification

And there’s the rub: engineers are qualified according to a professional standard, and held accountable by a professional organizations. Here’s a better explanation about why that’s not really catching on in the USA, and how that might change long term.

Engineers build things that people have to actually rely on; no one dies if I make a mistake, and nothing physically collapses (usually). I’m genuinely flattered when you call me one (and I will never stop you if you want to pay me like one), but please don’t. Words have meanings. I’m just some slob who lives in the intersection of software development and administrative upkeep, and that’s the way I like it.