Why Writing Software is Not Like Engineering

Excellent article by Terence ParrWhy writing software is not like engineering

Main points:

  • “Congress does not go to NASA halfway through a moonshot and ask them to go to Mars instead.”
  • When building a house, it’s pretty hard to make the toilet flush when you ring the doorbell. In languages like C++, it’s very hard to make 100% sure this can’t happen.
  • Is it science? No, science is about conducting experiments and accumulating knowledge.

I don’t agree with software == art. Art is meant to make emotions available to a larger audience. Maybe writing error messages at M$ is an art form but general coding isn’t.

Conclusion: Software development is a craft just like carpentry or masonry.

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One Response to Why Writing Software is Not Like Engineering

  1. Mathanas says:

    I support you dearly that engineering is constrained by the real, physical world and software is on a different note. Engineering experiences fewer constituent component interactions thus making the difference between software writing and engineering more provable.

    Thank you for the brilliant way you’ve explained this.

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