Glenn Vanderburg of LivingSocial on why software development is an engineering discipline




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Published on Mar 19, 2015

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I believe strongly that software development is, incontrovertibly, an engineering discipline (albeit still an immature one). But a great many people in our field have decided that it’s not. I think this is a harmful mistake.

But it’s also a natural one, because most programmers have at least a passing familiarity with a body of knowledge known as “software engineering”—a body of knowledge that was taken very seriously for 30 years or so, but which has now been thoroughly discredited. If “software engineering” doesn’t work, then why would anyone say that software development is engineering?

This talk makes the case for software as engineering, and shows that it fits comfortably into the spectrum of engineering disciplines. The talk also explains why the software engineering field spent so long going down an incorrect path, and how we might correct that.

About Glenn Vanderburg (LivingSocial):
Glenn Vanderburg works at LivingSocial as the engineering director for architecture and core services.

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Software architecture is a massive multidisciplinary subject, covering many roles and responsibilities, which makes it challenging to teach because so much context is required for every subject. It's also a fast-moving discipline, where entire suites of best practices become obsolete overnight.

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