Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer
You won't be able to test for the PE until you have the years under the PE in the first place to sign off on your work.
Hardware Engineering is a completely different beast than Mechanical Engineering and sorry, but Software Engineer is a title, not a discipline. There are no Laws of Software Engineering. We aren't discussing universal applications of Heat Transfer or Power Systems. Just because you've had morons graduate in Hardware Engineering takes nothing away from reality--Computer Science is not an Engineering Discipline.
There is a reason it takes decades before disciplines become Engineering Disciplines. It took Mechanical. Electrical, Chemical, Structural, Civil and more 60+ years for their status to be codified.
Software Engineer is a major Universities are pushing because the IT Industry called Software Programming and Engineering title long before it could justify it. They still cannot. It is the same reason Electrical Engineering in most ABET accredited US Universities oversee the CS Departments and how come half of the curriculum is EE based.
With your Undgrad in 1982 you damn well know there was no such thing as a Software Engineering Field. It was Computer Science. Hell, when I graduated in '93 and later in '96 it was just at the tail end of '98 when Computer Engineering was beginning to be recognized as an Engineering Field.
There's probably a waiver for the FE exam and given that the first tests are next year I think they'll have to waive the 4 year requirement for working under another SwE PE. I've gone through the SwE PE exam topics and I'm fairly confident I've gotten the requisite education and experience. But it's not really what I want to do when I grow up but my wife tells me I can't be a coder forever. She's right in that there are few coders over 50. Most hang up their spurs and go into management. Been there, done that, hated it.
There is too a SwE field...there's been one since 1968 to serve the military industrial complex's voracious appetite for software. IEEE has a SWEBOK and of course there's all the CMMI crap. So 45 years of existence as a discipline.
For the development of large, complex systems and/or those that require very high quality (weapon systems, space systems, etc) you need a great deal of rigor or you have a high probability of ending up as an example for others as to what a software disaster looks like.
For pretty much all other forms of software products it's a negative in terms of time to market and ROI to go beyond the basics of common "good" software development practices (CM, some form of requirements management, simple code reviews, etc). You need a SwE on those dev teams like another hole in the head.
I went to Maryland...the other major CS school besides CMU with an excessive (some might have said unhealthy) focus on SwE. In the early 80s our freshmen CS courses were two weeder courses designed by Harlan Mills (there's an iEEE award for software engineering named after him). Proofs for algorithmic speed and correctness, formal methods, etc. Needless to say the ranks were winnowed quite a bit.
Complain all you like, I'll even agree that its not really engineering but NCEES disagrees with both of us. Next year there will be SwE PEs licensed (okay tested...the state boards do the licensing) by the same organization that licenses all other PEs in the US...at least in Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.