Having spent 3 weeks on the road talking to different customers about software development and coming back in to look fresh at our on processes has got me thinking about our development methodologies. That coupled with the fact that my Dad, who is a “real” engineer, is out visiting for a few days. We got talking tonight about the essence of real engineering and attempted to understand if software development is approaching the level of say mechanical or chemical engineering in terms of maturity of the field. Rico and I have discussed this before as well, check out his thoughts.
It is not a completely idle conversation as my Dad knows a thing or two about engineering as he has taught it 30+ years. In fact the latest class he is teaching covers this exact topic. I am struck by how the principles in the paper are drawing for a 1954 work Engineering Analysis: An Introduction to the Professional Method of Problem Solving. yet we still struggle to “rediscover” them in the software world.
By my reading there seems to be lots of synergy here.. my hope is that software is just in a maturing state. These principles apply equally well to software and will play out more as the field develops more deeply… but what I can’t tell is are we on track? Are engineering fields as young as software in the same state of flux?
What is your take?