hey guys i found this article from the net, what do u think of it??
"I am an engineer. You are an MCSE. He is a train driver"
By Andrew Orlowski in San Francisco
Posted: 15/11/2002 at 01:54 GMT
The vast majority of readers who responded to our story about Canadian
engineers objecting to
vendor exams conferring "engineer" status support the Canadian stance.
The Canadian professional engineers' association has asked Microsoft not to
describe Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers - people who have passed the
vendor's exam - as engineers. That needs a full P.Eng, they say.
Such requirements are common in some American states, too, you tell us, and
in Germany, France, New Zealand and South Africa.
"Engineers develop new products and any holder of a P.Eng is legally liable
for any damages that may result from using those products, be it a toaster
that catches fire or a bridge that collapses. This responsibility to the
public good is what sets engineers apart," writes John Kuhne from Toronto.
"In comparison, someone who holds an MCSE is merely a technician. They know
how to use a specific set of tools, and can troubleshoot computer systems
that other, more capable people have designed for them. Calling such a
person an engineer truly is an affront."
Mike Dixon thinks it's "completely ridiculous and typical of those idiots at
Microsoft to just take any term they feel like and embrace and extend it as
if they just invented something new," he writes. "I've worked with a whole
lot of 30 day 'MCSE' wonders that couldn't even format a floppy disk."
Frank Shute points out the same code of ethics is upheld by "chartered
engineers" (C.Eng): "You only become a chartered engineer after some years
of supervision following getting your degree be it in electrical, civil,
"Calling MCSEs engineers is no worse than my washing machine repairman
calling himself a Service Engineer (like lots of other repair technicians).
we have Sales Engineers. The conclusion is always that we need a new
word which doesn't have the oily rag associations. Now there's something for
your readership to consider...." writes Rob Clive (CEng MIEE), adding
"sorry, couldn't resist it".
Texans must fulfill the Texas Engineering Practice Act <
(thanks to Andrew Mattei
and Tom Tiller for the links), Floridians a similar act
(thanks to David Dean), and even in The
Beast's home state, it is:-
"...unlawful for any person to practice or offer to practice...
engineering...or to use in connection with his name...use, or advertise any
title or description tending to convey the impression that he is a
professional engineer... unless such a person has been duly registered under
the provisions of chapter 18.43 RCW," notes a reader who must not be named.
A PE must have four years of supervised training, while:-
"Engineers do not build collapsing structures or exploding machinery then
call it a bug and carry out running repairs until the next attempt," notes T
Rutherford acidly. "If people who produce software are seeking a generic
title to hide their true profession, they could do worse than look to the
men who dug the canals and who were given the ironic nickname of navigators,
subsequently shortened to navvies. I anticipate a roar of protest from
railroad and construction workers everywhere at being bracketed with
bunglers and snake oil men."
But a handful of MSCEs object to being victimized by (in the words of Stefan
Banda) "pansy-ass P.Eng cry-baby canucks" engaged in some "little semantic
"I happen to be an 'MSCE' in Canada, and the fact that some damn group is
claiming basically copyright on the word "engineer" is complete BS in my
opinion, I don't say 'I'm A Microsoft Systems Certified Engineer'- I say 'I
have an MCSE'...it's easy," writes Steven Burtt.
"They have some pine cone stuck up their butt, quite frankly this is one
battle I would like to see M$ win."
The most persuasive comes from Herman Oosthuysen.
"I'm an Engineer with a degree from an accredited university which I earned
almost 20 years ago: Bachelors in Engineering (B.Eng.(E)) and have been a
member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) for
more than 10 years, but according to Canadian law I may not call myself an
"With this 'non engineer' engineering status, I happened to have worked on
military contracts in 3 countries, for different governments, including
Canada, but I may not call myself an engineer.
"According to the Canadian engineering associations, Eiffel, who built many
roads and bridges all over the world, including such fun projects as the
Eiffel tower and Statue of Liberty, may not have called himself an engineer
"The trouble is that the Canadian professional associations, have laws
behind them, which supposedly protect the 'public', but in practice, it is
merely a bunch of guys who want to protect their own jobs - trade unions, by
a professional name, who hijacked the word 'Engineer'. Also, the Engineering
Professions acts are in conflict with for instance the Universities Acts.
Try to tell a University Professor that they may not award a degree in
'Software Engineering' and see the sparks fly...
"As I have a distinct dislike of all things union, I will stay one of the
many renegade non-engineer, engineers. It never bothered me in my job and
there may very well be more 'non-registered engineers', than 'professional
engineers' and the more the professional trade unions rally and rave against
non-registered engineers, the more ridiculous they look, so they are digging
their own hole.
I have considered calling myself a "professional non-engineer" and ask the
IEEE to rename itself to the "Institute of Electrical and Electronic
So, as far as I'm concerned: "Go Microsoft! Up and at them!".
Well, Herman - you're obviously entitled to call yourself an engineer. But
the point about professional trade organizations and unions is that if you
don't hang together, you'll hang separately.
Jeremy Silver agrees with the last correspondent.
"The CCPE is claiming sole rights over the term 'engineer' - much as a
copyright holder would. Is every use of that term granted to them by the
Canadian government? In the US, I am pretty sure the AMA and ADA do not
claim sovereignty over the term 'doctor', which can apply to people with
professional as well as academic credentials (from theology to physical
education). Maybe the CCPE's problem is that the MCSE is more widely
recognized than the P.Eng."
Several MCP says Microsoft was only following the example set by Novell, and
one offers this tale:-
"Now back then, when Microsoft Product Engineer actually meant something,
those people were/still are, damn fine engineers, who could build servers,
design networks, find
bottlenecks, fix problems, roll out a secure infrastructure. Those people
are still with us."
"Now, are the exams hard enough to classify someone as an Engineer? NO. Sat
down in front of my first NT4 Workstation with a problem, might as well have
used the book / exam, as a paper weight," he confesses.
He describes an adaptive TCP/IP exam "so the more wrong answers you
get, the easier the questions you get."
"Would I call myself an Engineer? Maybe now, with 3 good years employment in
"Would I call others with MCSE, an Engineer? Some of the people I've had in
to do work, have quite literally, shocked me. Crap. Bona fida crap. But they
got those letters after their names."
One "Thingy" writes:-
"I busted my ass to be a thingy. No boot camp, no dump memorization. I know
my shit because I studied and practiced. I am a Business Grad as well. I've
seen College engineers who can walk the talk and those that can't and the
same is true for MCSE's. There needs to be a vendor/university neutral
evaluation of computer/network engineering skills. Fining those who go after
M$ certifications is a different approach to straightening out the
"Before I started down the M$ trail I knew it was more about $ than
supporting the best OS that could be made. So what about them there college
bred Canadian Engineers? Are they not chasing $ like us Thingys? Look in the
mirror when you answer,"
writes Joe Fohner, who adds:
"I don't know if I'll call my self an "Engineer" but I will call myself an
MCSE for now. At least until it expires. Then I'll be a Thingy for sure."
A witty rejoinder from Steven Franklin, "Senior Thingy" at Maryland Public
Television, who has rolled his sleeves up for the doity work:-
"You learn something new everyday. I'm both a Micro$oft Certified Systems
Engineer (a weird one who uses nothing but Linux and FreeBSD) and a
Certified Video Engineer (by the Society of Broadcast Engineers,
. I thought I was an engineer but I'm glad to find
out that I'm just a "thingie."
"This means that all I really need to keep complex television systems on the
air is an oily rag and a set of spanners. That should make the digital
conversion go much smoother in this country. I'll notify the FCC at once
that they should change all mention of television engineers in their
documents to "thingie" and issue some spanners and oily rags. Who knows, it
might help "lubricate" the switch to digital. Nothing else is working so why
not try this?
"I'd elaborate further but our broadcast automation systems are not working
correctly with our GPS time system and I need to wipe it down with the oily
rag. (If that doesn't fix it I'll give it a jolly good whack with a
Finally one reader, Ralph Grabowski, says that a former Chinese engineering
classmate was called P.Eng, and wonders if his business card readers P.Eng,
P.Eng; while Jan Van Der Post says:-
"I always wanted to become a member of the Meat Institute so I could put
MInst Meat after my name," Groan. Thanks for all your letters. ®
(Faster than Bruce Lee)
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