"Geeks" and licensing

From: Eric J. Korpela <korpela_at_ssl.berkeley.edu>
Date: Sat Dec 15 00:42:01 2001

> > I've also had to work alongside people who managed to scrape their way into
> > a "programming" job without having "what it takes" to really write code
> > *and* solve problems. Don't get me wrong -- I have no degree and don't
> > think one's required to be a competent analyst/programmer/whatever.
> >
> > But . . .
> >
> > Should programmers be licensed? Sure makes me wonder . . .
> Ok, what does it take to really write code and solve programs?
> (Unlicensed programer/coder here ). Writing code is easy... writing the
> doc's that is another story. I tend to favor the hardware side, but they
> don't make TTL machines like the PDP-8E or transistor ones like the
> PDP8/S.

I'm not sure if geeks should be licensed, but there are certainly instances
when their output should be monitored closely. Geeks who program voting
machines, for example. (I think that voting machine software should be
open source and available from the voting machine. Every other civilized
country gets by with pencil and paper and big bunches of people doing the
counting. I need to trust that an embedded systems programmer doesn't have
strong enough political beliefs that they would try to rig an election.
It gets even worse when you need to believe that people (read Microsoft)
coding the OS of the damn things don't have any interest in the outcome of

I'd also include Geeks who program any machine that could accidentally
kill someone (for example airplanes) and Geeks who code for billion
dollar space hardware.

Received on Sat Dec 15 2001 - 00:42:01 GMT

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