Today is Engineers Day (birthday of Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvarayya, an eminent Indian engineer and statesman) and while we talk of building Silicon Valley culture in India, I’d strongly say that we need more engineers, i.e. people with engineering blend and less of software developers.
What’s the difference?
A lawyer writing wordpress plugin is fairly normal in Silicon Valley, and that’s because lawyer is an engineer at heart (wants to solve a real life pain) and isn’t perturbed with the development aspects (how/who?) of writing a piece of code.
Who is an Engineer?
Engineers are concerned with developing economical and safe solutions to practical problems, by applying mathematics and scientific knowledge while considering technical constraints. The term is derived from the Latin root “ingenium,” meaning “cleverness”.
And Software Developers?
A software developer is a person or organization concerned with facets of the software development process wider than design and coding, a somewhat broader scope of computer programming or a specialty of project managing including some aspects of software product management. This person may contribute to the overview of the project on the application level rather than component level or individual programming tasks. (wikipedia)
The fundamental difference between the two is obvious – developers, in most of the cases are married to the platform (Java/php/what’er), while engineers are more worried about solving a real/practical problem and have a holistic view of the game.
“A software developer must be part writer and poet, part salesperson and public speaker, part artist and designer, and always equal parts logic and empathy” (link)
The world-changing solution comes from those who want to solve a pain and not from the community which wants you to define your pain and put a mpp plan for the same (read: Can Indian Society produce Gates/Larry/Zuckerburg?”).
If we have to bring Silicon Valley culture to India, we need more engineers – people who believe in ‘Code is Poetry’* phenomena!
What’s your opinion? How would you upgrade people from being software developers to independent-thinkers a.k.a engineers?
*: Quote taken from WordPress.