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"Engineer" (Was: Tech contact for Qwest?)
I have to agree with the statement that the title of Engineer is thrown about a great deal. Two of the definitions of an "engineer" are: - a person who is trained in or follows as a profession a branch of engineering - a person who carries through an enterprise by skillful or artful contrivance (Engineering can be defined as: the application of science and mathematics by which the properties of matter and the sources of energy in nature are made useful to people) A "profession" is defined as: - a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation <Definitions from Merriam Webster, http://www.m-w.com> I have been working as an "Engineer" (by title) for an ISP for the past three and a half years. I am also entering my fifth year in a five year undergraduate electrical engineering curriculum. In school we are taught what it means to be an "engineer" and what a "professional," "professionalism" are. Almost all engineering students at every college and university are taught 'engineering ethics.' The National Society of Professional Engineers has a code of ethics which has six fundamental canons: Engineers, in the fulfillment of their professional duties, shall: 1. Hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public. 2. Perform services only in areas of their competence. 3. Issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner. 4. Act for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees. 5. Avoid deceptive acts. 6. Conduct themselves honorably, responsibly, ethically, and lawfully so as to enhance the honor, reputation, and usefulness of the profession. <National Society of Professional Engineers, http://www.nspe.org> Most engineering societies and professional organizations have similar codes of ethics. Now, I have mentioned three key words: engineer, professional, and ethics. As a student of engineering, I believe that these three words go hand-in-hand. While I am not trying to lecture anyone, I am merely trying to point out what an engineer really is. You don't have to have a degree or be part of a professional organization to be an engineer, you merely have to be trained with specialized knowledge in the application of mathematics and science and use that knowledge in a manner that will benefit the public. Of course, anyone can call themselves, or be called, or be given the title of engineer; but, that doesn't mean they are an engineer. (The English language has words that have specific meanings. By using the words for something they were not intended for, we make those words lose their original meaning.) Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. The above statements are merely the opinions which I have formed over the past four years. Someone else can feel free to define and discuss what an "operator" and "technician" are and how those are different from what an "engineer" is. David Brouda Four-Fifths of an Engineer by education, one year by application; One year operator by application and one and a half years technician by application.