Software Engineering as a Profession: A Moral Case for Licensure

Software Engineering as a Profession: A Moral Case for Licensure

J. Carl Ficarrotta (United States Air Force Academy, USA)
Copyright: © 2004 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-168-1.ch012
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Abstract

This chapter makes the argument that software engineers, as part of a program of moving toward more formal professionalization, should be licensed. It outlines the nature of the profession and the arguments that justify licensing in professions other than software engineering. It then traces the initial steps the software industry has already taken towards professionalization, including codes of ethics and educational standards. There are morally and practically compelling arguments, rooted in the professional’s obligations to society, to do more: licensing, or some other sort of formal, binding and revocable certification, is also necessary. The chapter considers but rejects a number of reasons one might resist this as a goal.

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