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What is an Engineer?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by simongrahamuk, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    Following on from some comments made in this thread, I thought it would be worth while asking the question:

    What is an Engineer?​

    There seems to be a varied opinion on this one, so lets see what we think.

    I used to have the job title of Systems Engineer, does that make me an Engineer? or just a Technician with a nice title? Does an MCSE make you an Engineer?

    :blink
     
  2. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    I was a software engineer for about a month.
    No idea what I was supposed to be really, and neither did the people who hired me.
    Maybe engineer is supposed to be gritty and hard working?
    Software designer might sound a bit gay.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  3. d-Faktor
    Honorary Member

    d-Faktor R.I.P - gone but never forgotten.

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    is a funeral director less a director than a movie director? has a church administrator more right to call himself an administrator than a school administrator? are musical conductors angry at train conductors? should systems engineers drop their job title because they have studied less than electrical engineers? :hhhmmm

    different jobs, same name, big deal. it's all good. 8)
     
  4. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

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    It seems to me in recent times it's become a tendy way of saying something else. I think it's become a bit overused really.

    Certainly when I hear the term engineer I don't think of someone running cables, or opening up a PC, or even programming using CASE principles etc... I think of my father who for many years was an engineer, he worked on machinery, he fixed it, got his hands dirty and also was a mechanical engineer working on cars in his spare time for a while.

    I suppose that's the kind of thing it reperesents to me. Someone eminently practical who can turn their hand to any mechanical / technical hands on process.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCP, MCDST, MCSA 2K3, MCTS, MOS, MTA, MCT, MCITP:EDST7, MCSA W7, Citrix CCA, ITIL Foundation
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  5. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    my title on my contract is Junior Support Engineer :eek:

    i fix pc's, build pc's, and work in small domains, fix printers, troubleshoot - so i think my title is right! 8)
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  6. twizzle

    twizzle Gigabyte Poster

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    ok heres one... I went from a producion operative to a production technician to a test engineer all in the same company, all in the same section and all without and special trainig. So what was the difference? Just the amount of responsibilities we had. Operatives just built the machines, technicians dealt with faults during build and took care of supplies etc, Engineers, dealt with faults during testing, updated documents and redevloped or fine tuned procedures......


    So what is the diffecnce between a tehnician and an engineer then?
    I think a technician fixes stuff while an engineer improves/develops stuff!!
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+, N+, MS 70-271, 70-272
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  7. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

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    So wouldn't that be a Developer then? :) Or in management speak - Product Development Design Consultant Supervisor. Erm, ok Engineer will do. :)
     
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  8. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    In my opinion yes, it makes you a MS Engineer :biggrin, since you have passed the requirements MS sets, in their eyes you are.

    However in some countries the term "Engineer" is actually governed by law, and in order to be classed as an engineer you need to pass a state/country exam.

    Over here in the UK, the term Engineer is not governed by the Government, hence you can call yourself what you wish.

    However governing bodies are currently standardising standards when relating to this term. You have the Engineering Technician, Incorporated Engineer & the Chartered Engineer.

    The Governing bodies include the BCS, the Engineering Council UK, Institute of Acoustics, Royal Aeronautical Society, Institution of Agricultural Engineers, Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, Institute of Cast Metals Engineers, Institution of Chemical Engineers, Institution of Civil Engineers, Energy Institute, just to name afew.

    So to answer the question "What is an Engineer?" In my opinion I have to agree with Wiktionary, "A person who is qualified or professionally engaged in any branch of engineering.". See here for a longer explaination.

    After all just like any other professional field (like medicine, nursing, etc) Engineering is ever-changing.
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
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  9. troubledtony

    troubledtony Bit Poster

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    Thought i'd just contribute my 10 pence worth as a Mechanical/ Marine engineer, i've been called lots of things in my working life and the definitions i've developed are as follows; A Technician repairs fault finds etc, a Mechanic repairs and fits new parts and an Engineer takes a pile of junk and miscellanious parts and creates something usefull from them as well as the tasks alloted to the previous trades.. Well thats what i tell my apprentices :biggrin
     
    Certifications: none
  10. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    A few more definitions from Google:

    define: engineer

    I thought this gave a nice definition:
     
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  11. troubledtony

    troubledtony Bit Poster

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    I really like that....
     
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  12. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    The term engineer has evolved over the years and like many words it has come to mean different things depending on where you live. I believe Microsoft got into difficult waters in Canada because there the term engineer solely relates to somebody that has a degree in engineering. The same may well be the case for the US?

    When I called myself a radio and TV engineer (my profession in the 70s), it was because I had 5 years of qualifications from C&G plus eight years hands on experience with radio, hi-fi and the new fan-dangled colour TVs. This work was very complex and included fault finding to component level. Much of my studying was done at night school, four nights a week, after a full day at work. Now that is hands on practical experience :biggrin

    More recently, I have been told on other forums that I am not an engineer apparently :oops: my bad lol.

    The word technician was more high fa-louting than engineer then, in the good olde days.

    Here in Oz people that diagnose, repair, modify and tweak things electro-mechanical are referred to as technicians.

    What's in a name?
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)

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