risks of Undisciplined
An illustration of the problems caused by a lack of discipline in software
development and our failure to apply what is known in the field.
The BrAncheS OF engineer- ing (such as civil, electrical, and mechanical), are often referred to as disciplines for good reason. Associated
with each specialty is a set of rules
˲ ˲ checks that must be made;
˲ ˲ properties that must be measured,
calculated, or specified;
˲ ˲ documentation that must be provided;
˲ ˲ design review procedures;
˲ ˲ tests that must be carried out on
the product; and
˲ ˲product inspection and maintenance procedures.
Like all professional education,
engineering education is designed to
prepare students to meet the requirements of the authorities that regulate
their chosen profession. Consequently,
most graduates are taught they must
carry out these procedures diligently
and are warned they can be deemed
guilty of negligence and lose the right to
practice their profession if they do not.
PhotograPh by brandon shigeta
Because they are preparing students for a career that can last many
decades, good engineering programs
teach fundamental principles that will
be valid and useful at the end of the
graduate’s career. Engineering procedures are based on science and mathematics; and graduates are expected to
understand the reasons for the rules,
not just blindly apply them.
These procedures are intended to
assure that the engineer’s product: