The Responsible Software Engineer: Selected Readings In …


The Responsible Software Engineer: Selected Readings In It Professionalism
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You might expect that a person invited to contribute a foreword to a book on the 1 subject of professionalism would himself be a professional of exemplary standing. I am gladdened by that thought, but also disquieted. The disquieting part of it is that if I am a professional, I must be a professional something, but what? As someone who has tried his best for the last thirty years to avoid doing anything twice, I lack one of the most important characteristics of a professional, the dedicated and persistent pursuit of a single direction. For the purposes of this foreword, it would be handy if I could think of myself as a professional abstractor. That would allow me to offer up a few useful abstractions about professionalism, patterns that might illuminate the essays that follow. I shall try to do this by proposing three successively more complex models of professionalism, ending up with one that is discomfortingly soft, but still, the best approximation I can make of what the word means to me. The first of these models I shall designate Model Zero. I intend a pejorative sense to this name, since the attitude represented by Model Zero is retrograde and offensive … but nonetheless common. In this model, the word "professionalism" is a simple surrogate for compliant uniformity.

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