Ralf S. Engelschall is a 39-year old computer scientist, senior project manager, solution engineer and software artist from Munich, Germany. He is working for msg Applied Technology Research. Ralf S. has posted 1 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Virtues and Tenets of a Profession

05.31.2012
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A few years ago one of my children asked: "Daddy, you are a computer scientist and software architect and I do not really understand all this confusing stuff you are fiddling around all the time. And you already know that I especially do not want to become a computer scientist later myself, of course. But, Daddy, independent of all this stuff one has to do in a particular profession, in order to do a good job, aren't there any generally valid rules which potentially hold across all professions and which you can share with me?"

My first reaction was "No, all professions are just too different!", of course. But after thinking and musing about this for a longer time with friends and colleagues, I recognized that during my last 21 years in the software development and software architecture world, both as an employee and self-employed, I actually regularly experience similar things. And surprisingly, in my humble opinion, the findings behind those experiences really hold across a wider range of professions! So, through multiple iterations over the last years, I tried to distill these findings and finally aggregated them in a little poster Virtues and Tenets of a Profession, which perhaps now gives a more reasonable answer to the raised question.

But beware, it's all just from my personal perspective as a computer scientist and software architect, so the chance is certainly high that you at least partially disagree with my assembled virtues and tenets. But even in case of disagreement, the poster still serves its main purpose: to at least once draw our usual attention away from the continuously coming and going of latest technologies and to let us think about the values which in the long-term (should) back our (IT) professions...

 

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