C R ITIC A L PE RS P E C T I VE S

Stephen Seidman

College of Science and Engineering Texas State University 601 University Drive San Marcos, Texas 78666 USA [email protected]

Computing: An Emerging Profession? COMPUTING has been an academic and industrial discipline for barely two generations. In this time, a worldwide community numbering millions of computing practitioners has emerged. Does this community now constitute a profession of computing? If not, is it in the process of becoming a profession? Does the emergence of the engineering profession provide an analogy for computing? Useful insights can be obtained from a close look at some aspects of professionalism: academic preparation, body of knowledge, codes of ethics, and professional status. While the 1940s saw the first digital computers, the use of computing across a wide range of industries only began in the 1950s. Each of the following decades can be characterized by a revolution in hardware: mainframes in the 1960s, minicomputers in the 1970s, and microcomputers in the 1980s. Each of these generations was accompanied by an increase in the computing workforce. Recent technological developments (e.g., the internet, mobile computing, and cloud computing) have led to further increases. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 2012 US employment in “computer occupations” at 3,456,500 [9]. Does this employment sector represent the emergence of a computing profession?

The Structure of Engineering Professionalism To answer this question, we need to take a closer look at professions and professionalism. There is a large body of sociological literature on professionalism [e.g., 15,18,26,34]. Characteristics of modern professions identified in this literature

include the following: mastery of a body of knowledge, a code of ethics, a system of professional status, and professional societies [4]. The origin of the modern professions can be found in the 19th century United Kingdom. At the end of the 18th century, the UK knew only three “liberal professions”: divinity, medicine, and law. According to [34:2] “the professions as we know them are very much a Victorian creation, brought into being to serve the needs of an industrial society.” The emergence of such a society required the participation and leadership of a large group of engineers. We will look at the emergence of the engineering profession and the characteristics of the modern profession of engineering as potential analogues for the emergence of a computing profession in our era. At the beginning of the 19th century, a young man preparing for a career as an engineer in the UK would enroll as an apprentice or pupil of an established engineer for a period of two to three years [34:122]. Although evening classes at institutions such as the Glasgow Mechanics’ Institute could complement an apprenticeship [34:124]

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and round out the acquisition of a body of knowledge, formal education for aspiring engineers in the UK did not exist until much later in the century. This contrasts strongly with developments in France, Germany, and the US. For example, courses in what we would now call engineering were offered by the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers in Paris as early as 1819. In the United States, the development of institutions to provide young people with the body of knowledge needed by a practicing engineer took place in new institutions that eventually became technological institutes and eventually universities. One early example is the Rensselaer School (1824), which became the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1861. In 1862, the Morrill Act granted the states land; proceeds from the sale of this land was intended to support the creation of colleges “to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts [27]”. The following decades saw the birth of numerous engineering programs in state-supported, locally funded, and private institutions. The 19th century also saw the establishment of engineering professional societies. In the UK, the Institute of Civil Engineers was founded in 1818; its US equivalent, the American Society of Civil Engineers, was founded in 1852. The application of engineering principles to new domains gave rise to new societies, such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (1880) and the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (a predecessor of the Institute

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and Technology; this organization is now called ABET. Professional engineering societies have also taken the lead in developing engineering codes of ethics. These codes may be specific to a single engineering discipline, such as the IEEE Code of Ethics [21], or they may be designed for a national community of engineers, such as the Canadian code of engineering ethics [6].

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Progress Toward a Profession of Computing

of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, also known as IEEE; 1884). In some countries, engineering societies have come together in what might be called “meta-societies;” examples include the Engineering Council in the UK and Engineers Australia. Acquisition of a body of knowledge, whether by apprenticeship or formal education, can be regarded as the first step on a ladder leading to professional status. How are further steps toward a professional career implemented in engineering? In the United States, an aspiring engineering professional must apply for a license from a US state. The states assign the management of engineering licensure to professional societies that represent all engineering disciplines (e.g., the Texas Society of Professional Engineers). Requirements for receiving a license include appropriate academic preparation, relevant industrial experience, and passing an examination. The examination is managed and administered by the National Society of Professional Engineers, an organization that represents all states as well as all engineering disciplines. Canada follows an analogous process that is regulated by the provinces and territories. In the UK, the equivalent status is that of “chartered engineer;” individuals holding this designation are registered with the Engineering Council (EC). Candidates apply through a professional society affiliated with the EC; they must have appropriate academic preparation and demonstrate professional competence. Note that there is no examination. A similar system is used in Australia.

The “Anglophone” approach described in the preceding paragraph relies on a complex and indirect collaboration between universities, professional societies, and government. A more direct approach is found in many European countries, where ministries of education closely regulate academic programs. In these countries, graduates of an engineering program may use a pre-/ post-nominal title such as Ir. (Netherlands) or Ing. (Spain) that indicates that its holder holds the status of a professional engineer. The previous paragraphs referred to “appropriate” academic preparation without elaboration. How does an educational system or a ministry of education determine whether an academic program is appropriate? The process of obtaining answers to these questions is generally referred to as program accreditation. To use a software engineering metaphor, program accreditation can be seen as “validation and verification” of an academic program. It answers the following two questions: ■  Does the name of a program correspond to its nature? ■  Does the program have sufficient quality? The accreditation of US engineering programs began in 1932, when seven engineering professional societies came together to form the Engineers’ Council for Professional Development (ECPO); this organization accredited its first programs in 1936. ECPO soon extended its mandate to engineering technology, changing its name to the Accreditation Board for Engineering

When computing emerged as a recognized academic discipline in the 1960s, it came in multiple flavors: computer engineering arose from electrical engineering (circuits, processors, instruction sets), computer science had roots in mathematics (algorithms, theory of computation, numerical analysis), and information systems supported business applications. During this period, computing acquired its own professional societies. For US computer scientists, the primary society was the Association for Computing Machinery (now called ACM), established in 1949. US computer engineering practitioners formed a committee and group, respectively, within the two electrical/electronic engineering societies (American Institute of Electrical Engineers, Institute of Radio Engineers). When these organizations merged to form IEEE, the respective computing bodies also came together, resulting in what is now known as the IEEE Computer Society (IEEE-CS). The discipline of information systems was much slower to develop a US professional society; the Association for Information Systems came into existence only in the 1990s. By contrast, most other countries established single national societies that covered the entire spectrum of computing. Examples include the British Computer Society (BCS) (UK, 1957), and the Gesellschaft für Informatik (Germany, 1969). Codes of ethics for computing have been developed by national societies (e.g., [5]) as well as by ACM [1] and IEEE-CS [22]. By the 1960s, universities around the world had started to develop academic programs in computing. Recognizing that these new programs needed curriculum guidance based on a recognized body of knowledge, ACM formed a Curricu-

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C R ITIC A L PE RS P E C T I VE S Computing: An Emerging Profession? lum Committee on Computer Science in 1962. This committee made preliminary recommendations in 1965 [10] and its final recommendations were published in 1968 [2]. Since that time, ACM, working in collaboration with IEEE-CS, has issued recommendations for computing curricula every decade or so; recommendations are now available for curricula in computer science, computer engineering, information systems, information technology, and software engineering [8]. These curriculum recommendations have been very influential throughout the world. Computing programs of various sorts were in place at most universities by 1980, but this was not the case for the systems needed to assure their quality. Computer engineering programs could be accredited using existing engineering accreditation models. Most U.S. information systems programs were specializations within accredited business programs, so nothing new was needed. However, it was not clear how to accredit computer science programs. To meet this need, ACM and IEEE-CS worked together to establish the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board (CSAB) in 1985 [12]. Modeled on ABET, this body accredited U.S. computer science programs. Unfortunately, the number of CS programs requesting accreditation grew only slowly. By 1995, CSAB leadership felt that the only way forward was for CSAB to move under the ABET umbrella. It was felt that CS programs located in colleges of engineering would be more likely to seek ABET accreditation if it was available. After a long and complex negotiation, CSAB became a member society of ABET in 2000, and, as expected, this led to a rapid increase in the number of accredited programs. At about the same time, CSAB worked with ABET to offer accreditation of information systems programs (primarily targeting those IS programs not offered in business schools), and later did the same for information technology programs. Despite this increase, it remains the case that relatively few U.S. computing programs are accredited. This contrasts strongly with the experience of other countries following similar accreditation schemes. For example, it is expected that computing programs in Canada, Austra-

lia, and the UK be accredited. A still more extreme contrast is with Germany, where there is a legal obligation for all university programs to be accredited [25]. The acquisition of professional status in the computing disciplines is far from uniform. It has been easiest for computer engineers, since they fall within the engineering paradigm. For other disciplines (computer science, information systems, information technology, etc.) professional status is country-specific. A few examples will illustrate the diversity. In the UK, since the British Computer Society joined the Engineering Council in 1985 [19], the BCS can award professional designations to its members: Chartered Engineer, Chartered Scientist, and Chartered IT Professional. This is emphatically not the case in the US and Canada, where computing is not included under the engineering umbrella. The situation is quite different in Latin America, where for historical reasons, computing programs in many countries are called “systems engineering” (e.g., Peru, Costa Rica), and graduates of these programs are considered to be engineers. The most extreme case of this phenomenon is found in Chile, where a broad category of (6-year) undergraduate degree programs is titled “civil engineer,”1 a category which includes the computing degree “Civil Engineer in Computing.”2 Just as in Peru and Costa Rica, graduates of this program are regarded as engineers.

Obstacles to a Profession of Computing

The growth and impact of computing accreditation provides a way to look at the maturity of computing professionalism. In the United States, only about one-third of all computing programs are accredited. The decision to submit a computing program for consideration for accreditation is determined by numerous local considerations: the cost of accreditation, the academic home of the program (engineering vs. arts and sciences), and the competitive situation (accreditation of programs at comparable nearby institutions). So far, there has been no pressure from industry for programs to 1 2

Ing. Civil Ingeniería Civil Informática

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be accredited. US employers seem happy if a prospective employee’s technical skills correspond to the company’s current needs; they tend to show little interest in a candidate’s academic background. In this context, it’s extremely unlikely that a US employer would ever refuse to hire a graduate of a non-accredited computing program. This contrasts strongly with the experience in the United Kingdom. Since the British Computer Society is a member of the Engineering Council, computing is formally regarded as an engineering discipline in the UK. It is therefore expected that all UK computing programs be accredited. Note that the program accreditations carried out by UK professional engineering and computing societies are in addition to the required and regular reviews of all university academic programs performed under the auspices of the UK’s Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education [31]. Completion of an accredited academic program is one of the steps on the most straightforward path to chartered status in the UK professional engineering system. Other countries fall somewhere between these two extremes. We have seen that Latin American countries consider computing as an engineering discipline. While this is not the case in Europe, the European Community is moving toward requiring program accreditation [14], as is already the case in Germany. The effort to accredit computing programs targets one aspect of computing professionalism: the academic preparation of computing professionals. In recent years, a quite different approach has received much attention—this approach focuses on computing practitioners and their employers. The centerpiece of these efforts are what are called “job frameworks” for the IT sector. The first (and best-known) of these efforts is the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) [35], a collaboration between UK professional societies (BCS, Institution of Engineering and Technology), employers, government agencies, and education providers. The first version of this job framework was released in 2003. SFIA defines six categories of skills needed by an IT practitioner; each of these skills is characterized at seven levels of responsibility. Employers can determine the skills and

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levels needed for a particular position, and practitioners can place themselves at appropriate positions in the SFIA matrix and work toward acquiring new skills or moving to higher levels of responsibility. This approach has been very popular in Europe; similar job frameworks were developed in France and Germany, and the European Community has developed its own IT job framework and system of qualifications [13]. The SFIA framework forms part of a recent international effort to create a professional qualification for IT practitioners. The International Professional Practice Partnership (IP3) effort [23] is sponsored by the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP), which in turn represents IT professional societies from 56 countries. The IP3 effort has produced a standard for IT professional competence that is based on a core body of knowledge and demonstrated competence at SFIA level 5 that includes both technical and domain knowledge and significant responsibility, influence, and autonomy. The standard also requires continuous professional development and adherence to a code of ethics. The idea is that a professional computing society (a member of IFIP) will join IP3 and apply for IP3 accreditation, which gives the society the right to award professional certification to members that meet the IP3 standard. A society applying for IP3 accreditation must demonstrate that it has a certification process in place that conforms to the IP3 standard [24]. At the present time, eight national computing societies have joined the IP3 effort (Australia, Canada, Egypt, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, Zimbabwe), and two of them (Australian Computing Society, Canadian Information Processing Society) have received IP3 accreditation to offer professional IT certification to their members. However, the IP3 effort has so far seen slow growth. Two societies that joined IP3 in its earliest stages (IEEE Computer Society, British Computer Society) have let their IP3 membership lapse. Furthermore, the two societies (Australian Computing Society, Canadian Information Processing Society) that have received IP3 accreditation did so relatively early, and no other society has as yet followed suit. Although the world economic crisis of 2008 may be

partly responsible for the slow progress, this is hardly the only factor. It’s hard to resist the conclusion that, just as with ABET accreditation of computing programs in the US, the slow growth of IP3 reflects some reluctance to move toward greater IT professionalism. Here too, it seems clear that industry is not demanding a move in this direction. The somewhat confused state of emerging computing professionalism is described in [20].

Software Engineering: Forerunner or Cautionary Tale

One way of examining the relevance of engineering’s model of professionalism for computing is to look at software engineering’s path toward professionalism. The phrase “software engineering” was introduced at the end of the 1960s [30,32] as a response to a generally perceived “software crisis” that had arisen from experience with the problems associated with designing, developing, and maintaining reliable large-scale software systems. At that time, software engineering was defined as “establishment and use of sound engineering principles to obtain economically software that is reliable and works on real machines efficiently.” The idea was that just as engineering principles were needed to design and build complex artifacts in the physical domain, they would also be necessary for doing the same in the software domain. During the ensuing decades, software engineering has established a presence in the academic and industrial world. It clearly has roots and affiliations in computer science, but its name and associations suggest an affiliation with engineering. Does software engineering have the elements of professionalism outlined earlier in this paper? Academic programs in software engineering developed in the 1980s at undergraduate and graduate levels. There are ACM-IEEE/CS-sponsored curriculum recommendations for bachelor’s [36] and Master’s level [17] software engineering programs. In 1993, the ACM and IEEE-CS formed a committee to examine software engineering professionalism [3]. This “Joint Steering Committee for the Establishment of Software Engineering as a Profession” looked at establishing a body of knowledge, a code of ethics, as well as curricula and accredita-

tion standards. These efforts resulted in the 1997 publication of the ACM/IEEE-CS software engineering code of ethics [16]. At about the same time, the Texas association of professional engineers asked the two societies to develop a body of knowledge that could serve as the basis for a software engineering licensing examination [11:321]. This issue turned out to be very divisive, and in 1999, ACM withdrew from all software engineering professionalism efforts. Despite this split, joint work continued on curriculum recommendations. Undergraduate software engineering curriculum recommendations appeared in 2004 and recommendations for master’s programs appeared in 2009. Similarly, the two societies worked together through CSAB and ABET to establish accreditation criteria for undergraduate software engineering programs, and ABET has been accrediting these programs for about 15 years. However, it’s important to note that ABET accreditation of software engineering programs required a complex collaboration of ABET, CSAB, and their constituent societies and commissions. Some more detail will be instructive. ABET consists of four commissions, two of which are relevant here: the Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) accredits computing programs, while the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) accredits engineering programs. As we have seen, CAC is responsible for accrediting programs in computer science, information systems, and information technology. As an “engineering” program, software engineering accreditation is the responsibility of EAC. However, the criteria for accrediting software engineering programs are written by CSAB subject to EAC approval. The program evaluators visiting a software engineering program are appointed by CSAB, but the team chair is a member of the EAC. Other countries have had different experiences with managing accreditation of programs at the computing/engineering interface. In Canada, all engineering accreditation is carried out by Engineers Canada through the Canadian Engineers Accreditation Board. Furthermore, Engineers Canada has trademarked the words “engineer” and “engineering” [3]. When Memorial University of Newfoundland attempted to offer an

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C R ITIC A L PE RS P E C T I VE S Computing: An Emerging Profession? undergraduate degree in software engineering, the university was sued by Engineers Canada. The conflict arising from this lawsuit has never been definitively resolved. The Memorial University website currently states that “Completion of the Honours in Computer Science (Software Engineering) Program does not qualify persons to hold the designation “Professional Engineer” as defined by various Provincial Acts governing the Engineering Profession [28].” Note that the Canadian Information Processing Society also accredits programs in software engineering; its perspective on software engineering accreditation can be found at [7]. A third approach is found in Australia, where software engineering programs are jointly accredited by Engineers Australia and the Australian Computer Society. After ACM’s withdrawal from software engineering professionalism activities in 1999, IEEE-CS continued to work on developing a software engineering body of knowledge. The resulting Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK) was released in 2004 and has been published as an international standard (ISO/IEC 19759:2005). It has been subject to ongoing revision, with the third edition appearing in 2014 [37]. It’s interesting to note that although IEEE-CS and ACM failed to agree on the need for an effort to develop a software engineering body of knowledge, the joint software engineering curriculum recommendations rely heavily on SWEBOK. Despite the ACM/IEEE-CS disagreement on the question of professional licensure, in 1999 Texas became the first US state to institute the licensure of software engineers [3]. Since that time, a software engineering licensing examination has been developed, and most other states (40, as of this writing) are now licensing software engineers. A history of this effort is found at [29]. However only 16 software engineers have so far taken the examination. The slow uptake is most likely due to the fact that software engineers seeking licensure have to take the Fundamentals of Engineering examination required of all candidates for engineering licensure. Since this examination currently covers such topics as engineering mechanics, strength of materials, fluid mechanics, electricity and magnetism, and thermodynamics, it is

unlikely that many software engineers will choose to apply for licensure. However, it can be expected that the states will eventually require that software engineers leading development projects affecting human health and safety be licensed. For all of these reasons, in 1999 the IEEE Computer Society decided to develop a certification examination that would offer software engineers another way of demonstrating their professional qualifications. This effort is described in [33]. The resulting Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP) examination was first offered in 2002. Note the deliberate avoidance of the words “engineer” and “engineering.” The CSDP certification process is the basis of an international standard (ISO/IEC 24773) for software engineering certification. However, although more than 1000 software professionals have been certified to date, uptake has been relatively slow. An entrylevel certification examination (Certified Software Development Associate) has also been developed, primarily for international markets; this has also seen slow uptake. The experiences described in the preceding paragraphs make it clear that the path to software engineering professionalism has been far from smooth. It began with good intentions, but soon fell afoul of disputes between professional communities and rivalries between engineering and computing societies. The recent steps toward US software engineering licensure will require applicants to have the training of “conventional” engineers, whose disciplines are based on the physical sciences. Finally, there has not yet been any pressure from industry to hire software engineers with formal academic background in software engineering, much less who those have attained licensure or certification.

The Prospects for Computing Professionalism

Earlier in this paper, we identified the essential elements of professionalism (academic preparation, body of knowledge, code of ethics, professional status) in engineering and showed how these elements have contributed to the emergence of an internationally recognized profession of engineering. In the second half of the last century, as computer technology has come

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to pervade all aspects of human society, has computing been successful in following the path to professionalism blazed by engineering in the previous 150 years? Previous paragraphs have shown that computing has created the essential elements of professionalism, largely following the engineering model. However, these elements seem to be necessary but not sufficient; a profession of computing has so far failed to emerge. Possible explanations for this phenomenon include: ■  It took more than a century for engineering training to move from apprenticeship to formal education. During this period, engineers came to regard themselves as a professional community that would build and maintain the elements of professionalism. By contrast, computing’s development took place far too rapidly for such a sense of professionalism to develop. ■  For at least a century (1750-1850), most engineers were self-employed practitioners rather than employees. This strengthened engineers’ view of themselves as practicing a profession. By contrast, computing practitioners outside of academia have mostly been employed in industry or government. ■  The first century of the Industrial Revolution was primarily limited to Western Europe and North America, and the engineering profession emerged there. This meant that the structure and mores of the profession could easily be adopted as a package in other parts of the world. By contrast, computing was adopted all over the world before computing professionalism could emerge. This allowed local variants of computing professionalism to look quite different. The paper has commented on significant differences between the approaches to computing professionalism taken in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and other countries. ■  As engineers moved into positions in industry, their supervisors were usually engineers who also had an interest in engineering as a profession. By contrast, the explosive expansion of computing created positions that needed to be filled instantly by whomever had the minimal requisite skills or who could acquire them. Employers had little if any interest in requiring that their employees had graduated from

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an accredited computing program or were pursuing a path that led to professional status. This has had several consequences: the limited interest in program accreditation in US universities, the lack of interest in software engineering certification (CSDP), and the slow uptake of the IP3 effort. The controversies and false starts associated with software engineering accreditation can be linked to these and similar observations.

So, Where Do We Stand? We can now return to the question embedded in the article’s title: is computing an emerging profession? A simple answer is “it depends,” but what does it depend on? Currently, the professional status of computing practitioners clearly depends on location (US vs. UK or Australia). In the future, it will also depend on specialty, since licensure will almost certainly be required for software engineers working on applications that affect human health and safety. Will licensure be required for software engineers working on financial and security applications? Who knows? It will be interesting to see whether the eventual emergence of a professional health-andsafety software engineering community will be the seed for a broader professionalism for computing practitioners, or just another line of fissure. Employers will play a critical role; the advancement of computing professionalism has until now been slowed by US employers’ lack of interest in the accreditation of computing programs and by their apparent willingness to hire employees with vaguely defined preparation. Going forward, will employers insist that their new employees have appropriate pre-professional credentials and that their current employees follow a path that moves toward professional status? The prospects for the emergence of computing as a profession are therefore guarded at best. The argument posed above suggests that computing may never become a profession. A deeper question is whether people working in computing really want to be true professionals. As professionals, they would have to become accountable for their acts and for the work

they do. Right now, they are not subject to the constraints of professional status (including legal consequences for improper or unethical practice), in contrast to professional engineers, medical doctors, or even barbers and beauticians. Additionally, the persistent (and likely increasing) differences between countries and regions make it difficult to envision a worldwide model of computing professionalism. The fact that subspecialties are moving toward professionalism at widely different rates makes it difficult to build and/or encourage a common view of practitioners as professionals. Finally, employers’ consistent lack of interest in the professionalism or professional status of their employees is a serious obstacle to progress toward computing as a profession. In conclusion, computing is certainly not a profession at the present time. Since the forces operating on the community of computing practitioners seem much more centrifugal than centripetal, significant progress toward increasing professionalism seems unlikely. Ir References [1] ACM Code of Ethics; http://www.acm.org/about/code-ofethics. Accessed 2014 June 10. [2] ACM Curriculum Committee on Computer Science. “Curriculum 68 – recommendations for academic programs in computer science.” Communications of the ACM 11 (1968): 151-197. [3] Adams, T. “Software engineering in Canada, the US, and the UK: Inter-professional relations and the emergence of a new profession.” Working Paper #9, Workforce Aging in the New Economy. University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, 2004. [4] Bagert, D. “Licensing and certification of software professionals.” Annals of Computing 60 (2004):1-34. [5] Barber, B. “Some Problems in the Sociology of the Professions.” Daedalus, 92 (1963); 669-688. [6] BCS Code of Ethics; http://www.bcs.org/upload/pdf/conduct.pdf. Accessed 2014 June 10. [7] Canadian Engineering Code of Ethics; http://www.engineerscanada.ca/sites/default/files/guideline_code_with_1. pdf. Accessed 2014 June 10. [8] Canadian Information Processing Society: software engineering white paper; http://www.cips.ca/softeng. Accessed 2014 June 11. [9] Computing Curricula Recommendations; http://www.acm.org/ education/curricula-recommendations. Accessed 2014 June 12. [10] Congressional Research Service; http://www.fas.org/sgp/ crs/misc/R43061.pdf. Accessed 2014 June 10. [11] Conte, S. et al. “An undergraduate program in computer science – preliminary recommendations.” Communications of the ACM 8 (1965): 543-552. [12] Davis, M. Code Making: How Software Engineering Became a Profession. Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, Illinois Institute of Technology, 2009; https:// archive.org/stream/CodeMakingHowSoftwareEngineeringBecameAProfession/FullBook#page/n1/mode/2up. Accessed 2014 June 11. [13] Engel, G., Impagliazzo, J., and LaMalva, P. “A brief history of the computing sciences accreditation board (CSAB) promoting quality education in the computing fields. Inroads 2 (2010) 62-69.

[14] European Certification of Informatics Professionals; http:// www.eucip.com. Accessed 2014 June 11. [15] European Quality Assurance Network for Informatics Education; http://www.eqanie.eu. Accessed 2014 June 11. [16] Freidson, E. Professionalism Reborn: Theory, Prophecy, and Policy. (Illinois, University of Chicago Press, 1994). [17] Gotterbarn, D., Miller, K., and Rogerson, S. “Software engineering code of ethics.” Communications of the ACM 11 (1990): 110-118. [18] Graduate Software Engineering 2009; http://www. gswe2009.org. Accessed 2014 June 11. [19] Jackson, J., ed. Professions and Professionalization. (UK, Cambridge University Press, 1970). [20] History of BCS; http://www.bcs.org/content/conWebDoc/1580. Accessed 2014 10 June. [21] Ibraraki, S. “Professionalism: growing or in a downward spiral.” IT World Canada Blog; www.itworldcanada. com/blog/professionalism-growing-or-in-a-downwardspiral/85230#ixzz2gXzYT5oU. Accessed 2014 June 11. [22] IEEE Code of Ethics; http://www.ieee.org/about/corporate/ governance/p7-8.html. Accessed 2014 June 10. [23] IEEE-CS Code of Ethics; www.computer.org/cms/Computer.org/Publications/code-of-ethics.pdf. Accessed 2014 10 June. [24] International Professional Practice Partnership; http:// ipthree.org/gain-ip3-accreditation/ip3-accreditationprogram/it-professional-standards. Published 2013 30 September. Accessed 2014 11 June. [25] Johnson, R. “IP3 – progress towards a global ICT profession.” In World Computer Conference 2010 Proceedings (Germany: Springer, 2010):177-186. [26] Kehm, B.. “The German system of accreditation”. Public Policy for Academic Quality Research Program, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; http://www.unc.edu/ ppaq/docs/GermanAccreditation.pdf. Accessed 2014 10 June. [27] Larson, M. “The Rise of Professionalism: a Sociological Analysis”. (California, University of California Press, 1977). [28] Legal Information Institute; http://www.law.cornell.edu/ uscode/text/7/304. Accessed 2014 10 June. [29] Memorial University; http://www.mun.ca/regoff/calendar/ sectionNo=SCI-0957. Accessed 2014 11 June. [30] National Society of Professional Engineers. Task Force Report and Recommendation for Computer and Software Engineering Licensure Path (2006). [31] Naur, P.and Randell, B, eds., 1969, Software Engineering: Report on a Conference Sponsored by the NATO Science Committee, Garmisch, Germany, 7-11 October 1968, Scientific Affairs Division, NATO, Brussels. [32] Quality Assurance Agency; http://www.qaa.ac.uk/Pages/ default.aspx. Accessed 2014 11 June. [33] Randell, B., and Buxton, J., eds., 1970, Software Engineering Techniques: Report on a Conference Sponsored by the NATO Science Committee, Rome, Italy, 27-31 October 1969, Scientific Affairs Division, NATO, Brussels. [34] Seidman, S. “Professionalism and certification”, in Computing Handbook, Third Edition: Computer Science and Software Engineering, (Florida, CRC Press, 2014): Chapter 74. [35] Reader, W.J. Professional Men: The Rise of the Professional Classes in Nineteenth-Century England. (New York, Basic Books, 1966). [36] Skills Framework for the Information Age; http://www. sfia-online.org. Accessed 2014 11 June. [37] Software Engineering 2004; http://sites.computer.org/ccse. Accessed 2014 11 June. [38] Software Engineering Body of Knowledge; http://www. computer.org/portal/web/swebok. Accessed 2014 11 June.

Categories and Subject Descriptors: K.5 (Legal Aspects of Computing) General, licensing, regulation General terms: Legal aspects Keywords: computing professionalism, software engineering, history and expectations

DOI: 10.1145/2644826 Copyright held by author.

2014 December  •  Vol. 5  •  No. 4  acm Inroads  11

Computing: An Emerging Profession? - ACM Digital Library

developments (e.g., the internet, mobile computing, and cloud computing) have led to further increases. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 2012 US.

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2 HCI Institute. Carnegie Mellon University. Pittsburgh, PA 15232 USA. {jjpierce,paulos}@cs.cmu.edu. 3 SAMA Group. Yahoo!, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA 94089 USA.