Restoring Engineering in Software Engineering

Courtesy of Mark Bonica

Software has become ubiquitous. It’s all around us and in us. It is in our pockets, in cars, airplanes, stock exchanges, our bodies, our offices and in lots of other places. As a computer scientist and a programmer I’ve worked in aeronautics, computer security, finance and automotive industry and I can say that software engineering is a mess. The Atlantic demonstrates this point rather thoroughly in an interesting piece on the state of the software engineering profession. I agree with the article and here I will briefly tie this to what I see to be a solution, split into four parts: 1) the licensing of professional software engineers, 2) a requisite degree in computer science, 3) mandatory formal methods in software development, and 4) all software should be free as in freedom.

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2FA Smartphone App

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Marko Dimjašević

Whenever they tell you that you have to install a very specific proprietary software smartphone app for two-factor authentication such as Google Authenticator or Authy, just nod, install a free software app such as andOTP and pretend you’re following instructions. It will work without them noticing you use free software.

Embrace, Extend and Extinguish

The Verge writes on history on web browser dominance, how it influenced the web and why is the unfortunate history repeating itself, but this time with Chrome instead of IE. Google has learned from the best about the Embrace, Extend and Extinguish strategy. They did pretty much the same with Android: it started as a free software project (if we exclude drivers from consideration for a moment) and now it is full of Google’s proprietary apps and dependencies. Am I too fast to conclude that this kind of things happens inevitably in the economic system that we have?

DAVdroid

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Marko Dimjašević

If you use DAVdroid on your phone (and have your address books and calendars in ownCloud), don’t rush with installing DAVdroid 1.2. I just had to uninstall it and install version 1.1.1.2 to have it usable on my phone again. The old lesson learned: don’t install .0 releases.