Steve Freemand observes (We are not craftspeople yet) the poor opinion that the general public has of software development as a profession.
Recently the (London) Times put the dire state of UK government IT projects on their front page.
One bright correspondent suggested:
Why not use university computer science departments for large public sector IT projects? They could form part of the course work and would be far cheaper as there would be no culture of profit to worry about.I can just hear the other disciplines jumping on this bandwagon: â€œit was costing too much to do the stress calculations for our nuclear power station, so we assigned them as courseworkâ€, â€œwe canâ€™t afford these QCâ€™s, so we got some students to handle the negligence caseâ€
Implicit in the criticism is the idea that software development is so easy that we don’t need professionals – we could just have students do all the work.
It’s a fun game to play.
We could have
- med students doing all the surgery
- trainee pilots flying all the 747s
- law students help the high court catch up with their backlog – maybe they could write the legislation too
- Driver’s ed students can drive all the buses and trains