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Ronald Skoog <[log in to unmask]>
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Ronald Skoog <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 13 Apr 1998 08:26:41 -0700
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> From: Mike Brenner <[log in to unmask]>
> Jim > [In empirical programming, when] the program fails to run,
>     > the "engineer" tinkers with it to try to get it to work,
> There might be a better word for this than "engineer." When you
> do experiments you are performing the job of a Scientist, not
> that of an Engineer.

I strongly disagree with this.  The person Jim describes is neither
a scientist nor an engineer.

A person involved in doing 'Science' would be formulate a theory why
the program wasn't working (based on their knowledge of the program.)
They would then formulate a test, collect the results of the test,
analyze the results, and (if they are honest) look for other situations
that could give the same results (in case there are other influences
that must be accounted for.)

> Jim > Eventually, the program may seem to work as intended,
>     > but it is littered with the debris of failed experiments.
> These failed experiments are proof positive that you are doing
> computing SCIENCE, not engineering or mathematics.

A scientist wouldn't leave the results of previous experiments
laying around for the simple reason that they could mess up
later experiments.  A technician might do it but not a scientist.

> Mike Brenner