Make computer touching a real field

  • 2 Replies
Make computer touching a real field
« on: May 30, 2023, 08:25:57 am »
I am making this a forums thread because I said this in chat and I want honest feedback. Maybe I'm really off base. This is not a shitpost.
There exists no accountability* for writing bad software. Even tho many people use subversion, git, and other software to log a constant bloody papertrail of "who put the thing in the software".

Many people call themselves "software engineers." But real engineers in other fields have licensing and boards that are nationally recognized. These engineers design skyscrapers, bridges, powerplants and other things that, if they break, kill many people.

Society is currently suffering from software engineering disasters that end up in fraud, hacking - its just that people aren't physically dying (yet) because of this incompetence. Mostly it just makes our lives shittier.

There is no accountability for bad programming beyond lawsuits, occasionally people get fired.

Computer software engineers should have examination boards, they should have licensing, they should be nationally recognized as capable and able to design and test large pieces of software. In the same way Real engineers do.
In my metaphor, the mechanical/civil/electrical engineers do not assemble anything themselves (tho they are strongly linked to prototyping and testing). The assembling is done by Trades. Higher levels of trades will also design smaller systems (usually residential) and repair things on-site to original spec.

So, let software engineers design pieces that are assembled by the software technicians - let the techs just put pieces together.
In the Real Trades, the absolute best education comes from classes and hands-on field training from unions. Programmers should have unions. They should keep their people accountable for doing bad work.

Now, I get that this wouldn't work. Currently there is a Programming Culture Mindset of "we touch computers and make lighting in a rock think, we are practically gods and capable of anything". In reality, these people are very small gods. And they are often very dumb and not exposed to good practices. These people tend to be Libertarian and Anti-Regulation.
What do you think? I do not work professionally as a computer toucher, so my perspective is as an outsider.

* By accountability I mean holding people ultimately professionally responsible for their mistakes and/or malice after they have left their employer. The best accountability that happens now is civil lawsuits. Or getting fired by your employer.

Re: Make computer touching a real field
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2023, 12:30:56 pm »
Many people call themselves "software engineers"...

I hate this.

There is no accountability for bad programming beyond lawsuits...

Welcome to marketplace economics, bay-bee!  Given the choice between purchasing accountable labour and cheap labour, we've been picking cheap every time.  "Choose two of: good, fast, cheap" and good loses nearly every time.  The computer-touchers that picked 'good and fast' are shunned for those that are cheap.  The computer touchers that picked 'good and cheap' arrive in a marketplace where people have already wasted their funds on 'fast and cheap' and there's nothing left over; hell they usually arrive in a marketplace that's hostile because
of all the pissed-off customers.  I think that's where your dissatisfaction is coming from -- you've had to deal with a marketplace where the only options that survived are the ones that didn't pick 'good' for their two, and I'd bet you wouldn't trust a vendor who says "I did pick 'good', cross my heart" because you've already been lied to.


2038 bug just hit us early
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2024, 08:11:58 am »
I just got an email from a vendor.

Crimson tracks time internally using a two methods: The first is to count the number of seconds since 01/01/1997, and the second is the count the number of 200ms ticks since that same epoch. The latter clock is used for data logging and other similar purposes where better than one second resolution is required. Both values are stored in 32-bit numbers, which works fine for the 1 second clock, but for the 200ms clock creates a wrap-around after slightly more than 27 years.

 To be precise, the 200ms clock will wrap-around at 01:17:39 on 03/22/24. It appears that our Australian customers have already started to encounter this problem, and we can expect other customers to see the same tomorrow morning. The symptoms will be incorrect data in data logs, and possibly crashes or other undefined behavior when viewing historical data on the HMI.

They knew about this years ago, and kept it to themselves. Amazing.

For those unfamiliar - the 2038 bug will hit in that year, as POSIX computers count time in seconds since january 1, 1970. And in 2038 the variable wraps around.