When I was doing my undergrad, I knew a lot of geography students. One of them told me that geographers spent a lot of time debating what geography was. I found this completely ridiculous, of course, imagining the only thing to be more pointless than studying geography was angsting about nature of geography.
(Of course, I don’t mean to offend geographers. I’m sure there are in fact many things more pointless than geography, like… banging your head against a brick wall! Or, arguing with an idiot who will bring you down to their level and then beat you with experience. Or – philosophy! If they could only decide what geography is, I could no doubt compile a more comprehensive list.)
There are great outreach programs at uOttawa, one for science and one for engineering. Computer Science is not covered by either of them. So I’m having my own bit of angst, what are we, and why are we rejected by both scientists and engineers? (Although, not the things we create, which they depend on heavily).
I searched for the answer, but Google didn’t have a short answer for me (it did, however, find me a comprehensive essay). However thinking about it, I think we fall in the middle – sometimes scientists, and sometimes engineers. We can choose what we want to be, which is cool. Sometimes we’ll study, like a scientist; experiment, investigate. Sometimes we’ll build, like an engineer; design, scale.
Perhaps one day, instead of being rejected by scientists and engineers, we’ll be claimed by both sides – celebrated for what we can do.
Or not. Maybe we’ll just be something special, all of our own. Software Artistes, yo.