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I work for Novell. As a member of the Education Department, I have been asked about a new certification being considered. During the course of a team discussion, I raised a concern that using the term "Engineer" is perhaps improper when describing a less than 4-year engineering degree from an accredited university (or similar education). I stated that there are those that feel that the term is unearned by anyone that does not fit the above description (I personally am an "engineer" on at least two different companies software).
Because I chose to open my mouth, I have been asked to gather feedback from those who are in the GNU/Linux community that have an opinion they are willing to share (dangerous, I know...but necessary ).
Please give me your reasons why Engineer is/isn't acceptable and/or why an alternative might be a better/worse approach (I've suggested two other options -- expert and specialist).
To be honest, I am uncomfortable with the word Engineer, but cannot for the life of me come up with an alternative. "Expert" also gives me the connotation of a self imposed title "Oh yeah, I'm an expert" or a tabloid story "said the computer expert".
Specialist seems to me to be a title which may lead people to exclude any other considerations of skill sets - "oh, you're a Linux specialist are you? Well we have Windows here so I don't think we can use you".
So although Engineer may not be the most appropriate word, it may be the best that fits.
I agree with Waalern.
"Engineer" in France is at least 5 years in a recognized university or equivalent.
"Specialist" or "Expert"... I don't know. IMHO, both refer to someone having studied all aspects of a specific area of knowledge.
The way I see it personally, "Specialist" is more of a reknown person; someone you can be sure of, because of their experience, and the good work already done. While an "Expert" would rather be a self-proclaimed person (due to a certification or otherly acquired knowledge), without any judgement on their quality: some are good, some are bad.
Personally I feel that engineer is the most appropriate title for a higher level cert. The computer industry knows that a certification titled as engineer requires a lot of study and is not an entry level cert.
As for specialist, I feel it suggests that you don't have a broad knowlege and posess little experience or knowlege of any other product.
Expert seems to be a self proclaimed title.
How about professional, authority, maven, virtuoso, savant. Ok, those last couple don't fit all that well.
I was holding out for "Certified Linux Guru" or maybe "Certified OSS Evangelist" but alas, in Texas you have to have a 4-year degree from an accredited (by the Pope) religious institution to legally call yourself a guru or evangelist.
Thanks all for replying. I have found your feedback to be helpful. Your answers, along with some other research I have done, has given me some good information that I will use (hopefully to make the right choice, eh?).
If you have more to say, please keep adding responses. I'll be checking back later this week with an update on where things are headed.
I am also a "engineer" certified by your company amongst others.
I believe that the term Engineer might be improper, Expert would sound better but is not really appropriate. There are lots of certified people out there where "engineer" is a bad enough term. Calling them experts would be a disaster.
If you study what all us "engineers" actually do there is a wide variety of jobs.
and so on..
Some are very specialized in a single area, some run the whole show.
Maybe specialist is a better term.
Novell Certified Linux Systems Specialist
Novell Certified NetWare Systems Specialist
Novell Certified Integrations Specialist
Novell Certified Directory Specialist
Novell Certified Networking Specialist.
What do you call people like me that goes for the whole shebang?
An Engineer is an expert specialized in a specific scientific field and has a degree to prove it
An Expert may be a specialist but not nesessarily an engineer and has dubious proofs of his assertions
A Specialist presumes too much of his own abilities