Right now, we have professionalism and profession, but I'm not sure that they should be two separate tags. Between them, there are only 32 questions (18 in professionalism and 14 in profession). I, personally, prefer professionalism - it includes a variety of topics ranging from the development software engineering as a profession to ethics and can be used to denote things that are of interest exclusively to professionals in a work environment. I think that professionalism, by nature, includes everything in profession. But thoughts?
profession is a meta tag and just needs to be burninated from all the questions that have it. It has no semantic value, and it's not the same thing as professionalism: it should not be merged into it.
I looked at the professionalism and didn't find a question there that needed the tag and was on-topic here: many of the questions were general workplace professionalism questions, which are off-topic here (probably going to be okay on Professional Matters). Some had professionalism seemingly as an afterthought. Others mention professionalism, but are really about something else.
I went ahead and retagged most the questions that were on-topic, and professionalism can now be burninated.
There's also professional: there was only one question there that was actually on-topic and not a "please tell me what I should do" advice question. This should be burninated from all the questions that have it.
We should be able to get SE to just drop the profession, professional, and professionalism tags so we don't wind up retagging and bumping few dozen off-topic questions for no reason.
Even the possibly on-topic question is probably suited to Professional Matters as it appears to be relevant to anyone with an online presence. They seem to be nukeable now, favoring more relevant tags, but I only took about 10 minutes to look at all three tags. Oct 25, 2011 at 22:19
1@ThomasOwens there was a case to be made that it was a programmer-specific question: probably best to leave it up to a community voting.– user8Oct 25, 2011 at 23:53
"Profession" seems like a meta-tag. After all, all questions here are ostensibly related to the software development profession.
I haven't looked closely at the professionalism tag yet, but I think that it makes no sense to keep "profession" regardless.
Professionalism seems legitimate. There are some good questions about licensure/certification, leaving a job (although some of those might be general career questions - I'd have to look at all of them), ethics, communicating with former colleagues about projects, relationship between engineer and customer, and software development as an engineering discipline. Oct 25, 2011 at 16:49
If profession is indeed a Meta tag as Anna suggests, I would recommend merging profession->professionalism and then manually reviewing the 30 questions, or reviewing the 14 profession questions and then merging. Either way, it's a small enough number for a manual cleanup followed by a merge or a merge followed by a manual cleanup.
Since "professionalism" is a soft tag as well, I think we should review it as well, but I'd definitely review "profession" separately and retag/close as appropriate. I don't think we need to merge tags so long as "profession" is cleared out and removed.– Adam Lear StaffModOct 25, 2011 at 18:59
@Anna The only difference is that professionalism within a given field is something that is studied academically. Steve McConnell, in Professional Software Development, has sections titled "Individual Professionalism", "Organizational Professionalism", and "Industry Professionalism". Although even so, it might be too broad (in the same manner software-engineering is too broad), and tags such as ethics, certification, teams, communication and so forth might be preferred. Oct 25, 2011 at 19:18
Yeah, there may be room for that... I still haven't had a chance to look at the actual questions in "professionalism". With only a (relatively) few questions in it, I think we might be in danger of over-specifying the tag if we try to break it up into smaller buckets.– Adam Lear StaffModOct 25, 2011 at 19:21