After a discussion today (July 22nd) with Ana and Shog9, we've made some more progress toward a new site name and scope. You can check out the transcript for the full details, but we talked about the purpose for rebranding the site, what we hope to get out of it, a high level scope of the site, and the new name and tagline:

  • The CM team wants to make sure this works. Rebranding is a dangerous thing to do, and it takes a large investment of resources on their side. They want to make 100% sure that everyone agrees that what we are doing is the right thing to do, everyone is going to make it work, and we're all working in the same direction.
  • Looking at closed question history, nearly 1/3 of the closed questions are likely closed due to not understanding what the scope of our site is. In the last 90 days, nearly half of questions asked here were closed or migrated. Of the closed questions, 27% were closed because they were seeking help debugging or troubleshooting code. Another 5% were migrated to Stack Overflow.
  • Rebranding isn't a tool to beat users up with. It's a way to provide a clear, rich scope to visitors that explains we want this and not that.
  • This is a good pictoral representation of how everyone sees the scope.

After all of that, we talked about a specific site name and tagline. The name and tagline are mostly used outside the site (elsewhere on the SE network), with pieces of it in different places. Below you can see an image of what Shog whipped up, based on everything from Meta and chat so far:

proposed intro image

If anyone has any comments or thoughts on the name and tagline, please post them here.

Shog and Ana will be stopping by again next week to review this discussion and move onto the next steps.

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    It's great that the coffee mug and whiteboardy feel of the site will apply just as well (if not better) to the new name. – ChrisF Jul 22 '16 at 21:25
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    Yeah, but I don't think people are seeing the logo and thinking "that's the site to post my programming questions". I think the biggest problem is the name followed by the scope. This change'll sort those two out so we can work on the rest. – ChrisF Jul 22 '16 at 21:36
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    Yeah, you're probably right – Thomas Owens Jul 22 '16 at 21:37
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    Yay! Good old coffee cup, er mug, whatever, is there anything else or can we do this already? – candied_orange Jul 23 '16 at 11:45
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    I withdraw my feedback since I have not followed the 4 years of discussion and you pretty much decided already it seems. If it's not well received I rather delete. Good luck with your new name and scope. – Joppe Jul 25 '16 at 13:48
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    @MartinSchröder The agile methods are still an implementation of the software or systems development life cycle. Even in agile methods, you initiate a project (form a team, establish an environment), plan (choose a methodology or tailor a methodology), do requirements engineering (write and prioritize epics, stories, and tasks), and so on. These things are just done iteratively and/or incrementally instead of sequentially. – Thomas Owens Jul 26 '16 at 14:29
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    That SDLC picture makes me nostalgic for the late nineties / early aughties when everyone would just throw together a bunch of pictures without any concern for stylistic consistency or compatible color schemes. Also: cartoon men in suits with disproportionately sized legs and/or arms. – JimmyJames Jul 28 '16 at 19:55
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    Wow! Let's just call ourselves Waterfall ;) – Erik Eidt Jul 28 '16 at 23:18
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    "Q&A site [...] but not code troubleshooting." -> "Q&A site [...] but not code debugging or troubleshooting." Debugging must be part of the description, in order to reduce non-english speakers asking for debugging. – user Jul 29 '16 at 16:22
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    I like Software Engineering as a name. – CryptoJones Jul 31 '16 at 15:00
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    The one thing about the tagline is that it may make someone think that a question has to be very directly about the software development lifecycle and its stages as a whole, as opposed to some of the much more specific questions that have been asked here with great reception. Those questions would still technically address things that are a part of that lifecycle, but not in a way that really brings that lifecycle into focus. We probably don't want to make people think that anything other than vague, top-level lifecycle meta is disallowed. – Panzercrisis Aug 1 '16 at 12:32
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    @Mike Based on the recent rebranding of the Beer Stack Exchange to the Beer, Wine, and Spirits Stack Exchange and the corresponding domain change from beer to alcohol that was discussed here, the likely outcome is that the current URLs will simply redirect to a new domain name. – Thomas Owens Aug 1 '16 at 14:35
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    Being picky, surely a Software Engineering SE should focus on the Software Development Life-Cycle not a Systems Development Life-Cycle... (cf ISO12207 v ISO15288) – Andrew Aug 3 '16 at 6:42
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    @Andrew Cconsider the Wikipedia article for software development life cycle (which is a redirect to software development process). There is very little mention of project planning, project initiation, risk management, and end-of-project wrap up. Overall, I think the introduction and overview sections of the Systems Development Life Cycle from Wikipedia is closer to how we envision our scope. I think that Software would be better than Systems, but I don't want confusion. – Thomas Owens Aug 3 '16 at 9:45
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    @Frank We aren't changing the scope, so many Systems Engineering questions may be off-topic here anyway. We do have an Engineering site with a systems-engineering tag. You can also check out Area51 for site proposals or create your own. As far as career advice...maybe. It's still off-topic, but we'll see how explicit we need to make it in the different pages without getting too verbose. – Thomas Owens Aug 12 '16 at 9:49

I think that this would be good. "Programmers" has always confused me. "Software engineering" is much clearer.

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    did you vote at posts that supported this name in recent discussion? if not yet, consider adding your vote to indicate support: here and here (optionally, you can also vote up or down on other suggestions that were discussed there) – gnat Aug 4 '16 at 8:43

I like Software Engineering as a title over Programmers.

However, I'm not really ok with tagline containing only a reference to 60's-era-introduced, waterfall-type methodology, and also in particular, I'm not really ok not calling out any notion of the critical thinking that leads to good programming practices that lead to good programs.

There is no reference to architecture and design as a skill of critical and organized thinking and programming, by which I am attempting to evoke reference to notions of design patterns (e.g. builder, factory), to design principles (e.g. single responsibility), architectural principles (e.g. abstraction, generalization, premature optimization).

I think the terms "architecture" and "design" and perhaps even "principles" and "patterns" ought to be in the tagline.

Software Engineering

Q&A site where you can ask and answer questions related to software development and the systems/software development life cycle, including but not necessarily limited to: project management; development methodology; algorithms & data structures; architecture and design principles and patterns; and testing principles and methodology. Please note that this site considers debugging (or writing) specific code snippets, as well as specific tooling & library recommendations, to be off topic. See our FAQ for more information.

Yeah, probably too long or off the mark...

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    (1/2) I'm curious as to why you think that referring to the systems development lifecycle is "a reference to 60's-era-introduced, waterfall-type methodology". The Wikipedia page that we are planning on linking to in the tagline even mentions the fact that there are a number of SDLC models or methodologies, and it calls out non-waterfall type methodologies like spiral, Agile, and incremental. Perhaps it's something more recent, but I've never seen SDLC or "systems development lifecycle" refer exclusively to waterfall. – Thomas Owens Aug 11 '16 at 19:40
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    (2/2) Architecture and design are implicitly included by saying "all aspects of the Systems Development Lifecycle". If you look at the notational picture, you can see a "Design" section. This includes architecture and design, and by definition of architecture and design, the topics you list. If you can improve the tagline, please offer some suggestions. But no one has managed to come up with anything that doesn't tilt the definition toward one narrow aspect of the SDLC or isn't comprehensive enough to include the full SDLC that is already currently part of the scope of the site. – Thomas Owens Aug 11 '16 at 19:43
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    @ThomasOwens, OK, I am starting to appreciate how difficult it is, to satisfy everyone. (1/2) The notion of waterfall comes from the picture titled "The tenth phase occurs when the system is disposed of and the task performed is either eliminated or transferred to other systems. The tasks and work products for each phase are described in subsequent chapters.[10]" (picture of staircase rather than a waterfall). – Erik Eidt Aug 11 '16 at 20:43
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    (2/2) The wikipedia SDLC article at best mentions Object Oriented Analysis, but lacks any mention of the principles & patterns that make good software. There's more detail (as references) on Testing than there is on architecture, design, principles, and patterns. Also the section Strengths & Weaknesses, where the article itself claims that SDLC is more rigid than the alternative of rapid application development. – Erik Eidt Aug 11 '16 at 20:53
  • the fact that article abstains of imposing value judgement ("good" software) is good isn't it? If principles of making it good were known, there would be no point asking questions about it – gnat Aug 11 '16 at 22:17
  • @gnat, yes, I think I see your point. And toward that end, I'd like to not just admit but endorse critical questioning and critical thinking, especially regarding (software) architecture & design, and what I'm saying is that I don't see that coming across in the proposed tagline, or coming across thru the SDLC article on wikipedia, either. – Erik Eidt Aug 11 '16 at 23:19
  • I doubt that taglines are intended to endorse anything, they only try to clearly and briefly describe site topics. Compare taglines of other sites - even those that seem to be supposed to entertain have boring, strictly-business taglines (Code Golf, Puzzling, RPG, SciFi) – gnat Aug 11 '16 at 23:29
  • @ThomasOwens the referenced SDLC diagram is a waterfall lifecycle diagram except the steps are drawn ascending rather than descending. It implies sequential steps. This lifecycle maximizes the risk of failure. – Jerry101 Aug 26 '16 at 18:08
  • @Jerry101 I had mentioned this before - "SDLC" is a generic term for the activities necessary to build a (software) system. Yes, the picture shows a sequential implementation of the life cycle activities. However, all efforts that result in the development of a (software) system have a life cycle that include the same activities (initiation, concept development, planning, requirements engineering, design, development, integration and test, implementation, operations and maintenance, and disposition). The only difference is in how those activities are organized. – Thomas Owens Aug 26 '16 at 19:22
  • @ThomasOwens I agree 100%, but was aiming to answer why people would think (esp. after viewing that particular diagram) that referring to the SDLC is a reference the Waterfall method. – Jerry101 Aug 26 '16 at 19:42
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    @ThomasOwens No, wait. Wikipedia's SDLC page is inconsistent about whether that's a broad term for software development life cycles or a subcategory to compare against incremental methods. The page focuses on doing work in stages (like building components then integrating them). It contrasts "SDLC" where documentation is "vital" (so each phase has a work product and maybe a handoff) vs. agile approaches. The page's category of life cycles is badly flawed and in no case should explain the scope for this site. -- I posted a new "answer" to this page, for consideration. – Jerry101 Aug 26 '16 at 22:22

This proposed tagline and pictorial representation miss the mark in conveying the (current/new) site scope and the new name, "Software Engineering."

While I agree that the site scope should include software development lifecycles and more generally software development processes, methods, and methodology, I propose that we not use the terms "System Development Life Cycle" or "SDLC" nor link to Wikipedia's SDLC page to help explain SE.SE. That part of the Question is what goes off the mark for me.

"Systems development" implies projects where software is one component along with hardware, courseware, wetware, etc. E.g. space systems and robots (ME+EE+SE). (The phrase "software systems development" doesn't add anything over "software development", and shortening it to "systems development" makes it ambiguous between systems of vs. including software components vs. "systems software".) I propose that systems development topics not become in scope for SE.SE.

"SDLC" may be construed as a broad term for "any kind of development lifecycle" or as a subcategory of lifecycles which contrast with incremental approaches. Wikipedia's SDLC page is inconsistent about that, as are other sources. First it says Waterfall and Agile are among the SDLC models, then it contrasts SDLC where documentation is "Vital" (each phase needs a work product and may end with a team handoff) vs. Agile. The page focuses on stages of work, like building components then integrating them, never mentioning continuous integration.

Let's not:

  • broaden the scope to Systems development [as in the SDLC references]
  • narrow the scope to discussions about software development lifecycles themselves [as in the tag line phrase "questions directly related to the SDLC" and the proposal "Please make sure that your question is directly related to the Systems Development Life Cycle."]
  • suggest that the Waterfall lifecycle is desirable
  • imply that the scope includes the details of testing, operations, and everything that's within the development lifecycle except coding and debugging [as in the SDLC Waterfall diagram with those parts crossed out]

The referenced SDLC picture is a Waterfall diagram except the sequential steps are drawn ascending rather than descending. Waterfall is the simplest complete model but it maximizes risk of failure by delaying empirical feedback. It's responsible for many big project failures.

From The road to Agile:

In 1970, the first article on the Waterfall model was published by Winston W. Royce. Royce did not use the term Waterfall in that article, but he presented the model as an example of a flawed, nonworking model.

What is software engineering about? Let's look at the ACM professional organization [my italics]:

Software Engineering Notes (SEN) is an informal publication of the ACM Special Interest Group on Software Engineering (SIGSOFT) concerned with the cost-effective, timely development and maintenance of high-quality software. Relevant topics include requirements, specification, design and implementation methods, software maintenance, reuse and re-engineering, quality assurance, measurement and evaluation, software processes, automated tools, practical experience, and related issues.

Engineering is about achieving quality attributes like performance, security, modifiability, reliability, usability, maintainability, safety, timeliness, cost-effectiveness, portability, and testability.

Engineering is about applying principles when building things. Many principles are known, in categories such as mathematics, empirical evidence, scientific knowledge, and practical know-how.

The site's tagline (draft 2) would then go something like:

Software Engineering Stack Exchange is a Q&A site for professionals, academics, and students in software development and related fields who are interested in getting expert answers about applying principles to building software systems and achieving quality attributes such as performance, safety, reliability, usability, maintainability, and testability. It is not a site for code troubleshooting.

Or a shorter version using the word "methodology" both in the sense of "a system of methods" and "the study of methods":

Software Engineering Stack Exchange is a Q&A site for professionals, academics, and students in software development who are interested in getting expert answers about software development processes, methodology, and achieving qualities such as performance, safety, reliability, usability, maintainability, and testability. It is not a site for code troubleshooting.

Draft 3, aiming to address @ricksmt's central issue about getting the point across to people currently asking off-topic questions:

Software Development In-the-large Stack Exchange is a Q&A site about software development "in the large" including development processes and methodologies for teams, reliably meeting requirements, and achieving quality goals such as safety, reliability, usability, and testability. It is not a site for code troubleshooting.

  • If I turned it into the same format as the current tagline, I think the equivalent would be Software Engineering Stack Exchange is a Q&A site for professionals, academics, and students in software development and related fields who are interested in getting expert answers about applying principles to building software systems and achieving quality attributes such as performance, safety, reliability, usability, maintainaibility, and testability. – Thomas Owens Aug 27 '16 at 13:01
  • past experience over here rather strongly suggests that word "Software" in site name will suffice to prevent broadening scope to non-software system. Would be helpful if you edit to explain why you believe that there is a risk of such a broadening. As for tagline... – gnat Aug 27 '16 at 13:34
  • ...per my reading the change you suggest to tagline removes explicit prohibition of code troubleshooting. Consider editing to clarify why you think such removal is worth considering – gnat Aug 27 '16 at 13:35
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    ThomasOwens tagline adopted, thanks. @gnat, added pgfs 2-4 et al to answer your questions. I'm fine with an explicit "not for code troubleshooting" even if it's redundant. – Jerry101 Aug 27 '16 at 23:01
  • Your tag lines are simply too long. – Goose Sep 9 '16 at 19:12
  • @goose please do propose a better tag line. My aim in this answer is to iterate on how to convey the site's scope (and to make the case against doing it with "SDLC"). Considering ricksmt's point, we haven't yet found a way that's understandable to people asking questions about programming in the small rather with teams, requirements to meet, and qualities to achieve. Maybe I'll take another crack at it. For simple length, I'd happily cut out "for professionals, academics, and students in software development who are interested in getting expert answers" since that doesn't rule out anything. – Jerry101 Sep 9 '16 at 20:26
  • @Jerry101 I thought the Tagline Thomas posted in the original post is perfect. Longer taglines are more clear, but as far as tweet length goes, I think it's as good as I can imagine and I don't see any issues with it. – Goose Sep 9 '16 at 20:45
  • @Goose that tagline relies on understanding the term "SDLC" which has two interpretations (even on that one Wikipedia page), one of them being the disastrous old Waterfall model. Worse, the term and tagline won't steer people away (to SO) for questions about programming in the small, in part because the term "software engineering" is too easily thought of as just "building software" rather than "engineering a success." I added a draft 3 tagline. – Jerry101 Sep 9 '16 at 21:01

(summary of July 29th discussion at Whiteboard)

At help/on-topic page...

...bullets in about list look OK to keep as is:

  • software requirements
  • software architecture and design
  • algorithm and data structure concepts
  • quality assurance and testing
  • development methodologies and processes
  • software configuration management
  • software engineering management
  • software licensing

Note in past discussions there were some doubts whether licensing belongs. Current plan is to consider this a minor issue that can be clarified later per separate meta discussion. (since this part of Help Center is mod editable, adding and removing bullets is a lightweight change)

...not-about list is to be made smaller, with bullets as proposed by Robert Harvey:

  • We don't do code troubleshooting here, so if your question is about how to fix your broken code or how to use your programming tools, ask it on Stack Overflow, making sure that you provide a minimal, complete, and verifiable example.
  • Please make sure that your question is directly related to the Systems Development Life Cycle. Avoid peripheral issues such as product recommendations, career or education advice, product support or legal matters

Note above phrasing is tailored for using at [help/dont-ask] page where we would like it to move, and such a move would require CM to agree and do the page edit. In case if it is going to get to "not about" part at [help/on-topic] page we will tweak the phrasing to make it read smoother over there, that is when followed by words "not about..."

With regards to overlapping sites, current stats suggest that we better keep migration options as is.

Later though this may be reconsidered:

If the name change is successful and the number of questions migrated to SO and/or the number of code debugging questions drops, I think it's something to revisit for sure.

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    Licensing is gone, full stop. Law and OpenSource can take those questions. – Robert Harvey Jul 31 '16 at 23:13
  • @RobertHarvey yeah that's my recollection too. I even thought about removing that bullet from the list but in the end decided to keep it only to avoid possible extra round of notifying-clarifying-verifying-confirming-bikeshedding – gnat Jul 31 '16 at 23:38
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    Being picky, surely a Software Engineering SE should focus on the Software Development Life-Cycle not a Systems Development Life-Cycle... (cf ISO12207 v ISO15288) – Andrew Aug 3 '16 at 6:46
  • ISO15288 looks good for us. Site name will guarantee topics focused on software Systems Development Life Cycle. History shows that askers respect site name: even worst of NPR questions had "programmers" in them. "What is the best toilet for programmers", "How do I best wipe my a.. as a programmer" etc – gnat Aug 4 '16 at 6:20
  • Might also be worth adding in a reference to code review too? (both as something which is/is not permitted, and as an alternative venue for that type of question) – kwah Aug 14 '16 at 21:50
  • @RobertHarvey I thought you can't transfer questions from graduated sites to beta? Especially there's no guarantee that law and OS will make it to graduation (though it is a small risk) – Charles Shiller Aug 17 '16 at 6:17
  • Moderators can migrate questions to beta sites. The Law sites isn't going anywhere. – Robert Harvey Aug 17 '16 at 6:18

Has there been any thought given to the "overlapping" sites?

I mean that we will still get some questions that are off-topic and better answered on other sites. Eg Workplace and possibly DBA, Security or Webmasters. Will we have the same set of migration closure codes, or should we update them to reflect the questions that are more likely to be easily moved, and consider the areas that are off-topic for here that would be best migrated.

I have seen a lot of DB questions that would have attracted a lot better answers on the specialist site, similarly many architectural security questions might be better placed on Security too (for example).

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    I don't see a reason to change the migration options that users have (which is only to Stack Overflow). In the last 90 days, we've migrated 89 questions away from Programmers. Of those, 70 to Stack Overflow, 4 to Workplace, 3 to Programmers Meta, 2 to Unix & Linux, 2 to Open Source, and 1 each to Programming Puzzles & Code Golf, Computer Science, Code Review, Law, Webmasters, Startups, Cross Validated, and Software Recommendations. In order for a migration to be available to users, there needs to be sufficient need and agreement by both communities. I don't see sufficient need right now. – Thomas Owens Jul 27 '16 at 9:31
  • Moderators will still be able to migrate to any site. However, unless the OP is asking for migration to a different site, it doesn't usually occur unless the question is off-topic. There are plenty of overlapping sites in the network. At one point, we did an experiment with CS, where the same question was asked on both sites and well received. The answers provided were radically different based on the expertise of each community. – Thomas Owens Jul 27 '16 at 9:37
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    All of that said, I would like to find good ways to inform users of the other sites in the network where they may find additional help to their problem. I made this Meta post of sites related to us. Any comments about other sites do need to make sure that cross-posting is generally discouraged, questions can be on-topic on multiple sites (but the perspective of answers will likely vary), and ensure that people can make an informed decision about what the quality guidelines for the other site(s) are. – Thomas Owens Jul 27 '16 at 9:41
  • @ThomasOwens of course, a corollary of that is that questions only generally get migrated to SO because that's the only one specifically mentioned in the list of migrations. I think many of the others simply get answered here. Hopefully after the name change, the number migrated to SO will be vastly reduced, leaving more DBA/Web/Security ones in the vague spot. I'll see you on the other meta post. cheers. – gbjbaanb Jul 27 '16 at 9:51
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    Perhaps. If we have many questions that are off-topic for us and the number of moderator migrations to other sites increases, it's pretty easy to ask for a new migration target. It'll be something we can watch, but it won't happen immediately. Once the stats show a need, we can revisit. – Thomas Owens Jul 27 '16 at 9:55
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    I am not sure what migration targets have to do with the name and tagline. As Thomas Owens states, this is a separate discussion that we can have outside the context of rebranding. – user22815 Jul 30 '16 at 15:50
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    @Snowman name and scope - that means certain knock-on effects that might be easier to consider now rather than later. Hence I raised it, I don't mind nothing coming of it, but I'd rather not get shot down for making the comment than being told to keep quiet about everything else. – gbjbaanb Jul 30 '16 at 20:05

I note that the proposed widened scope explicitly includes [Software] Quality Assurance & Testing... which is already a standalone SE (over five years in beta) site

As such, perhaps it is worth re-considering my four year old Meta post on here...

After five+ years, surely SQA is either mature enough to "graduate" or should be killed off. By explicitly expanding the scope of Programming, it makes the existence of SQA questionable!

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    scope overlap is not a reason to remove sites, I pondered about it here comparing scopes of Programmers, SO and PM.SE. Logic for existence of SQA.SE is the same, as a tester I would find it annoying to skip through mostly dev-related questions at Programmers to find mine and I would be unhappy to find that "my" topics are discussed primarily from perspective of a developer, not a tester – gnat Aug 3 '16 at 7:42

I will say it again: I am a software engineer. I write code.

I can only see confusion and overlap with the other StackExchange sites (StackOverflow, Workplace, ServerFault, etc). I remember when I tried going to CodeReview for debugging a problem (because obviously code reviews find problems with code, right?) and learning the hard way that CodeReview was not the right place. I can see people like me thinking: I'm a software engineer. Let's try the Software Engineering site. We are going to slap people in the face, and it won't be their fault.

I would prefer layman's terms over the use of SDLC in the tagline. I didn't know what that was for a long time; we might be taking that term for granted.

I'd be very interested to learn if our closed question history looks any better post-rebranding.

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    The proposed name is "Software Engineering", not "Software Engineers". So the scope includes ways to engineer software, that is, principles to reliably achieve qualities like safety and usefulness, but not other questions that engineers have such as about favorite tools, software heroes, and stock options. – Jerry101 Aug 31 '16 at 5:17
  • @Jerry101 I fail to see your point. The term engineering does not exclude the construction or the means of doing it. (I don't understand how stock options got included.) Software engineering covers a larger scope than what the fine print of these discussions indicates the scope of this site is. Correcting me about what the scope actually is does not change what the perceived scope will be. – ricksmt Aug 31 '16 at 15:40
  • We're struggling to usefully distinguish this site from others (so people can participate as they want) and to convey that even if it's fuzzy & subtle as you noted. "Software Engineering" is about applying engineering principles to software development (softwareengineerinsider.com/articles/…) vs. the s/w development part per se and everything else software engineers discuss. It's like the distinctions between automotive engineering, building cars, and auto engineers. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automotive_engineering – Jerry101 Aug 31 '16 at 16:52
  • @Jerry101 I now understand the distinction you are going for. I still think this new name does not convey the distinction you want to make, at least not to the majority of people. I don't think this will separate the theory from the practice for the average user. Even after it's been made clear to me, my primary association is to the working field. – ricksmt Aug 31 '16 at 19:06
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    If off-topic questions is really what's driving this name change, then we ought to pick our new name with the users who create those poor questions in mind. I think the new name is clear only to a subset of our own membership, and certainly not those who we're trying to target. – ricksmt Aug 31 '16 at 19:07
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    Aha! Indeed, your point is key to this renaming project. The name and description need to work not just for people "inside the tent" but also for people in nearby "tents". How to fix that? How to distinguish between programming per se (SO), theory (CS), and the practical issues that arise at production scale, when building s/w for many users, safety critical or money critical s/w; building with success criteria, teamwork, schedules, etc.? That's when we need principles to engineer a success. [I'm listing key terms here in hopes of triggering ideas.] – Jerry101 Aug 31 '16 at 22:15

Why not:



ArchOverflow is a question and answer site for people interested in software architecture.



SoftwareDesign is a question and answer site for people interested in the software design.

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    IMHO every SO question relates to "Software Engineering". – Den Jul 28 '16 at 9:51
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    SO questions are about programming, which is one part of development (as it's called in the picture in the question) or construction (which is what the name used by the IEEE in Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge). We've already had overwhelming agreement to the name Software Engineering in previous discussions. Software Architecture and Software Design were proposed, but the names do not fully include other aspects of our scope - software project management, requirements, maintenance, processes and methods... – Thomas Owens Jul 28 '16 at 10:41
  • @ThomasOwens doesn't this indicate that the scope is too wide? – Den Jul 28 '16 at 10:48
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    No, especially since it's our scope right now. It fits nicely into professional and academic definitions of what software engineering is. Many sites have broader scopes - Mathematics, Computer Science, and Engineering all come to mind as being pretty broad. – Thomas Owens Jul 28 '16 at 11:07
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    "Software Design" and "Software Architecture" have been considered in prior round of choosing the name and lost to Software Engineering. As for "architecture" without word "software", name like this would be confusing as it seems to be more associated with "buildings and other physical structures" – gnat Jul 28 '16 at 13:16
  • @gnat I proposed the Software Design suggestion in the prior round. I'd like to note that it came three weeks after the question was posed, so I think it didn't get the consideration it deserved. I'll post another answer to this question (note: over a month later), but I assume the same thing will happen. My concerns still stand. – ricksmt Aug 30 '16 at 20:57

I think our name now is 100% accurate to what type of questions belong here. Our "problem" is that most people new to programming do not understand how the stack Exchange works. However I do agree that something needs to be done.

Stack Overflow takes questions that would be better in other specific places. As a consequence those stacks do not get the attention that they need and Stack Overflow gets way to over crowded. It is having trouble with proper moderation (in my opinion).

Maybe what we really need is a smother migration method and tighter account integration. This could allow thing to end up in the right place even when they start off in some obscure location. At the same time keeping the fact that something has changed seamless to the question poster.

Some thoughts I have had would be to have "Cross Stack Questions" and "Multi Question Pages" meant to handle duplicate questions without having to remove questions that have the same answer but are asked in different ways. Even questions that have been asked the in the same way but already have different answers that could be useful to someone looking for an answer. Most of these answers are specific to the examples in the "Duplicate" question.

If our "Stack Exchange" accounts page could be used to facilitate this and coordinate connections between the stacks.

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    Our name is not accurate. Have you ever tried to explain that questions of interest to a software architect, a software manager, a CMMI appraiser, or a software quality engineer belong on a site called Programmers? I have - it's not easy, since these people don't consider themselves to be programmers. Have you ever tried to convince someone that this site doesn't exist just to ask programmers questions? Again, I have and it's not easy. People don't understand closed/on-hold questions and don't read the help center, just basing the scope on the name. – Thomas Owens Jul 30 '16 at 10:34
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    Our on-topic list touches on the jobs of project managers, QA automation engineers, business analysts, scrum masters and other project facilitators, just to name a few. Our on-topic list is already basically "software engineering and the product lifecycle" of which programming is only one component. Yes, software developers are often included in more than only programming, but the activities in that lifecycle encompass far more than only programming. I have been a proponent of changing the name to "software engineering" for far longer than this proposal has been put forth for those reasons. – user22815 Jul 30 '16 at 15:46

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