So programmers.se is going to become software-engineering.se? This means I still can't ask the burning questions about proper potted plants for programmers....


But, I do have one little nitpick: Although my job title is "Software Engineer". I'm really just a hacker guy. I write scripts in php, python, perl, bash, tsch, hack on C and Java when the need arises. I know lots of SQL tricks in sqlite, postgres, mysql and tsql. Right now I'm spending most of my time "ansibilizing" things. But I'll spend an evening or so a week trying to learn some newfangled thing.

Maybe I represent a minority, but the site I want is called "programmers" and it's for people who don't really know what they're doing and blindly trudge forth into the abyss hoping, because of experience, wisdom, hubris whatever, that things will work out in the end.

So... is that still gonna be here in a month or two the next time I happen to get pinged on an old post?

I guess I don't care either way since I can't ask "whatever I want" and haven't been able to since Beta, but what about "softwareengineering.se" will cater to pro-sumers, enthusiasts and cobknobbers like myself?

  • are you interested in asking and answering questions directly related to SDLC?
    – gnat
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 18:57
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    @gnat if I say yes, then it means I'm a all in for "software engineering" and if I say no, it means I'm a cruddy sort of programmer or at best a cowboy. I'm actually somewhere in between, I guess if I ever worked at a place where SDLC was properly maintained (and we had actual testers) then I'd have a different viewpoint. Be that as it may, there's a lot of roles a "programmer" at a small company or in a big company with few programmers fulfills that a software engineer in a large company with lots of programmers does not. Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 19:30
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    FWIW planned site tagline doesn't say that SDLC should be "properly maintained" to qualify - probably because it wouldn't make sense to says so: any software passes through some life cycle
    – gnat
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 19:42
  • 10
    ...for people who don't really know what they're doing and blindly trudge forth into the abyss... -- We do expect people to have a fundamental understanding of their craft. Anyone who expects to learn the SDLC one question at a time will be disappointed. Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 17:10
  • I am more concerned about this site not being blocked in certain countries and jurisdictions because of the new sub-domain. I think it is important to keep both sub-domains available.
    – rwong
    Commented Aug 13, 2016 at 6:21
  • Has anyone seriously considered "softdev" (software development) as a sub-domain?
    – rwong
    Commented Aug 13, 2016 at 6:22
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    @rwong yes, it was among discussed candidates. Voting for it was +10/-5 (for comparison, votes for Software Engineering were +134/-3)
    – gnat
    Commented Aug 13, 2016 at 9:56
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    programmers.se? I thought you were referring to some kind of Swedish programming site at first.
    – hackel
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 0:36
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    I prefer to keep the old name, it is more cozy and less pompous
    – prusswan
    Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 0:54
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    So, it will going to be se.se from programmer.se o_0
    – Akash
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 10:27
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    This is the result of misuse of the word "engineer" for "someone who does something". Engineering, in my opinion, requires a degree. I used to work as a Project Engineer and an Instrument Engineer, and if the subject came up I always made sure that I didn't call myself an engineer - My employer did. In reality I'm JAPH. Where applicable, if given a choice, I usually go with Technician instead, as that's closer to what I actually do nowadays.
    – Jarmund
    Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 19:52
  • 1
    @jarmund now that you mention it given a choice, I'd rather be called "Engineer" than "Resource". I'm definitely an engineer in the sense that I try very hard to steer a train by leaning to one side. Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 20:35

4 Answers 4


Do you care about applying craftsmanship1 or engineering to the planning, design, development, testing, deployment, and maintenance of software? Are you concerned with all aspects of software development (and not just writing/debugging/testing code)? Are you concerned with the practice (as opposed to the theory) of software development?

If you can answer "yes" to any or all of those questions, then you're probably good here.

It doesn't matter if you are a self-taught hobbyist working on an open source project in your spare time, a student, a professional, or an academic. We are a community of craftsman and engineers who are concerned with all aspects of software development. We just don't want to see questions about writing/debugging/testing code, since those questions already have a good home on Stack Overflow.

1 So why isn't the site called "Software Craftsmanship"? Because Software Engineering is both a job title and an academic field of study at the graduate and undergraduate level. Plus, there are at least a few common definitions, even if there isn't 1 fully accepted definition.

  • 1
    Good pitch! I guess there's no point in having a site to ask questions about cobbling together something that barely works. Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 20:37
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    I think it's important to point how new name strategically avoids troublesome letters M, H, P and D. No more "Droqrahhers"...
    – gnat
    Commented Aug 14, 2016 at 16:02

The motivation behind the rebranding is not to change the focus of the site and express this through the title. It is to make the title match the actual focus more closer, as it is understood by the experts of this community during the last 2-4 years. So if you had a question valid for "Programmers" in that time period, it will most probably still be valid on "Software Engineering" after the rebranding.

  • 2
    people tend to forget that all the four years theme remained the same: "Change the name of Programmers to something that more accurately reflects the site scope". Scope change was never considered in this context
    – gnat
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 18:46
  • 4
    ...I blame SE team folks, it was their misleading wording at the start of current changes discussion: "Lay out what the new site scope will be" while what should really be there is "Lay out what the new site scope description will be"
    – gnat
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 22:54
  • 1
    @gnat: there was nothing wrong in asking the community if, when the title changes, if the scope - and not just the description - should be adjusted or more focussed, too. I think the discussion afterwards just confirmed that this is not the case (maybe except some minor issues). But not everybody did followed that whole discussion, so it is perfectly fine to ask questions like the current one.
    – Doc Brown
    Commented Aug 13, 2016 at 8:50
  • 1
    I think it would help for us to more to clearly state that scope isn't supposed to change. And to avoid copying misleading wording into titles of follow up discussions. But folks were probably too happy to get name change allowed at last to pay attention to this rather minor (and obviously irrelevant for old timers) detail
    – gnat
    Commented Aug 13, 2016 at 9:48
  • @gnat it is like the distinction between what the name of something is, and what it is called. (And then there is what the name is called, but that is a meta topic.)
    – user251748
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 19:57

I see software engineering as a bigger tent than any one software creation methodology. If you can show people are making really good software using the beer pong on the keyboard methodology then those discussions are welcome here. I may be a software engineer by title but I'm a code monkey at heart. What we want is what works. Sometimes what works isn't what sounds fancy. A big thing we do here is figure out when fancy isn't needed.

  • 1
    I'd read a white paper on beer pong centered coding. Commented Aug 13, 2016 at 3:26

Are you interested in applying principles to aid programming, like modularity? About fixing a program that runs very slowly because someone wrote an O(n2) loop when n gets large?

Are you interested in applying principles to aid debugging, like hypothesis testing and wolf fencing?

Are you concerned about writing programs that are maintainable? Portable? Testable? Usable? Reliable? Secure?

Do you think about prioritizing what to build next? About shipping and iterating? About reducing risk of failure? Do you balk when managers think they can dictate schedule, content, and quality all at once?

These are engineering topics. The new site name tells me these topics belong here, unlike many other programming topics that belong on SO. Or potted plants for your cubicle.

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