Changing this site from the increasingly anachronistic "Programmers" to the more fitting "Software Engineering" has been... A long road. So far, we've discussed...

  • ...the name itself
  • ...the audience / tagline
  • ...the topic
  • ...the scope (or, boundaries of the topic)
  • ...the scope and topic again, maybe a half-dozen times, going around and around like a top until everyone fell over.
  • ...the tour and help center guidance.

That leaves us with one last step: change the name, logo, and domain. That all has to happen together; it'd be confusing to have only part of it done... So watch out, that last step's a doozy...

The new logo

Our chronically-overworked design team has put together a new logo for the site:

Software Engineering title logo

Software Engineering swag logo

The design is recognizably similar to the current logo, but moves away from the "whiteboard scrawl" style toward something a bit more... clean, precise, disciplined. It's not a radical overhaul; rather, it reflects the tone of the other changes being made: small, critical adjustments to bring the site's perception in line with reality.

Next steps

Next week, we'll find a block of time and make the following changes over the span of about an hour:

  • The name for the site will change to Software Engineering Stack Exchange.
  • The logo for the site will change to the one shown above.
  • The default domain for the site will change to softwareengineering.stackexchange.com.
  • The topic string for the site will change to software engineering. This is used in a half-dozen or so places, including the title prompt and sidebar on /questions/ask where it currently reads "software development" - if y'all have any other changes to make to those, please list them below!
  • The audience string for the site will change to professionals, academics, and students working within the systems development life cycle who care about creating, delivering, and maintaining software responsibly. This is used in a couple of places here (help center and new user "hero" banner) and a whole bunch of places where the site is referenced elsewhere on the network.

...then the whole system gets rebuilt and... We're done.

But I hate the new logo / I wanted to spend a few more weeks talking about scope again!

Then we're done with this for the year. No, seriously: as much as I know we'd all enjoy talking about this for another month, this is either gonna happen next week as described above, or it's not going to happen at all for a very long time. Little tweaks (like removing those stupid oxford commas in the audience string) are possible; anything more involved than that, including anything involving the logo, and... we're probably not going to have time until 2017. So... Hopefully we got everything important hashed out over the past 8 months.

In closing

Thank you all for your patience; I know this has been kind of an overwrought process, but... Naming is hard, and there are some caches involved as well. Let's just all hope we don't have to ever do this again.

  • 25
    I will not tolerate the removal of oxford commas. Also I demand a t-shirt. Also, I demand that I may or may not demand anything further. I also demand to not be taken too seriously in regards to demands. – Aaron Hall Oct 14 '16 at 18:53
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    Here's a link to that awesome WB.SE q in the screenshot: Humans as batteries; how useful would they be?. – yannis Oct 14 '16 at 19:12
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    softwareegineering.stackexchange.com I do hope you plan on spelling the subdomain right. :P Software Egineers. Heh. Anyway, I'm guessing we'll have a heads-up when you have the time slotted for the cutover? – Thomas Owens Oct 14 '16 at 19:17
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    That's exactly the kind of small fix I was hoping for, @Thomas... And yeah, we'll post something when the time comes. – Shog9 Oct 14 '16 at 19:18
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    @Yannis ...and downvote at that -1 question at screen shot ("Clear way to skip...") is mine, I recognize it – gnat Oct 14 '16 at 21:05
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    tl;dr... t-shirts! or is that the wrong takeaway? :) – enderland Oct 14 '16 at 21:54
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    This comment contains OCD! I see you've fixed the issue with perspective in the logo, the left monitor now has a proper angle. That's great. But could you also unbend the stands of monitors on both sides? Those stands really not structurally sound, looks like they are attached to sides of monitors, rather than centers. Current logo was always making me nervous because of that, but on this new one it's even more noticeable. =) – scriptin Oct 15 '16 at 11:47
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    Since the decision has been agreed upon and we've devolved into talking about swag... Any leftover Programmers swag available? :-) – user53019 Oct 15 '16 at 13:14
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    Am I the only one that thinks it looks like you're flipping someone off sideways with the steam? They kinda look like fingers. – corsiKa Oct 16 '16 at 2:12
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    @corsiKa: Yeah, you're the only one. – Robert Harvey Oct 16 '16 at 5:21
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    I thought it was an undulating stairway to a caffeinated heaven. – candied_orange Oct 16 '16 at 5:37
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    @scriptin we'll update the monitor stands — yeah, those are weird. – Kurtis Beavers Oct 17 '16 at 19:29
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    @CandiedOrange I didn't mean complaints in the bad sense - more like comments, I guess. But in the original post, Shog clearly stated that what we saw was it. However, Kurtis said that something was being updated. Presumably, this update wouldn't interfere with the timeline of rolling out the changes this week. Since there's one part of the logo changing, what about the other things that people brought up? – Thomas Owens Oct 17 '16 at 20:19
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    @ThomasOwens we'll make a few of the other updates mentioned. Removing the comment symbols makes sense. We'll also try the centering of the logo, not certain about that one because it crams a lot into a small space which gets fairly visually busy. We will at least try it though. – Kurtis Beavers Oct 17 '16 at 20:55
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    @Kurtis Thanks. Looking forward to it! Whatever you can do is appreciated by ever here. – Thomas Owens Oct 17 '16 at 20:56

I like this, I like this a lot.

The design is just the right amount different from the current one to show continuity and yet show that we've changed, matured and grown up.

One small thing - is there any change whatsoever we can get se.stackexchange.com as a short form of the url? softwareengineering.stackexchange.com is a doozy to type out when you're in a rush ;)

Oh, and T-shirts, did someone mention T-shirts?

  • I agree on the url. Also, I'm somewhere between jonesin and "shut up and take my money" for a t-shirt. – Aaron Hall Oct 14 '16 at 20:00
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    So you want to be abbreviated to SESE.com? :) – Taryn Oct 14 '16 at 22:13
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    @bluefeet I could live with that ;) – ChrisF Oct 14 '16 at 22:13
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    If we get SE.SE, I'm totally going to run off, propose Mechanical Engineering Stack Exchange, and make sure it gets me.se. – Thomas Owens Oct 14 '16 at 23:10
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    @ThomasOwens, I regret to inform you that mechanical engineering is already well covered on the (real) Engineering.SE. ;-) And yes, that's bait. – user53019 Oct 15 '16 at 0:39
  • +1 for se.stackexchange.com – candied_orange Oct 15 '16 at 4:07
  • @bluefeet I bet that site that survived with Hugh Laurie's handwriting ("Brograhhers Cohhunky") can handle SESE – gnat Oct 15 '16 at 8:12
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    Thinking about it, I'm not sure if SE is a good abbreviation. It's overloaded. Just in engineering, SE could be Software Engineering, Systems Engineering, or Structural Engineering. Spelling it out may be better if, in the future, either of these other disciplines gets their own site (I believe both are currently on-topic and have a user base on Engineering). – Thomas Owens Oct 16 '16 at 0:33
  • @GlenH7 Remind me to physically hurt you for suggestkng we're not "real" engineers. 🙃 – code_dredd Oct 17 '16 at 21:33
  • @ray - oh, if you only knew... :-P – user53019 Oct 17 '16 at 23:51
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    @ThomasOwens How about softeng.stackexchange.com? – Revenant Oct 18 '16 at 3:16
  • @Revenant what is this "g" you're trying to "soften"..? j/k, that makes sense... What's wrong with just keeping it programmers.se for historical reasons..? – Dev-iL Oct 18 '16 at 4:02
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    @Dev-iL I think that'd be inconsistent (e.g. page name and url don't match), and "historical reasons" don't sound like good reasons to (not) do something, IMHO. – code_dredd Oct 18 '16 at 13:56
  • sweng.stackexchange.com? swe.? – hBy2Py Oct 18 '16 at 17:32
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    @ray There is a precedent for inconsistency. diy.stackexchange.com is called "Home Improvement". However, I don't think we should keep programmers.stackexchange.com. – ChrisF Oct 19 '16 at 13:36

New logo for Software Engineering Stack Exchange

Agile principle:

Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.

I think we'd like the new stuff sooner rather than later.


  • You have consulted with stakeholders.
  • You have cooperated with them as much as naturally possible.
  • I declare you to have done an excellent job in balancing the needs of everyone in this process.

Also, the logo is just fine.

No, I'm not just posting this to get a t-shirt (I think you have my address.)

Suggestions & Ideas for followup

I do like the idea of a shorter url. Could be easy to mistype the long one. se.stackexchange seems quite good.

I think the old domain should 301 (Moved Permanently) to the new.

We could use SESE for shorthand, I think, as well.

  • 1
    Shouldn't it be "SE.SE" not "SESE"? Everywhere else, I see "Xyz.SE" being used, e.g. "Meta.SE" and "Codegolf.SE" – The Guy with The Hat Oct 19 '16 at 3:52

Please disregard this post if there is any danger of it causing a delay in the name change.

Well, it has a coffee cup. So I'm already ecstatic. :)

With all due respect to our chronically-overworked design team, let me show you what an hour playing with windows paint let me do.

enter image description here

Why? Well, in addition to having a healthy respect for symmetry, I like whitespace. And the title logo, meta, and menu (Question, Tags, etc) are starting to eat up all of the eye pleasing whitespace.

Also, props for the updated impressionist monitors.

  • 3
    as a sanity check, ELL have their site name written in two lines in the logo, so this approach is considered legitimate. OTOH Money and ELU have lengthy site names written in single line, meaning that other way isn't criminal either – gnat Oct 15 '16 at 7:46
  • True but ELU has to put their menu on a second line and Money has to put meta on a second line. – candied_orange Oct 15 '16 at 13:25
  • oh wow I haven't seen that. It looks like fairly solid point in favor of your / ELL approach. Anyway we can see that there is already experience of various ways to sort issues at other sites with lengthy titles. Good to know that we're not the first – gnat Oct 15 '16 at 13:38
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    Negative... I like the title all on one line. It appears you also missed the comment syntax. – Robert Harvey Oct 16 '16 at 5:22
  • @RobertHarvey I wouldn't say I've been missing it. Note nulls answer. Vote for the single line option here – candied_orange Oct 16 '16 at 5:27
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    Oh wow, this is so much better. The misalignment is the very first thing I noticed about the proposed new logo. It just looks amateurish and incomplete. Put it on two lines, move the monitors into the center, make the monitors larger (everyone needs bigger monitors, right?), but whatever you do, do something to align the text with the background! – Cody Gray Oct 16 '16 at 17:57
  • @CodyGray you mean something like this? – candied_orange Oct 16 '16 at 20:35

Please disregard this post if there is any danger of it causing a delay in the name change.

Double line meta version.

enter image description here Also properly grayed out the title and mug for meta.

  • This looks nicer to me than the other one. However, it feels like connecting the meta side screen to the other screens makes it less distinguishable from the main site logo. I'm this close to asking Graphic Design for help. – null Oct 15 '16 at 18:40
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    @null done – candied_orange Oct 15 '16 at 19:25
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    Please see the original post - the logo will be done as presented, or nothing will happen until 2017. Maybe we can get some additional time from the designers in 2017, but it's more important to change the display name and URL to reflect this communtiy. – Thomas Owens Oct 16 '16 at 0:37
  • @ThomasOwens not seeking to slow anything down but we have time now. I'm gonna put the best ideas I have out there now and not whine later. When the time comes they can do what they want. The original post said that it hated the logo. I want no excuse to slow this down so if it's so bad here's another one. – candied_orange Oct 16 '16 at 0:44
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    @CandiedOrange Stack Exchange doesn't (or, at least in the past, hasn't) accepted contributions from users for site design. If you read the original post, it says if there are problems with the logo, then this whole process is off until 2017. I'm pretty sure that's not acceptable to most people in this community who have been pushing for a name change for years - we will be living with the proposed logo and maybe, in 2017, the designers will have some time after they've worked through their backlog of pending designs, for us to be revisited. – Thomas Owens Oct 16 '16 at 0:47
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    @ThomasOwens The difference between problems and room for improvement is in the eye of the beholder. No one has said anything is unacceptable. They will use this or they won't. What sense is there in keeping quiet now and whining later? I'm putting it all out there now. If they delay because of this you can delete my account. – candied_orange Oct 16 '16 at 0:57

The logo looks great. I appreciate the pragmatism in getting this rolled out, but can we have the name as regular text and not commented out? This always bothered me.

This site is not only about writing code. Why should the title look like it's code? Removing /* and */ would make the logo look cleaner, too.

Comments are also language specific. Sure, many languages use that comment style, but not all of them. I'd prefer a logo that does not use elements of a specific programming language.

Obviously, this is a minor change and should not delay the rollout of the name change.

  • 2
    Clumsy me spilled my coffee while writing this. I had to use the single t-shirt that I own to mop it up before it reached the keyboard. Now I don't have anything to wear. Winter is approaching. If I could have one of those t-shirts you have there, that would be great. – null Oct 15 '16 at 16:08
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    Please see the original post - the logo will be done as presented, or nothing will happen until 2017. Maybe we can get some additional time from the designers in 2017, but it's more important to change the display name and URL to reflect this community. (Note - I asked this exact same thing in Chat - it's due to constraints on the design team who have plenty of sites that don't have a theme yet that need to get done.) – Thomas Owens Oct 16 '16 at 0:38
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    @ThomasOwens I have seen the original post. I'm just sharing my concerns here. Kinda odd how previously every detail was discussed because the modification had to be complete before it could be applied, while the community was begging to just do it. Now the change is rushed out (again, great!) but not due to the community wanting it, but due to some designers not having time for this stuff. =/ If they had so little time, why did they do a t-shirt design which is totally unnecessary to change the display name and URL? – null Oct 16 '16 at 1:47
  • @null in defense of the designers they redid our coffee mug, and did a nice job of it. That means our favicon is changing. The shirt was a clever way to get us to consider the design of the mug on it's own. They likely spent no more time on it then it takes to visit a t shirt manufacturers web site. Say like this – candied_orange Oct 16 '16 at 2:41
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    @CandiedOrange I do not blame the designers at all. They did a great job. It just struck me as odd that after a several months long process, we are suddenly running out of time. – null Oct 16 '16 at 12:24
  • Um, doesn't the fact that the site title is commented out suggest that we're not about code? – Robert Harvey Oct 16 '16 at 16:24
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    @Robert Harvey so we should also include an open circuit, to show that we are not about electrical engineering and misspell the title, because we're not about the English language? Just kidding ;) I mean sure, your interpretation is possible, but I doubt the "fix ma codez plz" people have the same one. I think having a code related logo is more likely to convey the meaning that this site is primarily code related than the used code/syntax can point out the opposite. They even use code in their title. This must be the right place to ask seems to be a plausible and likely way to read it. – null Oct 16 '16 at 16:54
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    @RobertHarvey the fact that it hasn't worked suggests that by the time you decode that cryptic clue you've been around long enough to have been yelled at already. Making it yellow on white certainly didn't help. – candied_orange Oct 16 '16 at 16:58
  • @null on the off chance that Thomas Owens is right would you mind adding a disclaimer that you're not advocating a delay in renaming as well. Much as these improvements would help none comes close to the improvement caused by the name change. – candied_orange Oct 16 '16 at 17:02
  • @CandiedOrange I thought that goes without saying. Answer edited. I have no doubt that what Thomas said is right. – null Oct 16 '16 at 17:27
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    @Robert Harvey you know, there were discussions about how many bullet points should be in some description text of the site and whatnot. If we have 3 or 4 bullet points is a similarly inconsequential detail, but it was discussed nonetheless. Now that it comes to changing the logo, I thought it made sense to point out the concerns I always had with the old one. If you read my answer, you see that getting rid of bikeshedders and help vampires was not my motivation to propose this change. Of course it doesn't have such a strong effect, but that's not a reason to dismiss the other reasons to do it – null Oct 16 '16 at 18:40
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    [sigh] Frankly, I think the best way to achieve what we want is to simply tell people flat out, straight up front, in plain English, at the moment where it might have the most impact (when they ask their first question here) what they cannot do on the site. SE has stringently resisted that approach at every turn, probably because they have marketing types telling them they can't do it. Instead, we dance around trivial design concerns, bullet counts and Help Center wording that nobody ever reads, hoping that those things will somehow magically solve the problem. – Robert Harvey Oct 16 '16 at 19:45
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    @RobertHarvey I understand your frustration. To me, it looks like all of this should have happened like 5 years ago or so. No wonder you're not willing to discuss any such secondary things. I wonder if se.se ;) can learn something from Code Review. They too get off topic questions (maybe not as many), but they get rid of them quickly without any drama. The close reasons actually say exactly what they cannot do on the site. The users and mods are active and those questions are closed or migrated very efficiently (it seems). I doubt that only the name change will do it for this site. – null Oct 16 '16 at 20:46
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    @RobertHarvey "tiny details like /* */ are almost certainly inconsequential to the rebranding effort" True. Just like bird crap on your car is inconsequential to your gas milage. Does that mean we should never wash the car? – candied_orange Oct 17 '16 at 19:15
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    @CandiedOrange: I'll never look at comment syntax the same way again. – Robert Harvey Oct 17 '16 at 21:23

Please disregard this post if there is any danger of it causing a delay in the name change.

If you prefer the single line version to the double line version I've proposed in two other answers please upvote this one. I'd like what we prefer to be clear before anyone has to make any decisions on this. Not that we intend to express any problems that would delay the name change.

Single line version as it may look in meta:

enter image description here


Please disregard this post if there is any danger of it causing a delay in the name change.

Alternate single line logo

enter image description here


Please disregard this post if there is any danger of it causing a delay in the name change.

At null's prompting I posted a question about our situation on Graphic Design. It produced this answer. I'm reproducing it here so we can rank it among the other suggestions.

enter image description here

I'd like to thank rafael for his work on it.

  • 5
    Can you please stop posting these answers. While I appreciate your efforts I am concerned that any further discussion will cause SE to decide to postpone the rename and I (and many other people) don't want that to happen. The new logo and masthead might not be perfect but they are a distinct improvement on the old logo and masthead. If you want to raise your concerns please start a new question. If there's enough interest in making the changes you propose I'm sure they'll be considered at a more appropriate time. – ChrisF Oct 19 '16 at 12:22
  • @ChrisF the logo is being redesigned now. I simply want enough out there that the artist has more to work from than the old logo and a blank canvas. I want how we feel about the logo expressed. I've said numerous times that no one has said anything is wrong. This isn't a list that must be picked from. It's a clue about what we like. I've done this kinda work before. Having your client provide input really makes the job easier. I'll accept whatever they use. What I'm insisting on doing is not letting any suggestion just be a complaint. If you want to complain let's see how the fix looks. – candied_orange Oct 19 '16 at 12:49
  • @ChrisF if no one posts anymore complaints I'll happily stop posting fixes. – candied_orange Oct 19 '16 at 12:51

Please disregard this post if there is any danger of it causing a delay in the name change.

Minimalism, polymorphism, and a coffee mug.

enter image description here

enter image description here

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