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Please add more pictures of programmers! It will make the wiki page more interesting. Preferably pictures of earlier programmers at work. Thanks! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:45, 11 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

When making changes to the source code that programs are made up of, programmers need to make other programmers aware of the task that the routine is to perform. -

If only it were always true --JamesTheNumberless 14:35, 25 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Old talk moved to talk:Famous_Programmers.

" someone who programmes or programs: the former spelling is used for television and such-like programming, while the latter is used for computer programming..." I've never heard of this distinction before. Perhaps it is a British distinction? I've been programming my whole career on computers and have always been called someone who "programs" never one who "programmes." If this is a British distinction, is should be noted as such. --Frecklefoot

Agreed. "Programme" is the British English spelling and is only used when referring to broadcast; computing has consistently adopted the American spelling. --Chocorisu

I've added a cite needed note for the "Ada Loveless" as the world's first programmer. I've heard that as well, but a cite is still needed. Joncnunn 20:03, 11 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've removed it. This is well established, and there are plenty of citations on both the Ada Lovelace page and the Analytical engine page, both of which are linked in the sentence. I think this is sufficient. --Psyno 12:23, 6 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

So, if not a programmer then what?[edit]

It appears the definition of what a programmer is (or was), has changed? At least in many peoples views. If a programmer no longer does the following: design, r&d, ui, gfx, music, development of tools, software, the solutions, the testing, the documentation, packaging, the marketing etc... as seems to be the typical case in the 80s (for example), if that so-called 'programmer' is still doing all those today, what are they called if someone is now to narrow the definition of a programmer to just the coding? ZhuLien (talk) 8:01, 16 February 2018 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)


I removed the stub marking from this page. If anyone feels that there is a compelling reason to have it marked as a stub, please re-add the stub marker and leave a comment explaining what information you feel needs to be added before this should no longer be considered a stub.--Hereticam

Possible merge with software developer[edit]

Looks to me like the software developer article should be merged into this one. Joncnunn 20:08, 11 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Merge--I concur. In fact, let's also include "coder" and present the minor differences between these terms. 3Laws 07:50, 28 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I disagree. There is a serious difference between coders, developers and engineers. Coders are usually people capable of implementing some predefined design, developers can code and design, engineers can architect complex systems comprised of multiple software/hardware components and see through the project execution. For comparison, consider civil engineers who build bridges vs. specialty craftsmen vs. average workers. Hexamon 19:12, 8 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I too don't agree. Simply put, a programmer is typically a lesser position than that of a software developer. --Lliberto (talk) 02:37, 4 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Programmer Stereotypes[edit]

I'm not sure the stereotyped description of programmers is very valid or relevant in this context. I suggest cutting the second paragraph (shown below).

Those proficient in computer programming skills may become famous, though this regard is normally limited to software engineering circles. Many of the most notable programmers are often labeled hackers. Programmers often have or project an image of individualist geekdom, resistance to "suits" (referring to both business suits literally and figuratively to the "Establishment"), controls, and unionization.


The distinction between application programming and systems programming is not as clear-cut as the article suggests.

On the one hand, the definition given in the article agrees with the use of these terms within—to pick one notable example—Microsoft (cf. the two styles of Hungarian notation being named Apps Hungarian and Systems Hungarian after the Microsoft divisions within which they were used).

On the other hand, software engineering at the level above applications is also called systems development.

Some may also consider a database management system (offered in the article as an example of systems development) an application. I suspect that most people who (like myself) work on operating systems and operating system kernels would deem it so, while people who work on web applications or other software built on top of a database management system might disagree.

DES (talk) 19:35, 13 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree with the arguments above, and I think the section explaining the difference between application and systems programming should be reconsidered.

Steve W. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:14, 15 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think there's indeed a clear-cut distinction between system programs and users applications.
A set of system programs contains those elements computers need to bootstrap themselves, to provide user applications with consistent interfaces to hardware and to essential services (file systems tools, networking protocols, memory allocation, ...), to create, manage and kill processes, to assign CPU time, memory space, do arbitration of buses and other hardware resources, to evaluate credentials and authorizations of processes that want to access data and other resources.
In short: system programs comprise all and only what is needed for running any user application. Not more, not less.
If one or more components of the set of system programs crashed, all user applications would be affected one way or another and usually the computer itself might freeze and crash. Instead, whether user applications stopped there wouldn't be any system program affected. Fabio Maria De Francesco (talk) 00:28, 28 June 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Languages and Frameworks[edit]

In section "Nature Of The Work":

> Java, .NET and PHP are popular programming languages for Web and business applications.

.NET is a framework, not a language itself. Maybe it's meant its native language C#. I'm going to replace it.

-- (talk) 13:59, 30 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

caveat, regarding the first computer programmers[edit]

The reference that is now footnote number [8] points to ABC News: First Computer Programmers Inspire Documentary and says something to the effect that, these ladies were the first computer programmers. This is true if the word "computer" means a machine (hardware) -- which today, is the meaning of the word "computer". But the word "computer" has changed over time; prior to ENIAC, and even during most of the 1940's in some places, the word "computer" was an "occupation" word -- (like "baker" or "farmer"), so it meant a person, not a machine. One evidence for this, is the fact that when the ACM ( was founded, in 1947, its name was chosen to be the "Association for Computing Machinery". They would not have needed that word "Machinery", if the word "computer" had already "evolved" (more completely, as it has by now) from being a person to being a machine.

Why this matters[edit]

Way before the ladies who programmed the ENIAC, (but after Ada Lovelace I guess), there were programmers who wrote programs to be followed (carried out) by "computers" who were human persons (usually doing their computing with the help of [somewhat manual] "adding machines"). Since these programmers went way back -- years before ENIAC -- there is probably some risk here of misunderstanding (and maybe, some room here for "extra" careful use of language, in an effort to try to avoid or prevent such misunderstanding). Those "computer" programmers existed, and wrote programs for persons [called "computers"] to "execute", way before the ENIAC was built.

Just my 0.02 --Mike Schwartz (talk) 10:50, 28 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I actually met two of these ladies from the ENIAC computing days. They said they were coders not programmers. They pointed out that programming was invented to make it easy for the men to understand what the women were doing. They said that men were not bright enough to do coding. Wallie (talk) 11:38, 14 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Merge Code monkey into Programmer[edit]

Definitely Agree. Wikipedia is not a jargon dictionary. There are no notable sources for Code monkey article to give it such coverage as it has been given. Half the information is questionable OR anyway. Placing "code monkey" in first lead sentence is also wrong — "code monkey" is not a directly synonymous to "programmer", unless somebody wishes to provide a notable source to support this.  H3llkn0wz  ▎talk  13:48, 5 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There are inline citations of it's use and which essentially covers notability. Unless the citations of course are reliable or independent which at least one or two of them are. I'm removing the merge tag on code monkey on the grounds that there has been no discussion to merge the article since the initial suggestion and that there is some ground for the article to be considered notable. Please restore the old tag if you disagree or open a new tag if a significant amount of time has passed. --Sin Harvest (talk) 14:08, 26 June 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

citation surely needed for claim that software quality has steadily increased [sic][edit]

The section on "Market changes in the USA" includes this claim: "As software quality has steadily increased in successive years, the knowledge and experience required to produce such software has also increased, particularly as new programming languages, software project management techniques, and application frameworks have been introduced."

My own feeling is that every piece of that statement is false, especially the claim that software quality has steadily increased. That surely requires a citation. (Was it Dijkstra who said that "hardware and software are in a race to see whether hardware can get faster faster than software is getting slower, and software is winning"?)

It also contradicts the following claim that "the knowledge and experience required to produce such software has also increased", because if the software is getting better, then the tools, which are pure software, should also be getting better---i.e., easier to use, and requiring less expertise. (And in fact some tools are actually getting better, such as gcc, but the tools that programmers are obliged to use in some work environments may well be getting worse.)

None of this is to say that nothing good is happening, but the race is certainly not to the swift nor victory to the strong in the software world: time and chance happeneth to every outfit which produces code.

Son of eugene (talk) 05:49, 15 June 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I also agree with Eugene. In fact the entire statement about software quality needs to be removed. I have been in the software development profession for over 15 years and the definition of software quality has been much debated. To claim that software quality has improved doesn't really say anything. What do you mean by software quality? Does it means there are more tools avaliable now that catch software bugs hen before? What about the software bug that caused the the stock market to near crash in March of 2010? How do we know that the software we are using is of good quality? Are there latent bugs in software that are just waiting to bite us as demonstrated by the stock market fluctuation? Part of the problem is that there is really no way to 100% test the software and there are companies out there who under tight schedules adequately test their software. Also if you are making such a statement, please cite some studies that verify it. In the last 15 years I have not seen one study that verifies that software quality is improving. Please take this statement out. Thank you.

Manish Patel —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:44, 10 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

References of personal blogs[edit]

Reference link 2,3,4,5 are just personal opinions,you cant include them in wikipedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Shafaet (talkcontribs) 10:58, 23 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A computer programmer writing Java code[edit]

The picture with this caption shows seven people! And how does the photo show "writing Java code" when we can't see the screens? Why not call the photo "Some programmers coding"? GeneCallahan (talk) 04:42, 27 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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Merge proposal: Software developer[edit]

I propose merging Software developer into this article. That article is currently one of the oldest entries in the "unreviewed" list, the reason probably being that no one quite knows what to make of this sorry placeholder. Its current contents consist of an awkward DICDEF lede, a redundant and duplicative "History" section and a parochial and badly sourced "Qualifications and skills" paragraph. None of that content is suitable for a standalone article. If there's anything worthwhile in there, I suggest merging it here, otherwise just turn it into a redirect. Recent efforts into that direction seem to have resulted in edit-warring only, so I hope we can come to some conclusion here. - Pinging some users who have been editing there in the last few days: 1410hotpotatoes, Beauty School Dropout, Power~enwiki. --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 14:25, 17 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Articles that are turned into redirects (as I recently did here) and then reverted get thrown back in the "unreviewed list". It's been on the list for a short time, only the page creation time is ancient. power~enwiki (π, ν) 19:41, 17 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Okay, good to know. --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 07:29, 18 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have no objections to the proposal. Beauty School Dropout (talk) 16:18, 17 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I object to the proposal. First the two are not the same. I am a software developer and I know there are more people with a "Software Developer" job title than they are "Programmer". According to the US bureau of labor statistics there are 1,256,200 people are working as "Software Developers" than there are "Computer Programmers" which is 294,900 people (see: (see: In addition to that there is really no job title as a "programmer". As a "Computer Programmer" yes. But again, "Software Developer" title is the bigger part. "Software Developer" is a function of a job. "Programmer" is a thing to do. It seems like the reason "Software Developer" page looks bad is because people are trying to sabotage this page. As a comparison there are 713,800 people that are working as "Physicians and Surgeons" (see: So, I dont see why you guys trying to get rid of "Software Developer", with 1,256,200 people employed as "Software Developer". First the two are not the same. Again, based on my experience there are more people with a "Software Developer" job title than they are "Programmer", and I gave the government references. Merge proposal declined...1410hotpotatoes1410hotpotatoes (talk) 19:23, 17 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Here is another interesting fact "Software Developers" job outlook is set to grow by 24% in the next 9 years (see:, as compared to "Computer Programmers" -8% in the next 9 years (see: Again, "Software Developer" job title is the much larger sum. Again "Software Developer" is a job title. "Programmer" itself is a thing to do... not the same.1410hotpotatoes (talk) 19:38, 17 December 2017 (UTC)§ We need to spend some time on the "Software Developer" page. Software Developer stays...Reply[reply]

I made the original move because there's not enough content to justify a separate article on Software developer. Having a section that explains the difference between a "software developer" and a "programmer" is probably enough. I'm not 100% certain this is the right target, Software engineer may be a better merge choice; but I definitely support some merge. power~enwiki (π, ν) 19:41, 17 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Here you go. "Software Developer" is not the same as "Software Engineer". "Software Engineering" work is viewed as mission critical. There is a path that is diverging from regular "Software Developer" jobs. There are degrees now and licensure that are being attributed to "Software Engineer". So you cant work as a "Software Engineer" in florida and offer Software Development services with out a license. Where one could work as a "Software Developer" and offer Software Development services through a software development firm or individually to the outside world as a "Software Developer". So the two are different... There is really no argument here...1410hotpotatoes (talk) 19:52, 17 December 2017 (UTC)§Reply[reply]

Here is someone opinion..(see: I think this article explains it the best. In addition to that based on my experience "Software Developers" make as much money or even more than the engineers. While engineers get to have liability, and can go to jail for acts of negligence. So, is a no-brainer for me. That is why "Software Engineer" comes with mission critical (see: (talk) 20:00, 17 December 2017 (UTC)§Reply[reply]

Those are all primary sources. While a more scholarly work on the usage of these terms across the entire industry would be ideal, I'm not sure one exists. A thread (also a primary source) gives multiple distinctions, and responses include The usage is blurred and no standard is followed. and the terms are used interchangeably. power~enwiki (π, ν) 20:08, 17 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Look, the page needs improvement. Not being tag with something that is not "it". In addition to that, it doesnt need to be deleted, because it is important and relevant with Software Developers working and more to come. So, that is what we conclude the page needs improvement and stay. I wish we would actually spend more time on improving the page...§1410hotpotatoes (talk) 20:15, 17 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There's nothing wrong with discussing multiple related job titles in a single article. power~enwiki (π, ν) 20:21, 17 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It is if they are not the same...Look "Software Developer" has a rich heritage. With its own requirements, statistics. If anything "Software Development" has to be with distinction. I dont know why you are set so against it...§1410hotpotatoes (talk) 20:25, 17 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I Boldly merged the pages, mostly due to WP:COMMONNAME. Different governments, and different companies inconsistently apply the definition of software developer, engineer and programmer. The inconsistent differences in their meaning in different fields is interesting for the Wikipedia article, but they do not have a universal truth or apply globally. I have worked as a developer and engineer in USA and Germany without a college degree. According to some content on the page, I could not possibly be an engineer. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Shushugah (talkcontribs) 23:16, 2 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]


They're still not merged. Let's take a !vote. Software developer is very short, and I think keeping it just to distinguish the terms comes under WP:Wikipedia is not a dictionary. The way I see it there are three options:

  1. Redirect Software developer to Software development because that's what you do as a software developer
  2. Redirect Software developer to Programmer as a catch-all page, and explain the difference in the lead
  3. Leave it as is on the basis that someone might want to expand it in a way that doesn't just reproduce Software development or Programmer
  • 2 Wikipedia does not use voting, but I would support option 2 Shushugah (talk) 21:34, 15 February 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The lede picture[edit]

The new photo, depicting two people reasonably described in the caption at Commons as "working with" an IBM 704, is described here on en.wp as depicting two "programmers".

I'm afraid I see nothing to suggest the activity of programming. One is either adding cards to or removing cards from a hopper. The cards could contain program code, but they could as well be data, and even if they do contain program code there is no reason to think the person handling the cards wrote any of the code.

The other person is peering intently at the machine's backplane. There's nothing to see there with regard to "programming". The caption's claim re that person being a "programmer" is particularly egregious as there are no indicators in there, no reason to be looking at the backplane at all - unless something's wrong and you're attaching a 'scope probe.

Most programming of the IBM 704's era consisted of drawing flowcharts or writing on coding forms, likely in assembler language or perhaps Fortran.

However it's certainly a more representative than the previous pic of a row of people typing at keypunches. Jeh (talk) 22:45, 28 April 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree. Computer operators were not necessarily computer programmers in those days. The same way today's computer users aren't programmers either.

I agree, picture does not capture the reference of 'programmer'. Fitzws (talk) 03:58, 19 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I also concur. Operating a computer is not programming. By the same token, we could take a photo of a smart phone user and claim that the depicted person was a "programmer."
I agree. Can anyone suggest a good image for a programmer? I also think that the main image of the page could be more recent, as this is not a historical role. BernardoSulzbach (talk) 23:11, 25 November 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The hobby/amateur angle[edit]

The article should reflect that programming is also a hobby: that a programmer can be an amateur programmmer, producing software for her own amusement, for sharing with others, or for critical things like parts of the free software ecosystem. Also that you don't have to be a programmer to write code: you can be employed as something else, and for example automate error-prone or tedious tasks using programming. JöG (talk) 09:19, 6 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Requested move 30 September 2020[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review after discussing it on the closer's talk page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The result of the move request was: No consensus to move (non-admin closure) (t · c) buidhe 03:53, 31 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

ProgrammerComputer programmer – WP:CN and creates additional disambiguation headaches. Existing redirect page prevents move. Johnnie Bob (talk) 14:25, 30 September 2020 (UTC)Relisting. Megan☺️ Talk to the monster 16:44, 7 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is a contested technical request (permalink). GeoffreyT2000 (talk) 20:22, 30 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • The case for making that title longer does not look obvious. It should be discussed. Most people would simply say "She's a programmer," not "She's a computer programmer," and no one would ask for clarification of that description. —BarrelProof (talk) 19:24, 30 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I have requested that the page Programmer be moved to Computer Programmer for the following reasons:
1. According to Wikipedia:Article titles#Precision

Usually, titles should unambiguously define the topical scope of the article, but should be no more precise than that.

Since "Programming" can refer to many different topics (for example, mathematical programming, radio and television programming, project programming e.g. planning, musical programming, etc.), the simplest title that unambiguously describes this article is clearly Computer programming.
2. Elsewhere in the article about article titles, see Wikipedia:Article titles#Use commonly recognizable names the following example is given:

Diesel engine (not: compression-ignition engine)

This actually also illustrates the same point I made above. Clearly, an article about diesel engines would not use simply the title "engine," and neither would an article about gasoline engines. My point here is that The shortest title is not always the best title, even if the simplest title is sometimes used in everyday speech.
3. Another important reason for supporting the change is that, as an occupation or profession, most people in business (such as in the human resources or hiring departments of a company) would use the more descriptive title, in this case "Computer programmer." In fact, the Occupational Outlook Handbook by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (one of the references cited in this article), lists the official name for this position as "Computer programmer." Even within this article itself, in most cases the name "Computer programmer" is used rather than simply "programmer," and in fact, "Computer programmer" is the first boldfaced title that is used in the lead paragraph to the article.
-- John (Johnnie Bob (talk) 21:28, 30 September 2020 (UTC))Reply[reply]
  • Weak oppose: I notice that when explaining the motivation for the proposed move, the nominator used the term "programming", not "programmer". "Programming" is much more ambiguous than "programmer", and "programmer" is what is being proposed. I think WP:CONCISE and WP:PRIMARYTOPIC apply, and the current title is sufficiently WP:PRECISE. —BarrelProof (talk) 23:28, 30 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
BarrelProof, just to clarify my thinking here, a programmer is simply someone who does programming. Thus each ambiguity in the use of the word programming gives rise to an ambiguity in the word programmer unless qualified with a similar qualifier. See the disambiguation page Programmer (disambiguation) for how this lack of specificity has complicated things. Also remember that all of us are conditioned to automatically think of all programmers as computer programmers. But the bulk of people using Wikipedia are not so preconditioned. Johnnie Bob (talk) 22:53, 5 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just want to add one more point here for any other reviewers who haven't yet given an evaluation. Look at the disambiguation page Programmer (disambiguation). As I noted above, it is quite complex — more complex than it should be for such a 'simple' article. As most of us are already aware, when a page requires a lot of disambiguation, it may be an indication that the page title is not sufficiently WP:PRECISE to begin with. I also recommend that all reviewers (re-)read the article itself noting, in particular, how many times the word programmer is used in the unqualified sense versus how many times it is used fully qualified. Thanks ... — Johnnie Bob (talk) 23:21, 5 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Relisting comment There is a clear consensus here not to move, but Johnnie Bob’s arguments needs also evaluation and consideration. Cheers Megan☺️ Talk to the monster 16:44, 7 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Comment In response to Johnnie Bob, I can find nothing on the disambiguation page that would even come close to being a primary topic on the level of Programmer. There is not a WP:NOPRIMARY situation here.ZXCVBNM (TALK) 18:18, 7 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose. Yes, in everyday speech, "She's a programmer" would be the norm, that is simply a matter of Ellipsis (linguistics): in context, it is clear that she programmes computers and doesn't decide on schedules neither for television programs nor television programmes. (Did ya notice, if she's american, C. K. Webster would have had her as a programer?)
I think we must remember that most editors (including myself) have some vague ability to use a computer, so there is likely to be a bit of systemic bias to assuming that all programmers are computer programmers. But that don't make it so. (talk) 20:53, 7 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have re-read the article. I am a software engineer, and unlike most people who bandy that term round willy-nilly, I actually have engineering qualifications.... and have no idea why script kiddies call themselves software engineers, but that's by the bypass. A computer programmer is a computer programmer. There are many many other types of programs, programmes, and programmers. That is why we have a PTOPIC. It is really not tricky, take a step back, forget you know how to use a computer, if somebody says to you "she's a programmer" do you assume she decides whether to put Friends on at 7pm or 8pm? Of course not. You assume she does something with computer software. (talk) 21:03, 7 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
WHoooooah. User:Johnnie Bob has been persistently deleting content and changing content from this article while this dicussion is going on. Since 29 September Johnnie Bob has been deleting content from the article. The consensus is clearly to let things stet, but I'm afraid it is not really the done thing to delete a load of content then request a page move, a clear case of WP:IDONTLIKEIT. I would also revert all of this users's edits, which have just made the article a lot worse. (talk) 21:20, 7 October 2020 (UTC) WP:SOCKSTRIKE -- Tavix (talk) 00:35, 12 October 2020 (UTC) Reply[reply]
User:, I won't take the time to refute your argument, since much of what you write actually supports my argument. The fact of the matter is, your recommendation is invalid since you are clearly unable to provide an objective recommendation based on your final comments above. — Johnnie Bob (talk) 05:27, 8 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose. (1) "Computer programmer" is no more WP:Precision than "Programmer". If the article was "Programming", that would be a different story. (2) Pointing to name of Diesel engine is irrelevant, as we have separate articles on different engines; that's not the case for Programmer. (3) Job titles aren't the same as CN. The fact that "Computer programmer" is in bold in the article is just a mistake. The article title doesn't have to change to fit a mistake. In summary, there's simply nothing gained by this proposed move. --A D Monroe III(talk) 22:08, 7 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Challenged. User:A D Monroe III, all three points of your argument are invalid, to wit: (1) You have simply stated that "'Computer programmer' is no more WP:Precision than 'Programmer'" without giving a reason therefor. In fact, "Computer programmer" is more precise than "Programmer" because we have already shown that Synthesizer programmer and Programmer (hardware) are subsets of the general term "Programmer" and are separate and distinct from Computer programmer, which is also a subset of the general term "Programmer." (2) Your assertion that "Pointing to name of Diesel engine is irrelevant, as we have separate articles on different engines; that's not the case for Programmer." is false. As noted above, Synthesizer programmer, Programmer (hardware), and Computer programmer are three separate articles that are completely different concepts and thus require different names. So the issue we are discussing here is exactly the same as the example of the "Diesel engine," "Gasoline engine," "Engine" example that I have cited from WP:COMMONNAME. All I am trying to do with the page move is correct the problem that we have now of incorrectly calling "Computer programmer" by the name of its parent set "Programmer" when clearly the set "Programmer" has at least three (and more to come) distinct members with distinguished names. (3) Your assertion "The fact that 'Computer programmer' is in bold in the article is just a mistake ..." is also false, because there is a redirect called Computer programmer which points to Programmer and, according to WP:R#PLA, the titles of redirected pages should normally be listed in bold in the lead section of the target article. I assure you that any good-faith attempt to follow the published guidelines of Wikipedia is not "... just a mistake." — Johnnie Bob (talk) 05:27, 8 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support. I think it's a better title as it is more precise, and it also is more consistent with the main article at Computer programming, but I think Programmer should still redirect here. Rreagan007 (talk) 03:04, 8 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I think I support what Rreagan007 is saying. --IJBall (contribstalk) 15:05, 14 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose. None of the reasons given for the move are convincing. I see WP:PRECISION being raised as one reason, but this is the clear primary topic for "programmer." The current title is also in line with WP:CONCISE, "The goal of conciseness is to balance brevity with sufficient information to identify the topic to a person familiar with the general subject area." -- Calidum 16:09, 14 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose. I notice that although there is a programmer (disambiguation) it just redirects (as a result of a merge) to the DAB at program which has no other entry for programmer, so there seems no need to disambiguate programmer here. Leave it concise. Andrewa (talk) 21:59, 14 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Suppport. The title "Programmer" introduces unnecessary ambiguity (though I agree with Rreagan007 that this article is the primary topic for the word, and that "Programmer" should still redirect here). "Computer programmer" also harmonizes the title with Computer program and Computer programming, as well as differentiates it from articles like Broadcast programming, Radio programming, and Game programming. It feels like the more encyclopedic choice overall. — Goszei (talk) 04:46, 16 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Relationship with software engineer[edit]

So I recently came across a very old complaint about the unclear distinctions between four articles. Software developer has been merged into this one, and I think systems architect is clear in that it's a design role that might not even require any programming. That just leaves the question of how to treat the distinction between programmer and software engineer.

This happens to be the job that I do, and to some degree I use them all as synonyms. My job title might be "senior software developer" or "senior software engineer" depending on the whims of the company I work for, but if someone on the subway or a census form is asking what I do, I usually say "programmer" because people are just confused by "developer" or "software developer". In professional contexts, in my experience some people use these terms more specifically, distinguishing a programmer as someone who doesn't need to be able to do much more than turn a detailed specification into code, whereas a developer should be able to handle design aspects and things like scalability and security - as should a software engineer, but there's more of a connotation that they have an engineering degree instead of being self-taught.

I thought a quick note in the intro to cross-reference the two articles might do the job, but Johnnie Bob reverted. They have rightly asked that this be supported by citations. They also said that it should be supported in the body of the article, though I think cross-references that simply help readers figure out they are reading the wrong article are an acceptable exception to that rule. I'd be fine with putting a "Terminology" section in Programmer and Software engineer (which I also changed) if we want to do this in the body.

Looking at various articles more carefully, I also think readers might benefit if we merged software engineer into programmer. Some material might also be offloaded into software engineering, and that article already to some degree talks about software engineers in Software engineering#Profession. Nearly everything that can be said about programmers can also be said about software engineers; we'd still want some verbiage explaining the terminology, and possibly say some stuff about software engineers that doesn't apply to other programmers.

So what is the difference, according to reliable sources? Probably there are more authoritative sources, but I'd summarize a hasty collection of the top Duck Duck Go results like this:

There is no industry-wide standard terminology, so "programmer" and "software engineer" might refer to the same role at difference companies. Most typically, someone with a job title of "programmer" or "software developer" might focus on implementing a detailed specification into computer code, fixing bugs, and performing code reviews. They might have a degree in computer science, an associate degree, or might be self-taught or attended a programming boot camp. Someone with a job title of "software engineer" is expected to understand software engineering principles, more advanced mathematics, and the scientific method, and may be required to have a degree in software engineering, computer engineering, or computer science. Some countries legally require an actual engineering degree to be called an engineer. Software engineers might have broader and higher-level responsibilities, like designing or "architecting" new programs, features, and platforms; managing the software development lifecycle including design, implementation, testing, and deployment; leading a team of programmers; communicating with business customers, programmers, and other engineers; considering system stability and quality; and exploring software development methodologies.[1]

and maybe add this since we talked about "architecting" above, which just summarizes the linked article:

A systems architect is a related job title, which might involve producing technical designs while leaving the actual programming to others.

Thoughts about adding a Terminology section or merging or both? -- Beland (talk) 02:01, 29 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well, to get things rolling I added the suggested section. -- Beland (talk) 02:09, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]