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ARCHIVE: 'Phage List' - Archives (1988 - 1989)
DOCUMENT: phage #221 [Re: spaf's (and other's) comments] (1 message, 979 bytes)
SOURCE: http://securitydigest.org/exec/display?f=phage/archive/221.txt&t=text/plain
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From: Gene Spafford <spaf>
To: phage
Date: Wed 23:47:47 09/11/1988 EST
Subject: Re: spaf's (and other's) comments
References: [Thread Prev: 163] [Thread Next: 232] [Message Prev: 220] [Message Next: 222]

Barry proposed licensing a few dozen messages ago in this list.
I don't have the time or energy to go into it here, but the
general feeling is that licensing computer professionals would
do more harm than good.  The official opinion of the ACM and IEEE-CS
is the same.  In fact, the IEEE-CS is withdrawing support of the
current certification program (DPP?  I forget the name) for
data processing and scientific programming.

Consider:
  * passing a test or completing a course does not show
    competency
  * other professions with certifications do not exhibit a more
    exemplary level of behavior, as shown in many studies
  * state and federal laws might then come into play for
    licensing in various locales, and this is also unlikely
    to be beneficial

Perhaps the most telling point is that once there is a licensing
body and a license to be held (or certificate or whatever), we
are much more likely to be liable for suits of malpractice because
we will have a defined profession!  The current lack of formal
specifications and licensing is actually a form of protection.

There are many more compelling reasons than these, although the last
one is quite significant.  I can dig up some references on the
topic if someone really wants them (my class covered them a few
weeks back), but it may be a while -- I'm getting swamped in
my *real* job.

--spaf

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