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11 February 2012


David King

Very well said George.

George said:

"That itself may not be a big deal in Europe, where almost no garage start-ups grow to be industry giants."

We now mimic this with our new patent laws.

Douglas Keachie

You have used a very tall "n" in important. ;)

Douglas Keachie

Job hunting at Google: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=%2Fg%2Fa%2F2012%2F02%2F10%2Fbusinessinsiderwhy-this-programmer-.DTL

Michael Kesti

George, you have here provided yet another example of a government solution that can be characterized as one-size-fits-none.


Western Europe is just bringing back Letters Patent with the EU issuing the paper rather than the king du jour.

George is basically right, what you know and what you can do is well summarized by a resume/CV and the folks able to probe the fit to the job at hand are those who will do the interviewing, though most who claim judgement as keen as George has are not quite as good at it as they think.

Paul Emery

I fail to see the connection as to why this is our problem.

George Rebane

Failure to see the connection of the European problems to ours is commonplace. It will not be seen until after our government imposes new draconian laws on who may and may not practice engineering. Aping Europe is the progressives theme song. Along with nationalized healthcare, we'll rue the day we carded our engineers.

Paul Emery

So what you're concerned about is a theory that may or may not happen the future. By any reasonable comparison European health care is far superior to ours so that's a comparison that does not spur me to action.

Michael Anderson


Would this new card prevent engineers mixing "in a conference room, at a Little League game, or cocktail party"?

It seems that you are suggesting the gov't will vet engineers, preventing businesses from hiring and firing at will. I don't see that in the proposal whatsoever.

It's just another tool in the toolbox. I hear what you are saying, in the IT world folks w/ certs come in 2 flavors: those who know and also have certs and those who went to boot camp hoping to get a free ride. I can tell in about 2 minutes which is which.

I like more info. rather than less. This proposal seems to add to the info. stream, not obfuscate. But I am willing to be further educated.

Michael A.

George Rebane

MichaelA 734pm - Engineering is one, if not THE last bastion, of merit based occupations left that has given civilization an abundance of its fruits. That has been its power and glory, and the reason that government has not been able to lay its cold hand on it yet. As you sense, the guile is 'more info not less' for carding engineers. Soon will come a law that says if your product fails and causes subsequent loss in the marketplace, AND it was developed by any uncarded engineers, your company is prima facie guilty of harming the plaintiff in particular, and the public in general. But starting with such cards, there are many other ways to also bring the technological glory road to its knees.

The creep starts innocently enough, and often with a claimed public benefit. We don't have to look long or far to see how in countless areas we the people have been screwed by a government that shows neither signs of remorse nor evidence of slowing its malignancy.

Michael Anderson

You are pointing to tort reform again, which I support BTW. The cards will be fine, as long as "not having a card" cannot be used as prima facie evidence in a civil or criminal case. I suspect this caveat will develop over time, with some bumps in the road as you suggest.

I am really glad you are bringing up these issues, George. I think you make people think about difficult things. I love robots as much as the next person, but I wouldn't want to marry one.

Douglas Keachie

Anytime you need to go get an engineer's stamp on a project around your house, be it just an inspection, or a full set of expensive plans, you already have government intervention on the part of the Engineer's Unions, who have a vested interest in making sure every move you make is a certified "scary" one, and requires expensive oversight.

SecurityCamEvery copy

Engineers have secret signs, too:

Tatoos for Engineers copy

For an interesting look at which colleges are really successful, you might want to glance at this.


billy T

I can go along with each European County having its own standards for professional licensing. If fact, any country can have its own standards, which gives credence to the phrase "sovereign state". I also agree that diplomas collecting dust on the wall are not an accurate measure of one's abilities, practical knowledge of their field, ability to adapt, take initiative, think outside the box, ability to learn new techniques and excel. Reminds me of one of Dr. Dean's favorite jokes. "What do you call someone who failed the medical exam 9 times before passing it?" Answer: "Doctor." Plague on wall does not always tell the full story. Dr. Rebane's article does explore what many have felt for years, i.e., a bureaucratic creeping into every aspect of our lives for "our health and safety". Micro managing the nation in all its aspects is a recipe for failure. We should indeed keep a close eye on our European allies and keep our radars on high alert because we seem to be following in their footsteps. I have started hearing a phrase in the media lately that has me alarmed. The phrase is "Greece and California". First time was amusing, fourth time is a trend. Is this Greece or Oakland?? http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7398466n&tag=re1.channel

Paul Emery

This is the silliest conversation ever presented on this blog. It is hypothetical beyond redemption. Show me where there is a proposal to do this in THIS country.

David King

Here you go Paul.

Please follow the link for much more info!


"The aim of the ENGCARD concept/ pilot project which is practically consisting in a European Professional Mobility Pass for Engineers defined as a new EUROPASS document where the content is certified by a third party’s, is definitively designed to attenuate or remove that major obstacles for mobility highlighted before.

Thanks to ENGCARD, the obstacle related to recognition/description of professional qualifications will be attenuated or waved and consequently, the geographical, occupational or virtual mobility of engineers in EU and worldwide

http://www.eurocadres.org/spip.php?article248will be facilitated."

David King

Sorry, stepped on the link.

Here it is again.


George Rebane

"... hypothetical beyond redemption ..." All states provide engineering licensures, and require it for the practice of a growing number of jobs in engineering work. You can't build a concrete block wall or remove a buried tank without a licensed engineer signing off on it, or even put new electric lights in your kitchen ceiling. And those are jobs that the layman understands. The others are countless and growing.

On the contrary PaulE, this may be one of the more important conversations had on RR.

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