Engineering works: What is (and is not) "engineering" for interactive computer systems?

in EICS 2013 - Proceedings of the ACM SIGCHI Symposium on Engineering Interactive Computing Systems, Journal article


What does it mean to "engineer" an interactive computer system? Is it about the team doing the work (that they are engineers), about the process being followed, about the application domain, or what? Is engineering about managing complexity, safety or reliability? For physical artifacts, it may be possible to achieve consensus on how well engineered a product is, but this is more difficult for digital artifacts. In this talk, I will offer some perspectives, both positive and negative, on the nature of engineering for interactive computer systems and, at least implicitly, the nature and future of the EICS conference series.