[lpi-discuss] General comments on LPI levels

Bryan J. Smith b.j.smith at ieee.org
Wed Sep 14 08:36:17 EDT 2005

Anselm Lingnau <anselm.lingnau at linupfront.de> wrote:
> How come Novell, Microsoft &c. get away with calling their
> certifications »<Whatever> Engineer« then?

They don't.  The National Society of Professional Engineers
(NSPE) has regularly sued them in various states.  The main
reason is because of consultants who call themselves
engineers, and then the various state Board of Professional
Engineers (BoPE) get complaints.  Eventually when they pile
up enough, the NSPE takes Microsoft and Novell to court.

It really has nothing to do with people being "anal" on the
term engineer.  It's more about a consulting/public trust
issue.  Companies can and do use the term "engineer"
internally all-the-time.  But when you are representing
yourself to the public, that's where the problem occurs, and
why the BoPEs get the complaints -- especially from
fly-by-night MCSEs and CNEs.  If you lodge a complaint
against a PE, not only can he have his license revoked, but
he _can_ be charged with _criminal_ negligence (exactly like
a Doctor or Lawyer -- a PE is 100% equivalent, 10+ years of
school+experience).  If you have a MCSE or CNE, you can't
even get Microsoft or Novell to revoke the certification.

In Massechusettes, where IT is big, Microsoft and Novell have
set a precedent.  They successfully convinced the law that
they "design networks and systems" while the NSPE, primarily
civil engineers, "design buildings and bridges."

As a degreed EE (Computer Option) myself, that is insulting. 
Engineers design networks and systems, Engineering
Technologists assemble them, Technicians install and
configure them.  Engineers are _not_ practical!

At the same time, I have _no_love_ for the NSPE/BoPEs who are
"20 years behind the times" on recognizing systems and
software engineering as a proper discpline, despite the IEEE
and others having full materials.  In other words, if I want
to become a licensed PE, I have to take a traditional
Electrical Engineering exam.  And just me, we really _do_
need peer licensing in our financial and power industries, as
countless financial companies and Ohio's FirstEnergy have

The good news is that states like Texas -- who have a _huge_
electronics/semiconductor presence -- have quite a bit more
EEs in their membership.  They were able to easily show in
court that the technical ability of a MCSE/CNE directly
relates to a construction foreman in a civil engineering
sense.  I mean, contruction workers can run levels and
transits, but it doesn't mean it makes them a civil engineer.
 Same deal in the EE world, knowing the specifications and
use of a network or systems product doesn't mean you can
design them.
> (At least I think that in Germany it's not actually illegal
> to call yourself »Ingenieur«, which is why the ones who
> have actually been to university have degrees that say
> »Diplom-Ingenieur« -- engineer with a diploma :^). I'm a 
> »Diplom-Informatiker«, meaning that I have a university
> degree in computer science, as opposed to just an
> »Informatiker«, which you can become after three years or
> so of vocational training.)

In the United States, there are 2 licenses.
- Engineer
- Engineering Technologist

You have to have 8-10 years of combined education and
experience (and 2 full-day exams -- one "practices" after
school, one "pricincples" after experience) for the former to
obtain a Professional Engineering (PE) license, from an
institution accredited by the American Accreditation Board of
Engineering and Technology (ABET).  *MOST* state BoPEs _do_
take 12 years of experience as "equivalent" to a 5 year ABET
accredited BSE.  If you can pass the 2 exams _and_ you have
~16 years of total experience, then most BoPEs will grant you
a PE.

The Engineering Technologist varies from state to state, but
typically it requires _either_ an ABET accredited BSET
(Engineering Technology) degree _or_ 6-8 years experience. 
Unlike a traditional engineering degree, engineering
technologists study largely more "hands-on" technology. 
E.g., if you go to DeVry or ITT Tech, you will get an ABET
accredited BSET, _not_ a theory-driven BSE.  If you don't
like calculus, I recommend the BSET -- because calculus is
just the beginning of a BSE (you use it for everything).
> For the record, I think leaving off the »junior« bit
> altogether is probably the best bet: 
>   LPIC-1	LPI-certified System Administrator
>   LPIC-2	LPI-certified Senior System Administrator
>   LPIC-3	LPI-certified Demigod/Jedi Guru/Fount of
> Righteousness/...

I could care less what the official title is.
But the LPIC-1 should _not_ become a user-only exam.

Bryan J. Smith                | Sent from Yahoo Mail
mailto:b.j.smith at ieee.org     |  (please excuse any
http://thebs413.blogspot.com/ |   missing headers)

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