New Software Engineering Exam Approved for Licensure

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., 4 May, 2012 – NCEES, the organization overseeing engineering and surveying licensure exams, is preparing to launch a Principles and Practice of Engineering exam for software engineers.
The IEEE Computer Society worked with IEEE-USA and NCEES to develop the exam, which is also co-sponsored by the National Society of Professional Engineers and the Texas Board of Professional Engineers.
NCEES will begin offering the PE exam in software engineering in April 2013. After that, the exam will be administered yearly and used throughout the United States.
The NCEES board of directors approved the development of the new PE exam in 2009. In accordance with existing exam development policies, 10 member licensing boards of NCEES presented letters supporting the proposed exam.
Groups representing software engineers have long maintained that software engineering should be licensed because it is increasingly practiced in areas that reach into the everyday lives of the general public, such as traffic control systems and the electrical grid. An IEEE Computer Society survey of software engineers indicated that two-thirds of those employed in the industry support a licensure exam for their profession.
"With software engineering crucial to so many engineering projects, it's important to regulate its practice in order to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public," said NCEES President Dale Jans, PE.
For more information on the PE Software exam, visit Registration for the April 2013 exam administration is scheduled to open mid-December 2012. The exam specifications—the test blueprint of knowledge areas to be tested and their relative weights of emphasis—are available online at IEEE is planning to publish study materials for the exam later this year.
NCEES is a national nonprofit organization composed of engineering and surveying licensing boards representing all US states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. An accredited standards developer with the American National Standards Institute, NCEES develops, scores, and administers the examinations used for engineering and surveying licensure throughout the United States. NCEES also provides services facilitating professional mobility for licensed engineers and surveyors.
The Computer Society has been laying the foundation for greater professionalism in the software engineering field with the Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK), which establishes a baseline for knowledge in the field. The Computer Society also offers two certifications—the entry-level Certified Software Developer Associate (CSDA) credential and the mid-career Certified Software Developer Professional (CSDP) credential.

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