Is a “software engineer” an engineer? Alberta regulator says no and disrupts province’s tech sector


Alberta’s engineering regulator is battling with the province’s tech sector, insisting that anyone with the title “software engineer” must be licensed – and pay a fee to this right. The Globe and Mail reports: The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) has asked a court to order one of the province’s leading software companies, Octopusapp, known as Jobber, to stop using the term “engineer” in job titles and postings unless licensed by regulator. This caused an uproar in Alberta’s tech sector. On Friday, the Canadian Council of Innovators (CCI) released an open letter signed by the CEOs of 32 Alberta tech companies, including Jobber’s Sam Pillar, calling on Premier Danielle Smith to end the ” Overreach of Regulators” by APEGA.

The letter says APEGA’s “aggressive stance” would result in “onerous, restrictive and unnecessary certification requirements” for developers and hurt companies’ ability to compete for talent. “If we cannot compete effectively for the best employees while our headquarters are in Alberta, we must seriously consider whether this is a place where our businesses can succeed,” says the letter signed by Benevity CEOs Symend , Neo Financial Technologies and others. CCI chairman Benjamin Bergen said he hoped Ms Smith, who pledged to cut red tape during her campaign to lead the United Conservative Party, would take action ‘because this really is a problem paperwork”. It is the only jurisdiction in the world that pushes this. This makes Alberta uncompetitive in the technology sector. »

APEGA and Canada’s 11 other provincial and territorial regulators have complained for years about companies or individuals using the titles “software engineer” and “computer engineer,” arguing that they are prohibited from doing so. TO DO. In July, Engineers Canada, which represents regulators, issued a joint statement calling for a ban on people using the offending titles unless they hold an engineering license. “Professional engineers are held to high professional and ethical standards and work in the public interest,” he said. “The public places great trust in the profession and these layers of accountability and transparency help keep Canadians safe.” Regulators are mandated to enforce their respective statutes and have sporadically taken legal action to protect their turf. […] Provincial and territorial laws governing engineers vary. Alberta’s Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act states that no person, corporation or partnership may use the word “engineer” in a job title unless they are “a professional engineer, licensee or a holder of a license authorized to practice the profession of engineer”. A spokesperson for Alberta Labor Minister Kaycee Madu said in an email that the government would work with the parties to resolve the issue, adding: “We are concerned about any regulations that impede our competitiveness in the global marketplace. skilled labor.”

Meanwhile, Erum Afsar, Director of Enforcement at APEGA, said in an interview: “What we do is regulate what the government has imposed on us by law. If you use that title, you should be registered with APEGA”.

Further reading: Oregon fines man for writing complaint email that says ‘I’m an engineer’


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