Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. It's 100% free.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

There are people who just love using the word Technologist in and around me. Sometimes I feel that the way I use to think as an Engineer while solving problems is quite different then the so-called Technologist view. What is the difference? Is this difference coming because of the work culture and kind of work IT firms do?

share|improve this question

closed as not constructive by Jim G., Glenn Nelson, Martijn Pieters, Walter, gnat Jan 7 '13 at 17:01

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

could you provide your clear definition for engineer and technologist? – Display Name Mar 21 '11 at 13:30
I really have no clue what a technologist means and I wouldn't even want to define it as I feel it's just a term.An engineer is someone who brings craftsmanship while solving problems that he is associated with. – gizgok Mar 21 '11 at 14:13
A technologist? roflcakes – DeadMG Mar 19 '12 at 21:17
up vote 6 down vote accepted

To me the difference is level of expertise. An engineer designs, develops and implements systems. A technologist is someone who understands implemented systems and manages/administers them or is capable of understanding the design elements of a software and participate in development.

share|improve this answer

"Technologist" is a very broad term, "Engineer" is a subset of "Technologists".

"Technologist" is a great word for the workplace, because it saves a lot of social awkwardness. To non-techs, it means "guy who understands those blinky things I stay away from". To tech people, it means "not an English major". In other words, anyone who's primary area of competence is a technology field of some kind.

Calling you a "Technologist" saves them the embarrassment that results from calling their web developer a network engineer, or worse -- confusing "tech support" with "senior developer". I doubt it's personal, just one of those social lubricants we develop to (hopefully) avoid stress or drama at work.

share|improve this answer

Engineer is a very specific word with a specific meaning that is overly misused. The main problem is that we think all the work that people with engineering degrees do is Engineering, and the fact is that it's not true at all. For instance, not only do I have a degree in Engineering, I'm also licensed as a Professional Engineer, and yet my current job has little to do with real Engineering, though I do a lot of programming, and some electrical troubleshooting, and a lot of design work.

From a legal point of view, it's quite clear what work legally requires an Engineer, and what doesn't. It typically involves reviewing and certifying that a design follows all relevant legal or technical requirements, like the building code, or communication regulations. It also involves doing the appropriate work, like experiments, to determine what the physical limitations of a design are (such as building a model and putting it in a wind tunnel).

The actual design doesn't have to be done by an Engineer. Some designs must be approved by an Engineer before they can be built, or at least sold to the public.

Technologist, on the other hand, is just some vague term to describe anyone who deals with and understands technology.

share|improve this answer

To me, a technologist is one who employs the laws of nature to devise useful items for mankind. The engineer is one who optimizes the design. As such, engineers typically go through more conceptual training. For instance, they have to take many courses in calculus, which inherently shows how to optimize solutions to certain problems. There is also usually a course in design, demonstrating how to choose the best design out of numerous alternatives. Unfortunately, the education of an engineer is often too conceptual, and the technologist has a better feel for how things actually work, whereas engineers tend to think in terms of how things work ideally. This has created a scism in many places I have worked (as well as the pay difference).

share|improve this answer

I think the title "technologist" has no particular meaning, like a lot of titles in IT. Most of the prior answers seem to understand it as some kind of less-technical-than-engineer technical person. However, at some software development offices at my employer, I understand that it's used to mean a kind of junior architect.

Basically, I don't think anyone here can really answer this question in a general way. You really have to ask the "technologist" (or his coworkers or boss) to find out what the title means in that specific situation.

share|improve this answer

According to me very simple engineer r ppl who Discover the technology in any field which mean there is nothing different between these two terminology neither slightly differ in thinking ability. engineer wil see the interior of new technology ,technologists is creator of that new technology.

share|improve this answer
Please use English, not text-speak, in your answers so others don't have to decipher your meaning. – GlenH7 Oct 26 '12 at 11:26

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.