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Re: Non Professionals doing Engineering

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Lynn:

Several of the other responders have already answered your question.  Jerome pointed out one of the most important reasons not to blindly trust the computer - GIGO.  Computers don't make mistakes, programmers and users do.  You may be different, but I have found that I am not very good at checking my input for concept, accuracy, applicability, and typing.  If I don't have a feel for what the output should be, it can be frighenly easy to make an order-of-magnitude error, with rather serious consequences.

By the way, this is not limited to the use of computers.  When we worked with slide rules (for those of you that still remember them {: ) we automatically checked our answers with common sense - had to.  The computer, and even the calculator, doesn't force us to stay in touch with the process.  Don't misunderstand, I am not opposed to the use of any and all handy tools.  I could not run my business without the array sitting on my desk.  But the day I blindly trust the output without interjecting my seat-of-the-pants reality check is the day I turn in my PE license and declare myself redundant.

Phil