Engineers used to wear a special engineers ring on the right pinkie.
Paul Murray

Engineers still do wear iron rings in Canada. The organization that does this has chapters in the US, but it isn’t as pervasive as it is in Canada.

I remember as an undergrad I was considering aerospace engineering as my major. I was told that they don’t give partial credit as a rule on problem sets or tests because when you’re engineering a plane, there is no partial credit. You either get it right, or people die.

With programming, we have a slightly different problem. It isn’t just a question of faulty coding causing deaths, although that can certainly happen too. It’s a matter of recognizing a request that would be a breach of ethics, and having the courage to refuse the request. Even worse, it is knowing that if you refuse, they’ll just find someone else to do it — even if they have to go outside their company to a freelancer. In the absence of a safe method for whistle blowing, that thing you refuse will end up happening.