Certain words and phrases irritate me. I'm not sure why that is and I guess I may have to pay for some therapy if I really wanted to find out, so chances are I'll just have to live without knowing. But I digress.
I started hearing the term "Reverse Engineering", roughly about 12 years after I began my second career as a programmer analyst/systems engineer/information analyst (and roughly 3 years before I ended said career). I had never really heard the term before, at least not used in everyday language. But then suddenly, seemingly out of the blue, I began to hear it all the time, from my co-workers who (like me) spent way too much time in cubes all day long, fighting with programs and systems.
During this period I transfered across the country (with the same company), and when I got to my new location over 1,000 miles a way and a world apart local culture wise, I still heard it. As in, "if you can't figure it out just reverse engineer it". That helped a lot, by the way. A piece of advice on my very first day in a project I didn't really have a clue about. I suspect the person who gave me that advice didn't know anything about it either.
People all over the country were using the term like they knew what it meant.
And I was wondering what book or TV show or memo I missed that suddenly required everyone to use this term in any situation.
To me, in my life as a PA/SE/IA, I assumed what people meant was they had some result (usually not good), and didn't know how they got it, so they were going to see if they could figure it out. In other words, de-bugging. That was my assumption anyway, me of the missed "reverse engineering in everyday speech" memo. No one corrected me, but then why would they? They didn't know what it was either.
So anyway, I don't hear that term very much anymore, it's not current amongst the Valdese citizenry. That could be because there just arent any good IT jobs in Valdese.
I think the next time I go downtown, I'll see if I can work it into a conversation.