Originally Posted by SectorNine50
My sister is getting her Mechanical Engineering degree in the spring, and I really liked how they title engineers coming out of college. She took a test that is basically an "endorsement" of sorts, and on her resume she can now put "Engineer in Training."
You are absolutely right; there are people that will sit around waiving their degree in people's faces as proof that they know what they are talking about, when in reality knowledge is most often obtained in experience.
The EIT isn't so much an endorsement as a requirement in the States. Really around the world engineers are held to meeting certain requirements. The NCEES exams along with licensure assure people aren't building structures or designing things that will fall apart or cause harm.
As far as calculus being used in programming; well as mentioned several times already it is entirely dependent on what you are doing. It isn't necessary. In fact nothing is necessary because everything in programming can be learned through books and online forums. As DuckieHo has said though there are differences between someone who can program, a programmer, and a great programmer.
There are times when that knowledge is very useful. I model physical systems daily. That is nothing but advanced mathematics that couldn't be done without calculus, advanced physics, discrete math, etc... Before doing this I worked on database structures feeding into Monte Carlo simulations for investment returns which needed a small bit of calculus. At the same building a differential GPS system from scratch required quite a bit of calculus.
Now all that said. If you want to limit yourself then no of course nothing is necessary. I can say after a BS in CS, BS in EnvSci, MS in Eng, Current Ph.D in Hydrology, being a EIT, SIT, GISP along with a few more fairly useless initials that one should never limit themselves. Plus nearly anything is fun if you find a way to make it useful, which with programming is fairly easy in my opinion.
Edit: By the way I consider myself an expert in nothing merely a beginner of many things. Experience is still key to all things.