Sometimes I find a quote that precisely describes how I feel about things. Today, I discovered this quote about engineering:
"Engineering is the art of modelling materials we do not wholly understand, into shapes we cannot precisely analyze so as to withstand forces we cannot properly assess, in such a way that the public has no reason to suspect the extent of our ignorance."
- Dr. AR Dykes, British Institution of Structural Engineers, 1976.
If this doesn't accurately describe software engineering, I don't know what does.