Originally Posted by edam
Out of interesting - what DOES reverse engeneering really do? It all seems a bit pointless and there's a real lack of info in game about...well, anything! >.<
Basically it's a form of disenchanting, where you disassemble an item in order to get back some of it's base components.
For example, if you have synthweaving as your crafting profession and you reverse engineer a piece of light armour, you would get back some artifacts or cloth or something else that would be used to make it or another similar item. Those components can then be reused to make other pieces of equipment.
In my opinion it's invaluable for trying to level up your crafting profession, since you can make something in order to get a skill up and know that you can then reverse engineer it to get some materials to put towards your next skill.