Author Topic: Complaining about the "broken education system" is getting old  (Read 40902 times)

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Offline vxp036000

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Re: Complaining about the "broken education system" is getting old
« Reply #150 on: May 07, 2012, 01:06:20 am »
Struggling?  You're the one throwing around insults left and right because you can't prove your point.  At least where I work, only the best engineers are given the opportunity to move into management.  The so-so ones are stuck remaining technical, and the bottom half are walked out the door.  It doesn't bother me how much you dislike paper shuffling managers; they bring in millions of dollars worth of sales each year, and are paid a pretty penny for it.  And it really isn't at all difficult to get an employer to pay for business school, unless you happen to be one of the bottom performers.

I see a tendency to use to term practical engineering for what I consider to be the lower level engineering jobs, as if higher level engineering (at the level of architecture, systems engineering, modeling, etc.) is less practical.
Then in simple terms your interpretation is entirely incorrect.

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I think we can all agree that lower engineering functions can be accessible to someone without a degree.
I think we've all agreed your an opinionated and struggling second rate engineer masquerading as a third rate manager.

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Just like the lower to middle levels of management are attainable by someone without the MBA.
Hell yeah even near useless engineers who've proven absent of sales skills qualify for those gigs. All you need are cufflinks and poor to non existent interpersonal skills.

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But as you progress up either one of these ladders, the more important the degree becomes.
Which is exactly why pretenders without an MBA will eventually plateau at the lower levels of middle management.

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I know plenty of degree-less folks that made it into lower level engineering jobs after 10 years or so experience, only to hit a glass ceiling because they had no formal qualifications.
I know of legions of brain dead engineering graduates with no real lust for their chosen profession, who've ended up as paper shuffling middle managers or golden teeth sales engineers <-- Yeah brochure monkeys use the term too!

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The same is true with management.  And yes, when the MBA becomes a limiting factor, I have no reason not to go back to school at the company's expense.
Forgotten something? With unemployed MBA graduates now in plague proportions, what company is going to spend money on further education for their, as you put it,  low hanging fruit?
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: Complaining about the "broken education system" is getting old
« Reply #151 on: May 07, 2012, 01:11:09 am »
in a sense it is sad that you spent 8 years obtaining an 'official' degree and now don't use it by going into management...
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Offline vxp036000

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Re: Complaining about the "broken education system" is getting old
« Reply #152 on: May 07, 2012, 01:20:51 am »
I used it as a qualification to get my foot in the door.  I never could have started out where I did without the degree.  And I do use it, just at a higher level than circuit design.  Someone without a technical background would have a hard time leading any engineering project, making architectural decisions, future product enhancements, reasonable estimates for bids, recognizing BS from marketing folks as such, etc.

in a sense it is sad that you spent 8 years obtaining an 'official' degree and now don't use it by going into management...
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Complaining about the "broken education system" is getting old
« Reply #153 on: May 07, 2012, 01:34:41 am »
I used it as a qualification to get my foot in the door.  I never could have started out where I did without the degree.  And I do use it, just at a higher level than circuit design.  Someone without a technical background would have a hard time leading any engineering project, making architectural decisions, future product enhancements, reasonable estimates for bids, recognizing BS from marketing folks as such, etc.

Not necessarily so.
A good technical manager who understands the technology is of course often desired, but it's by no means essential. Just having good people skills, time management and budget skills, and isolating the engineers from the other company BS and focussed on the work can be more than enough to make you an incredibly valuable project manager. The senior engineers on the team can often work together to make the (often peer reviewed) decisions for the direction of the project at the day to day level, that doesn't need to be the project manager.
Often it's someone like the CTO that will dictate the architectural decisions, future product enhancements etc, and not the active project manager.

Dave.
 

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Re: Complaining about the "broken education system" is getting old
« Reply #154 on: May 07, 2012, 01:42:25 am »
Struggling?
Hell no! Business is doing well actually.

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You're the one throwing around insults left and right
That's a touch hypocritical, coming from a master of condescension.

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because you can't prove your point.
Actually you have been doing most of the legwork to prove any point I have made.

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At least where I work
"there was this one time, at band camp"

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only the best engineers are given the opportunity to move into management.
if shiniest cufflinks equates to best.

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The so-so ones are stuck remaining technical, and the bottom half are walked out the door.
My how you must enjoy this fictional workplace, as you type from your dim cubicle.

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It doesn't bother me how much you dislike paper shuffling managers
that's nice for you!

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they bring in millions of dollars worth of sales each year
or they would do if only there was a market for shuffled paper.

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and are paid a pretty penny for it
sure many middle managers are rewarded far more than they are worth, at least in monetary terms, but the comparisons you suggest are far from universal.

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And it really isn't at all difficult to get an employer to pay for business school
yeah sure, when buy-in dills are a dime a dozen. To employers MBAs are like Cisco Certification, most sensible companies are not going to invest in an employee that will leave the moment they attain qualification. Your 90's vision of the corporate world suggests you may not have too much to do with engineering or management.

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unless you happen to be one of the bottom performers.
How is that cubicle? Have you got a print of a car you cannot afford to decorate it?
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 07:05:34 am by Uncle Vernon »
 

Offline jerry507

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Re: Complaining about the "broken education system" is getting old
« Reply #155 on: May 07, 2012, 01:59:08 am »
I used it as a qualification to get my foot in the door.  I never could have started out where I did without the degree.  And I do use it, just at a higher level than circuit design.  Someone without a technical background would have a hard time leading any engineering project, making architectural decisions, future product enhancements, reasonable estimates for bids, recognizing BS from marketing folks as such, etc.

Not necessarily so.
A good technical manager who understands the technology is of course often desired, but it's by no means essential. Just having good people skills, time management and budget skills, and isolating the engineers from the other company BS and focussed on the work can be more than enough to make you an incredibly valuable project manager. The senior engineers on the team can often work together to make the (often peer reviewed) decisions for the direction of the project at the day to day level, that doesn't need to be the project manager.
Often it's someone like the CTO that will dictate the architectural decisions, future product enhancements etc, and not the active project manager.

Dave.

This is absolutely right. Managers shouldn't really be dictating terms to engineers, but should be getting input from engineers to toss back to whoever else is in the process. The engineer is supposed to be a technical reference, not just a monkey churning out product.

Also, at my last company it was sales people that generated most requirements. After all, they are the ones most involved in what the customer wants. Of course, there has to be a healthy back and forth on those requirements to make it work. Management was largely involved in customer interactions (with the biggest ones) but also sequencing projects to manage resources. Overall it worked quite well. Just goes to show that every company and situation is different.
 

Offline slateraptor

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Re: Complaining about the "broken education system" is getting old
« Reply #156 on: May 07, 2012, 07:36:03 am »
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And it really isn't at all difficult to get an employer to pay for business school
yeah sure, when buy-in dills are a dime a dozen. To employers MBAs are like Cisco Certification, most sensible companies are not going to invest in an employee that will leave the moment they attain qualification. Your 90's vision of the corporate world suggests you may not have too much to do with engineering or management.

You'd be surprised at the number of large US companies willing to pay for graduate school in general, not just business school. It's often used as an incentive for recruiting top undergraduate talent.
 

Offline Kremmen

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Re: Complaining about the "broken education system" is getting old
« Reply #157 on: May 07, 2012, 09:26:01 am »
I used it as a qualification to get my foot in the door.  I never could have started out where I did without the degree.  And I do use it, just at a higher level than circuit design.  Someone without a technical background would have a hard time leading any engineering project, making architectural decisions, future product enhancements, reasonable estimates for bids, recognizing BS from marketing folks as such, etc.

Not necessarily so.
A good technical manager who understands the technology is of course often desired, but it's by no means essential. Just having good people skills, time management and budget skills, and isolating the engineers from the other company BS and focussed on the work can be more than enough to make you an incredibly valuable project manager. The senior engineers on the team can often work together to make the (often peer reviewed) decisions for the direction of the project at the day to day level, that doesn't need to be the project manager.
Often it's someone like the CTO that will dictate the architectural decisions, future product enhancements etc, and not the active project manager.

Dave.
Exactly right. One should make a clear distinction between "small" scale and "large" scale development projects without just now going deeper into the line separating those two. A small project might very well have one of the designers act as the project manager and it can be all right. A large project - no. Project management in the large is a strict discipline requiring skills an electronics designer won't have. And i don't mean because he is stupid or anything, it is just another ballgame altogether. Most designers couldn't give a shit about management as long as they get to design but that just disqualifies them as project managers. Anyone seen the movie "Right Stuff"? There is the scene in the Happy Bottom bar where the journalist asks these flyboys what keeps their planes flying. One of the B29 jockeys starts how aerodynamics is a difficult subject and a newspaper man can't be expected... until the news guy interrupts: funding. Thats what flies your planes. It never ceases to amaze me how many serious designers have real difficulties with this concept. Not all, not always, but there are so many who just don't get it. Of course a designer is supposed to design but thinking that is all is not seeing the wider context.
The manager of a big project does not necessarily need any technical qualifications. He is not supposed to architect and design anything, but run the management processes that allow other people to do that. There will be architects, designers, testers, customer tailoring teams and all kinds of people involved. It would be counterproductive to attempt managing all of that by a person whose qualifications are totally unsuited for the job, however good he or she is as a designer.
Just to clarify: in a big project the PM is expected to do at least the following:
- Participate in creating the business case. This would be a document outlining the reasons why this project should be done in the first place and what are the benefits and costs to the company in doing so. In a big company already this phase makes or breaks project managers because the foundation is laid here. If it turns out the business case was unrealistic, then so is the entire project.
- Create the project budget from resource assignments, all necessary procurements, various service fees and costs for things needed for the duration
- Fix and manage the project scope by formalizing the baseline requirements - in the worst case by first creating a requirements management process and repository and then by creating a change control process to manage the inevitable modifications and new things in a controlled way
- cost control or bean counting, one of the all time antifavorites of those who think money comes out of a wallet
- human resources management from the interviews for initial role assignments to worktime management and all around babysitting. Includes taxi rides to rehab for the hardest pressed memebers of the project
- quality management starting from defining the target quality and then finding a way to assure that it happens, by setting up test environments, labs and whatever and staffing them (see above). Then organizing the QA strategy, planning, test methods and results reporting - hopefully with the assistance of a good test manager
- communications management is a key process to publish the project and its status, progress and all interesting info in whatever way is relevant to the project stakeholders. The stakeholdders also need expectation management, motivation and commitment building. For a big project this is like running an election campaign and news agency rolled into one.
- to avoid nasty surprises risk management is needed to regularly map the scenery to locate the threats to project success and invent ways to avoid or mitigate them. For a high risk project this can be a time consuming effort but seldom understood at all by those not aware how projects are really managed.
- monitor the actual project progress by regular followup and action any deviations.
- Regularly report all of the above to the project steering group usually consisting of middle or higher line management, in a quantitative way that enables the decision makers to see concrete indicators of the project's status.

All of that naturally divides into regular periodic work to run the process, workshops to unravel the difficult points and endless meeting just to keep information flowing. Should the PM then also design the system on top of all that? I don't think so. I have seen a statistic that says 80% of all failed IT projects fail due to inferior project management. Knowing what i know today, i can believe it
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Complaining about the "broken education system" is getting old
« Reply #158 on: May 07, 2012, 10:20:28 am »
Great post Kremmen, and spot on.
I love The Right Stuff!

Dave.
 

Offline Galenbo

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Re: Complaining about the "broken education system" is getting old
« Reply #159 on: May 07, 2012, 11:22:54 am »
...The manager of a big project does not necessarily need any technical qualifications. He is not supposed to architect and design anything, but run the management processes that allow other people to do that.

The managers I like most, all have (some) (ex) real hands-on technical background.

Like the Mechatronics manager that welded his own bycicle when he was 16, or others that played or hacked around with a Commodore 64, but now runs a production facility.

When his pure management skills are good, his tech domain doesn't have to be related, but has to exist.
I get sick of most of the others, stuck in their educational terms and examples.

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Offline Kremmen

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Re: Complaining about the "broken education system" is getting old
« Reply #160 on: May 07, 2012, 11:45:43 am »
I know what you mean and i fully agree. It is far easier to communicate if there is a common language and shared background. Then the PM can be one of "the boys" even if not strictly able to act in a designer role. The fact however is that this cannot be the primary criterium for a PM role, only an added bonus although not an insignificant one.
Nothing sings like a kilovolt.
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Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

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Re: Complaining about the "broken education system" is getting old
« Reply #161 on: May 07, 2012, 11:48:36 am »
I prefer managers with a solid technical background, as opposed to sales guys who'll say anything, psuedo managers with rows of self help/motivation books on their shelves and accountants looking to cut costs in the short term.
The main point is that the managers should understand the business or the project that they are managing because they are the key decision makers.
Managers who are just facilitators of other people but don't understand how the business or project will work will be more prone to making bad decisions.

I notice Dilberts managers aren't technically competent.
 

Offline GeoffS

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Re: Complaining about the "broken education system" is getting old
« Reply #162 on: May 07, 2012, 12:29:07 pm »
I notice Dilberts managers aren't technically competent.

Dilbert's managers aren't competent in ANY  sphere.

I've had a few like that ...
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Complaining about the "broken education system" is getting old
« Reply #163 on: May 07, 2012, 12:36:18 pm »
he main point is that the managers should understand the business or the project that they are managing because they are the key decision makers.
Managers who are just facilitators of other people but don't understand how the business or project will work will be more prone to making bad decisions.

That's why a good design team doesn't need the manager making the technical decisions. They are there to manage the project, not necessarily make technical decisions. It's hard to focus on project management and be abreast of all the design issues and correctly make the big decisions at the same time. I think that's asking too much and could actually lead to bad or even worse decisions!, regardless of how good the technical oriented manager is.
A good large design team will have dedicated project technical decision makers/leaders to handle that stuff, as Kremmen mentioned.
In an ideal team, you want the best people doing their rolls. The best manager, the best technical leader/decision maker, the best designers, the best techs, etc, each 100% focussed on their role. The role of the project manager is to ensure the others are 100% focussed on their roles, and all on the same track. And that does not necessarily require good technical skills.

Dave.
 

Offline Kremmen

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Re: Complaining about the "broken education system" is getting old
« Reply #164 on: May 07, 2012, 01:35:56 pm »
he main point is that the managers should understand the business or the project that they are managing because they are the key decision makers.
Managers who are just facilitators of other people but don't understand how the business or project will work will be more prone to making bad decisions.

That's why a good design team doesn't need the manager making the technical decisions. They are there to manage the project, not necessarily make technical decisions. It's hard to focus on project management and be abreast of all the design issues and correctly make the big decisions at the same time. I think that's asking too much and could actually lead to bad or even worse decisions!, regardless of how good the technical oriented manager is.
A good large design team will have dedicated project technical decision makers/leaders to handle that stuff, as Kremmen mentioned.
In an ideal team, you want the best people doing their rolls. The best manager, the best technical leader/decision maker, the best designers, the best techs, etc, each 100% focussed on their role. The role of the project manager is to ensure the others are 100% focussed on their roles, and all on the same track. And that does not necessarily require good technical skills.

Dave.
I'm sure the point was made already, but let me still illustrate the multitude of roles a PM may encounter in a bigger project, using a real life example. NDA prevents me from being specific, but this much i can tell you. In February i completed a 3 year consultation job for a world class corporation that you all are guaranteed to know by name. The job was to manage the creation of a mission critical semi realtime provisioning system and its deployment into a highly available, multiply redundant operational environment. I won't go into the boring details of the deliverables, but just check the roles that were involved in the project:
The core team included the following roles:
- Business Development Manager who is familiar with the organization from a long time back and has a wide network of contacts all over the place. His knowledge is used for high level requirements gathering and long term roadmapping. This is the guy that chairs the feature priorization, high level scheduling and release lifecycle process meetings. He is not the sole decision maker though.
- Concept Owner who makes sure the project deliverable is in line with whatever was agreed regarding the product's positioning in the IT process map
- Chief Architect who is responsible for Enterprise Architecture conformance and high level solution architecture
- Data Architect, responsible for Data layer architecture, data presentation schemas and such
- Solution architects responsible for identifying and specifying actual components of the overall solution
- Lead Develpoper (or Designer) responsible for turning the architecture descriptions into actual specifications and coding work packages
- The design team consisting of programmers, database experts, communications experts and so on. People like scrum masters for the agile development teams are in this group
- test manager and core test team to run the QA as per plans
- Configuration Manager who oversees the numerous things necessary for proper deployment from software installations to firewall configurations and all such things. He interfaces with the actual operations teams and any extrenal parties that need to do something to create a working setup
Outside the core team there are several roles that directly work with the project to make everything happen:
- the Enterprise Architecture team that provides quidance to align the project with the overall corporate IT architecture and review & approve conformance
- Enterprise security to audit and approve the architecture and software solutions for security and confidentiality
- Financial analysts to verify proper accountabilities and checks and things like SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley for the non yanks) compliance
- External specialists such as DBAs and sysadmins with special knowledge of the operational environments and how to integrate into their processes
- PMs and managers of integrated products and services to ensure correct and timely data exchanges with systems providing or receiving process info. Same with managers of internal it services.
- Product and Service Managers who are responsible for the product and service once it is in production. The project needs top provide all necessary information for that and
- Production manager who owns the operation environment
- Service operation, incident management and problem resolution teams in the operation. All of those are needed during the project to setup the staging environemnts from development to regular production and to verify that transition to operational mode has been successful.

That's off the top of my head. I'm sure ther is more but you get the picture already. There is just no time for the PM to try and contribute anything to the actual product, and he is not expected to. If he understands the system itself it is good, but if not there are those who do. In this case i did understand the system on a deep level but that was of course due to my background.
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Dr W. Bishop
 

Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

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Re: Complaining about the "broken education system" is getting old
« Reply #165 on: May 07, 2012, 02:34:14 pm »
I see your point but.....

Microsoft, Apple, Fairchild, Intel, Google, Facebook etc etc etc all initially had managers that were well across the technology that their companies were creating while those companies were in their growth phase. 

Now the list of technology companies that got bought out by managers and businessmen that didn't understand the core business and failed would be quite long. I am trying to think of some, Myspace, Warner buying AOL, Yahoo getting a manager who pretended he has a Tech degree. I am sure there is more.

My experience obviously has been different to yours, I have seen a few bad managers and failed projects. You can tell your bad project/company manager the train is approaching and if he cant see it he might just say "get your neck back down on the tracks".

ps. My favourite episode of Dave's is the one about failed projects:
http://www.eevblog.com/2009/10/28/eevblog-40-dilbert-and-the-world-of-micro-managed-engineering/

I might just watch it again, it'll cheer me up. ps. I normally work for small companies on small projects so I am coming from a different perspective.
 

Offline Galenbo

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Re: Complaining about the "broken education system" is getting old
« Reply #166 on: May 07, 2012, 03:37:29 pm »
... It is far easier to communicate if there is a common language and shared background. Then the PM can be one of "the boys" even if not strictly able to act in a designer role. The fact however is that this cannot be the primary criterium for a PM role, only an added bonus although not an insignificant one.

I think it is an absolute must. But also for the guys who are known as "tech"

One thing I like alot at MacDonalds (at least in my country) is that you start baking hamburgers. Don't care if you're a Marketing/Quality control/Manager with high degrees.

One question, I always asked when somebody wanted to work in our company (technicians), was:
What did you make/design/develop/disassemble/hack in your life, without anyone was asking for it? Just for yourself?
 
Nothing? Bwaaaa...

When I was studying EM Engineering, in every class of 20 persons there were only 1 or 2 guys that "did" something themselves. Tweak an RC plane, build an engine on a bycycle, run a php site,...
The rest, dissapointing, nothing at all. Ok, some of them werealready developing good sales skills...

.
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Offline vxp036000

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Re: Complaining about the "broken education system" is getting old
« Reply #167 on: May 07, 2012, 04:40:31 pm »
You know what I like about the engineering firms in my area?  No degree, no EE job.  Undergradute graduate, you start off in product engineering or some sort of support role.  MS or higher, you get to do design.  The higher the degree, the more responsibility your given when you start out, not to mention the vast difference in pay grade.  Exactly how I would expect it to be.


I think it is an absolute must. But also for the guys who are known as "tech"

One thing I like alot at MacDonalds (at least in my country) is that you start baking hamburgers. Don't care if you're a Marketing/Quality control/Manager with high degrees.

One question, I always asked when somebody wanted to work in our company (technicians), was:
What did you make/design/develop/disassemble/hack in your life, without anyone was asking for it? Just for yourself?
 
Nothing? Bwaaaa...

When I was studying EM Engineering, in every class of 20 persons there were only 1 or 2 guys that "did" something themselves. Tweak an RC plane, build an engine on a bycycle, run a php site,...
The rest, dissapointing, nothing at all. Ok, some of them werealready developing good sales skills...

.
 

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Re: Complaining about the "broken education system" is getting old
« Reply #168 on: May 07, 2012, 05:07:47 pm »
Jack Tramiel the guy behind Commodore, a non tech, provides a very good glimpse into project management in his talk for the Computer History Museum.

Some of the interesting points that he makes are:
- Leave tech stuff to techies.
- Techies do not know if an idea would sell 1000 or 10000000 but the manager has to know early on.
- Always be ready with your next step
- Keeping the price low discourages competition
- Launching the product in the country that is anticipated to provide competition will delay them.


Search YouTube for      Commodore 64 - 25th Anniversary Celebration      (no link because it displays the whole video)



 

Offline free_electron

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Re: Complaining about the "broken education system" is getting old
« Reply #169 on: May 07, 2012, 05:20:38 pm »
You know what I like about the engineering firms in my area?  No degree, no EE job.  Undergradute graduate, you start off in product engineering or some sort of support role.  MS or higher, you get to do design.  The higher the degree, the more responsibility your given when you start out, not to mention the vast difference in pay grade.  Exactly how I would expect it to be.
good ! stay in your chauvinsitic stuck up nose country then. Meanwhile the rest of the world moves on.
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Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

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Re: Complaining about the "broken education system" is getting old
« Reply #170 on: May 07, 2012, 11:05:14 pm »
Quote
You know what I like about the engineering firms in my area?  No degree, no EE job.  Undergradute graduate, you start off in product engineering or some sort of support role.  MS or higher, you get to do design.  The higher the degree, the more responsibility your given when you start out, not to mention the vast difference in pay grade.  Exactly how I would expect it to be.

Don't feed the trolls.
 

Offline Galenbo

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Re: Complaining about the "broken education system" is getting old
« Reply #171 on: May 08, 2012, 10:00:03 am »
... You know what I like about the engineering firms in my area?  No degree, no EE job.  ...
... The higher the degree, the more responsibility your given when you start out, not to mention the vast difference in pay grade.  Exactly how I would expect it to be.



You seem to me like someone who works best in government structures, or in large companies who have exactly the same structure as 20 years ago. A bit like the Chinese/Russian communist way of thinking, where a job is dictated to you.

But I'm glad for you, you're happy with it. As am I (with master degree) in my situation.

.

If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a nonworking cat.
 

Offline FJV

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Hm
« Reply #172 on: May 08, 2012, 05:04:06 pm »
You seem to me like someone who works best in government structures, or in large companies who have exactly the same structure as 20 years ago. A bit like the Chinese/Russian communist way of thinking, where a job is dictated to you.

But I'm glad for you, you're happy with it. As am I (with master degree) in my situation.
???

Impossible to make statement accurately without having spent adequate time with the person in question.

As for management: I'm not all that willing to accept pro management statements. One thing that doesn't add up is that with all the advances in information technology we should see a decrease in the number of managers. I don't see that decrease.

Also these advances in information technology should make management more effective, causing me to have more and more time to focus on my "core competence" which would be technical. Instead time spent on administrative tasks seems to increase.



 

Offline IanB

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Re: Hm
« Reply #173 on: May 08, 2012, 11:53:09 pm »
As for management: I'm not all that willing to accept pro management statements. One thing that doesn't add up is that with all the advances in information technology we should see a decrease in the number of managers. I don't see that decrease.

Also these advances in information technology should make management more effective, causing me to have more and more time to focus on my "core competence" which would be technical. Instead time spent on administrative tasks seems to increase.

This is because the complexity of engineering problems and projects does not decrease. If anything, it only increases with the march of technology. Consider for example, that a project to build a modern structure like a suspension bridge or skyscraper is far more complex to manage than to build a bridge or cathedral in medieval times. And the push to shorter schedules and lower costs only makes things more complex still.
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Uncle Vernon

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Re: Hm
« Reply #174 on: May 09, 2012, 12:23:48 am »
This is because the complexity of engineering problems and projects does not decrease. If anything, it only increases with the march of technology.

Good project management requires conceptual rather than absolute engineering knowledge. As stated above project management is a different skill set. It's a people skill, a good PM manages a team, he aids and feeds off his technical people. Some of the best PMs I've worked with were not technical people but were able to converse with and recognise engineering requirements. While there are always exceptions to the rule good engineers often make mediocre project managers being unable to separate best possible from financial reality. Equally I've seen PMs with no clue hoodwinked by engineers and accountants within their teams.

I often see the PMs role as one of stopping engineers and/or accountants from sending projects pear shaped.
 


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