Author Topic: Advanced diploma electronics at TAFE (kinda want Dave to answer this question)  (Read 2055 times)

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Offline CuteNotGate

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Hi i'm 17 and live in NSW Australia.

I'm not so confident in my maths skills and shit at it, so i have chosen to do an advanced diploma electronics at TAFE (Mount Druitt). I all ways wanted to design electronics for power electronics or digital electronics systems for PCB for GPU's. Do you think TAFE is an good starting point for this ? I know i won't be an engineer but more of an technician with that advanced diploma qualification. The head teacher of electrical/electronics at the Mount Druitt TAFE has an YouTube channel/website. With his videos/website what he uses to teaches in the courses at TAFE. I have been looking at this for an while now. Can you look at the links below and then and judge them to see if they are technical for what i wanna do and give me some guidance if i'm making the right choice ?

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChwUMjD6ed5KhQbO1gLm9fQ/videos
http://www.learn.org.au/
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Hi i'm 17 and live in NSW Australia.

I'm not so confident in my maths skills and shit at it, so i have chosen to do an advanced diploma electronics at TAFE (Mount Druitt). I all ways wanted to design electronics for power electronics or digital electronics systems for PCB for GPU's. Do you think TAFE is an good starting point for this ? I know i won't be an engineer but more of an technician with that advanced diploma qualification. The head teacher of electrical/electronics at the Mount Druitt TAFE has an YouTube channel/website. With his videos/website what he uses to teaches in the courses at TAFE. I have been looking at this for an while now. Can you look at the links below and then and judge them to see if they are technical for what i wanna do and give me some guidance if i'm making the right choice ?

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChwUMjD6ed5KhQbO1gLm9fQ/videos
http://www.learn.org.au/
The thing about math is that no one gets born being good at it. Even people who have advanced to field have needed to put in the work to get good. Be bad at it until you become good at it, but never stop working on it.
 

Offline Kasper

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Having a prof that posts youtube videos is a good sign.  It is also a good sign that you enjoy watching them and have a clue what you want to do at 17. All I wanted to do at that age was snowboard. But now I have diploma and degree and am happy for both.

Not sure how it is in Aus but I'll share my story from Canada. I went to 2 year college diploma in electronics then worked my way up until I was doing same work as engineers but for 2/3 the pay and 1/2 the respect. I returned to school, got my engineering degree, learned and remembered less applicable engineering material in 3 years there than I did in 2 years of college but now I get more job offers, better pay and more respect so it was worth it.

Something that could help your decision is; will your diploma give credits towards a degree, incase you ever plan to get one?

Another good question to ask is of the school, tell them what you want to do and ask them if they cover it. I tried that in uni and profs enthusiasticaly explained their material seemingly in an attempt to recruit me.

I never planned to return for degree untill I sat in an aweful job for a while and then noticed I was almost 30 and still far from my goals.  Had I taken the initiative to do side projects and networking and stuff like that, I might not have needed the degree to move forward in my career but I didn't so instead, I used more schooling to push myself forward.
 

Offline StreuB1

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Hi i'm 17 and live in NSW Australia.

I'm not so confident in my maths skills and shit at it, so i have chosen to do an advanced diploma electronics at TAFE (Mount Druitt). I all ways wanted to design electronics for power electronics or digital electronics systems for PCB for GPU's. Do you think TAFE is an good starting point for this ? I know i won't be an engineer but more of an technician with that advanced diploma qualification. The head teacher of electrical/electronics at the Mount Druitt TAFE has an YouTube channel/website. With his videos/website what he uses to teaches in the courses at TAFE. I have been looking at this for an while now. Can you look at the links below and then and judge them to see if they are technical for what i wanna do and give me some guidance if i'm making the right choice ?

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChwUMjD6ed5KhQbO1gLm9fQ/videos
http://www.learn.org.au/

This is my first post on this forum and I feel I must reply to this as its far too important. You are our future right now and its imperative you understand a few things, you might not just yet but hopefully you will.

I'm not so confident in my maths skills and shit at it,

Ok, this is the comment that made me comment. When graduated from HS, I was not great at maths.....and I'm still not.....but it didn't hold me back and actually benefited me in the long run. I'll tell you my story.

The fall after I graduated HS I went on to community (Junior) college and took College Algebra. Everything was ok until we got to matricies and I fell on my face. I mean, I didn't just NOT get them. I didn't get them so hard that I told myself that there was no way I could be an engineer and get through the calculus "Trifecta" if I couldn't even get past this. So.....I dropped out of college. My first semester.....done. I then went to work in a hardware store because I was good with mechanics and machining, plumbing, electrics, etc. Then went to work as a machinist for $7/hr in a dirty place called Scot Industries (some might know that name actually!). After that I was hired at another company for $9.25/hr doing assembly of utility distribution systems for kitchens and large facilities. I had drafting experience from HS and that coupled with my talent for mechanical things allowed me to move from the shop and into the office into Sales Engineering....then into Production Engineering and then into R&D. I flourished there.

The company was consolidated and I lost my job after 7 years and was unemployed but at the time there was an incentive program for displaced workers. You could go to school while on unemployment for retraining for what I thought was 2 years. During that time I took 4 classes a semester in Industrial Electricity, PLC programming, etc. I loved it. Unfortunately I didn't understand something with the program and my benefits ran out after a year.....full stop. So I had to jump back into the workforce and drop school which broke my heart. I went back to a shit job working in a place that makes bumpers for trains but 4 weeks later Mitutoyo Corporation (yes, the company that makes calipers and micrometers) reached out to me and offered me a job as a CNC screw machine operator for $15/hr compared to the $9 I was making. I jumped at it in a heartbeat. After 2 weeks there I was promoted from L1 to L3 machinist and the managers learned I had an engineering background. They asked me why I was working in a machine shop and I told them that I had to pay the bills to live and I had no degree. They had no room to move me into the office at the time but they were very intrigued and moved me off the production line and into the machine shop machining special projects and specialized short run measuring items for customers as well as doing the precision grinding and shaping of the screw machine tooling from blanks. After 4mo there, I was approached by my current company and they made an offer for $43k/yr as a design engineer. I gave my notice at Mitutoyo and on my last day, a cake was brought out for me with a card signed by everyone in the shop.....and signed in Japanese by the managers in the office. One of the managers from Japan told me that he knew right away that if Mitutoyo didn't get me into the office, someone else would and he lamented that they didn't have the opportunity yet to take advantage of it. I obviously made an impression and it made me feel amazing for once.

At my current company, I have been there since 2004 and have done everything from Design, to R&D to new product to test to....you get the idea. I have a patent for which I am the sole inventor (very rare in a company these days) and I have a good future there. In 2010 I became single again after 4 years and after some soul searching, I decided to try maths again. The spring of 2011 I registered at College of Dupage and tested into College Algebra and while I did receive an A in the class, it was so taxing on me that I told myself I cannot do it and gave up again. This was the 3rd time I have given up on school.

Fast forward to 2015. I had a knee surgery in Feb of that year and was off work on disability for 3mo because of not being able to drive and sitting at home that long makes you think about things. I asked myself "Brian, what is your endgame? Do you truly love what you are doing right now? What are you going to do if you lose your job again? Are you marketable? Are you going to get lucky again?"

That June I went back to work and dove back into the mess. That summer, the questions I had asked myself while recovering in the spring haunted me. It all came to a head that August when I had a blowup with some mates and I told myself "Quit screwing around, this is not you. You need to graduate from college with your engineering degree and then you can soar." So, that fall I took an Algebra refresher course and in the Spring of 2016 I started Pre Calculus 1; I struggled but passed with a B+. Oh and BTW, I friggin OWNED matrices!!! My professor spent some time with me until I had that "Ah HA!" moment and after that, I just got them. Feeling confident, I enrolled in Pre Calculus 2 over the summer and it became apparent that was a mistake and ended up withdrawing a month later. That fall I retook PC2 and got an A.

In the spring of 2017 it was time for the big league...Calculus. It was only 1 month into Calc1 that I knew I was WAYYY over my head. I ended up withdrawing at the last withdraw date and felt like a failure. I spent that summer lamenting about it and wondering if this was right. Maybe I wasn't meant for engineering. Maybe I wasn't a "maths person." I was determined though and I enrolled in Calc1 again in the fall of 2017, this time a much more difficult professor. He was really not very nice but I was not going to let that deter me and I kept at it. I spent a lot of time talking to my prof after class so he know my situation and could give me some guidance. I ended up withdrawing from that class as well but he let me still sit in on lecture so I still went to class every week as if I was in class but I sat in the hall during tests. This really showed him my dedication and I will tell you this....professors talk to each other. More on that later.

So this was 2 withdraw from Calc1.....it was personal now. I was determined to not give up no matter how many times I took the damn class. I make enough money now where the cost of class is a fraction of one of my paychecks....its not about the money at this point. I am going to learn and get good at calculus and thats the end of it.

I enrolled in Calc1 for the 3rd time in the Spring of 2018 and got the same professor again. Long story short.....I ended up getting a B- in that class. See, at COd there is a bit of an unwritten understanding with the professors in upper level maths. If you don't withdraw and you are not going to pass, they will withdraw YOU from the class as they will not allow a student who pours their heart into a class, to get an F on their transcripts. After class was over with, my professor told me that he felt confident in not letting me withdraw this time and not withdrawing me because he saw a defined transition in my examinations that told him I was understanding now and wasn't just doing things from memory. He knew I got it at that point and knew I was ready as I could be for Calc2.

Over the summer, I spent every day in the Learning Commons Maths center basically working my way though the Calc2 part of the book to give myself a leg up for the fall. Calc2 is notoriously difficult so I wanted to have the best chance at passing it the first time around. As class went by this past fall, I slowly and slowly got behind. I just can't uptake the information fast enough....its how my brain works. I ended up withdrawing from Calc2 on Nov. 14th this past fall. I felt terrible again....I felt a failure like never before. Its weighed heavily on me to be honest. My first night at class for my 2nd try at Calc2 is tomorrow night at 7pm and I am apprehensive but I am going to give it what I have.


There is a lot missing from this story....the amount of work I put in and its something that is nearly impossible to explain. For my 2nd and 3rd round at Calc1 and 1st round at Calc2, I spent easily double to amount of time studying that other students would. I would go to the math center after work until 8pm every day I didn't have class. I had 2 tutors and went twice a week (1hr each). I spent sat and sunday in the math center for 3hrs each day. Thats on top of spending every lunch hour on a white board and both 15min breaks as well doing maths. I became notorious at COD and still am. I became a fixture in the math center and I had no shame in that I kept failing.....but it became very known to all the professors that I was in it for the long haul. Once you cross that threshold....they take notice and you begin getting respected in a very different way and you begin getting help others might not get. My tutors now tutor me outside of school and they do it for free because they enjoy tutoring me. What I leaned through all this is that I learn differently that others.....I must understand something and not just know it. I must understand its inner workings, why it works, how it works, etc. Not just memorize it for an exam and then done. It was apparent to my professors and tutors that a passion for maths was growing inside of me and they began nurturing it.

I still suck at maths.....but I refuse to give up and now....I am minoring in maths.  ;)

My point to all of this is do not sell yourself short, do not tell yourself you cannot do something because once you do, you begin to REALLY believe it. Everyone says "Don't live in the past, everything happens for a reason."

I regret few things but one thing I do regret.....dropping out of school 3 times. Learning higher level maths when you are 41 is horribly difficult. My brain is far less flexible than your 17yo brain and I would sell my soul to the devil to go back to 2003 and find a way to stay in school or to 2011 and tell myself I can do it and to just stick it out. It breaks my heart because I know I would have my degree now and be in a better place doing better things.

Enroll in the hardest classes you can. The worst thing that happens is that you have to take them again. Ignore the money.....you can always make more of that. You can't make more time.


The only good thing I have to show for my regret is I am a sole inventor on a patent for a very technical device and a patent is one of the holy grails for any engineer. Thing is, I would trade that patent for a degree anyday.



I know i won't be an engineer but more of an technician with that advanced diploma qualification.

Enroll in engineering classes, do it. You will not regret it in 10 years time. I promise you.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 02:04:23 am by StreuB1 »
 
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Offline StreuB1

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Hi i'm 17 and live in NSW Australia.

I'm not so confident in my maths skills and shit at it, so i have chosen to do an advanced diploma electronics at TAFE (Mount Druitt). I all ways wanted to design electronics for power electronics or digital electronics systems for PCB for GPU's. Do you think TAFE is an good starting point for this ? I know i won't be an engineer but more of an technician with that advanced diploma qualification. The head teacher of electrical/electronics at the Mount Druitt TAFE has an YouTube channel/website. With his videos/website what he uses to teaches in the courses at TAFE. I have been looking at this for an while now. Can you look at the links below and then and judge them to see if they are technical for what i wanna do and give me some guidance if i'm making the right choice ?

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChwUMjD6ed5KhQbO1gLm9fQ/videos
http://www.learn.org.au/
The thing about math is that no one gets born being good at it. Even people who have advanced to field have needed to put in the work to get good. Be bad at it until you become good at it, but never stop working on it.

Read my above "novel"

I couldn't agree more    :-+ :-+ :-+ :-+ :-+
 

Offline EEVblog

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Hi i'm 17 and live in NSW Australia.
I'm not so confident in my maths skills and shit at it, so i have chosen to do an advanced diploma electronics at TAFE (Mount Druitt).

What were your other options?
Did you get enough HSC marks to get into a Uni engineering course?

Quote
I all ways wanted to design electronics for power electronics or digital electronics systems for PCB for GPU's. Do you think TAFE is an good starting point for this ?

It's a good starting point, yes.

Quote
I know i won't be an engineer but more of an technician with that advanced diploma qualification.

Only if you believe that.
Engineering is a vocation, the type of work that you do, not the qualification that you have.
An engineering degree (4 years) does not make you an engineer. It only makes you a qualified engineer.
In the same way a 3 year diploma in engineering does not make you a technician or associate engineer (technically, in oz, "technician" is (or was) a 2 year course.

Only when you get a job and do engineering or technical work will you classed as either an engineer or a technician, or whatever it is.
Here in Australia qualifications don't matter much, and there is zero regulation on who can practice engineering (at least in electronics).
There is nothing stopping someone with a two or three year certificate or diploma engineering course (or even no qualifications) from applying for a "engineering" level job. In fact it is quite common here in Australia.
There are some regulated industries like medical and government who want you to be eligible for professional membership of the IEA (i.e. 4 year degree), but most other companies don't care.
And there are also jobs where a 4 year degree is not enough, they want a Masters, or a PhD. So even a 4 year degree is no magic bullet.

Quote
The head teacher of electrical/electronics at the Mount Druitt TAFE has an YouTube channel/website. With his videos/website what he uses to teaches in the courses at TAFE. I have been looking at this for an while now. Can you look at the links below and then and judge them to see if they are technical for what i wanna do and give me some guidance if i'm making the right choice ?
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChwUMjD6ed5KhQbO1gLm9fQ/videos
http://www.learn.org.au/

We need to know your other choices first.
But it's a great thing that a head teacher there is doing these types of videos.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 02:24:37 am by EEVblog »
 
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Offline mrpackethead

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Engineering is a vocation, the type of work that you do, not the qualification that you have.
An engineering degree (4 years) does not make you an engineer. It only makes you a qualified engineer.

I'd say it makes you an engineer with a qualification.     ( that is subtly different )
On a quest to find increasingly complicated ways to blink things
 

Offline EEVblog

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Engineering is a vocation, the type of work that you do, not the qualification that you have.
An engineering degree (4 years) does not make you an engineer. It only makes you a qualified engineer.

I'd say it makes you an engineer with a qualification.     ( that is subtly different )

But that makes no difference to what you can call yourself, or what other people call you. If a company hires you as an engineering, you are an engineer either way.
If you want you can register with the IEA and get to put MIEA after your name, but the number of practicing electronics people in Australia who even bother to do that is pretty minuscule.
 
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Offline mrpackethead

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Engineering is a vocation, the type of work that you do, not the qualification that you have.
An engineering degree (4 years) does not make you an engineer. It only makes you a qualified engineer.

I'd say it makes you an engineer with a qualification.     ( that is subtly different )

But that makes no difference to what you can call yourself, or what other people call you. If a company hires you as an engineering, you are an engineer either way.
If you want you can register with the IEA and get to put MIEA after your name, but the number of practicing electronics people in Australia who even bother to do that is pretty minuscule.


Whats an engineer?   
On a quest to find increasingly complicated ways to blink things
 

Offline CuteNotGate

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What were your other options?
Did you get enough HSC marks to get into a Uni engineering course?

The option that i was hopping for is https://www.usq.edu.au/study/degrees/associate-degree-of-engineering/electrical-electronic-engineering but i did not get the offer. So the only option i have left is an advanced diploma at TAFE.

Failed it, ATAR of 35. No entry in to any uni.
Subjects that I was doing are:
  • General Mathematics 2
(Band 2)
  • Standard English
(Band 2)
  • Studies of Religion 1
(Band 4)
  • Software Design and Development
(Band 3)
  • Physics
(Band 2)
  • Industrial Technology-Multimedia
(Band 5)

* You can not do engineering at uni level with General Mathematics 2. The minimum is advanced mathematics.
* Band meanings. https://arc2.nesa.nsw.edu.au/page/faq
« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 05:39:49 am by CuteNotGate »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Whats an engineer?

Someone who does engineering for a living.
 
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Offline Mr. Scram

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Someone who does engineering for a living.
I'd say you don't even need to do it for a living. You can be a violinist without doing it professionally too.
 

Offline EEVblog

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    What were your other options?
    Did you get enough HSC marks to get into a Uni engineering course?

    The option that i was hopping for is https://www.usq.edu.au/study/degrees/associate-degree-of-engineering/electrical-electronic-engineering but i did not get the offer. So the only option i have left is an advanced diploma at TAFE.

    I have not looked at the details of that USQ course syllabus, but surely a three year TAFE associate diploma is going to trump a two year "associate degree" ?
    Seems deceptive that any two year course has "degree" in the title. Standard for any sort of associate "degree" in engineering is 3 years, both in Australia and overseas.
    IIRC the IEA recognise qualifications are
    - 4 years = full member
    - 3 years = associate member (seems to be called "technologist" now)
    - 2 years = technician (now called "associate")

    But like I said, hardly anyone in electronics joins the IEA, but it's a useful reference.
    In this country you can call yourself a "professional engineer" (as can your employer) if you do engineering as a profession, the IEA have no say in anything. For electronics anyway.

    https://www.engineersaustralia.org.au/Membership/Assessment-Process





    Quote
    Failed it, ATAR of 35. No entry in to any uni.

    Bummer. Only other avenue would be mature age entry, which IIRC is still 21.
    Although to can apply for an interview with the dean, but you've usually got to have other things under your belt first.

    Quote
    Subjects that I was doing are:
    Studies of Religion 1[/li][/list] (Band 4)

    WTF is wrong with this country that that's even an option?

    Quote
    * You can not do engineering at uni level with General Mathematics 2. The minimum is advanced mathematics.

    Yep, they throw your straight into reasonably advanced calculus in an engineering degree.
    « Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 06:16:34 am by EEVblog »
     

    Offline EEVblog

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    Course structure
    https://www.usq.edu.au/handbook/current/engineering-built-environment/ADNG.html#enrolment.pattern7

    Nope, the 3 year TAFE diploma would be far superior, as your expect in a 2 year vs 3 year program. Do the TAFE diploma.
     

    Offline EEVblog

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    Someone who does engineering for a living.
    I'd say you don't even need to do it for a living. You can be a violinist without doing it professionally too.

    Nope, that makes you a hobbyist or amateur, not a professional, regardless of how good you are at it.

    When you say "I'm a professional xxxxxxxx" it implies that it's what you do as a full time profession (hence the word).
    Saying "I'm an engineer" kinda implies you are a "professional engineer".
    I'm a qualified fitness instructor, but I don't go around calling myself a fitness instructor because I've never done it for a living.
    « Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 06:23:39 am by EEVblog »
     
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    Offline Mr. Scram

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    Nope, that makes you a hobbyist or amateur, not a professional, regardless of how good you are at it.

    When you say "I'm a professional xxxxxxxx" it implies that it's what you do as a full time profession (hence the word).
    Saying "I'm an engineer" kinda implies you are a "professional engineer".
    I'm a qualified fitness instructor, but I don't go around calling myself a fitness instructor because I've never done it for a living.
    Apologies, I thought the question was what an "engineer" is instead of a "professional engineer".  '"Professional" denotes making living wages, yes.
     

    Offline CuteNotGate

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      Quote
      Subjects that I was doing are:
      Studies of Religion 1[/li][/list] (Band 4)
      WTF is wrong with this country that that's even an option?

      Its an option, its not mandatory if your in a public school but is compulsory in a catholic school. At least i got an final mark in 70's  but it was an waist of an unit.

      So TAFE is the way to go then. But there are more then 1 advanced diploma in electronics though https://www.tafensw.edu.au/courses/electrotechnology-courses
       

      Offline EEVblog

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      Nope, that makes you a hobbyist or amateur, not a professional, regardless of how good you are at it.

      When you say "I'm a professional xxxxxxxx" it implies that it's what you do as a full time profession (hence the word).
      Saying "I'm an engineer" kinda implies you are a "professional engineer".
      I'm a qualified fitness instructor, but I don't go around calling myself a fitness instructor because I've never done it for a living.
      Apologies, I thought the question was what an "engineer" is instead of a "professional engineer".  '"Professional" denotes making living wages, yes.

      I missed that the said just "engineer". My point still stands though, I don't call myself a fitness instructor, and given that I only do fitness as a hobby, at best I'm a "fitness hobbyist" or "fitness amateur" despite being qualified. I'd make the same argument for "engineer". Amateur engineers have always called themselves hobbyists.
      If I stopped doing engineering as a living or a hobby, I'd call myself a "former engineer" at best.
       

      Offline Mr. Scram

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      I missed that the said just "engineer". My point still stands though, I don't call myself a fitness instructor, and given that I only do fitness as a hobby, at best I'm a "fitness hobbyist" or "fitness amateur" despite being qualified. I'd make the same argument for "engineer". Amateur engineers have always called themselves hobbyists.
      If I stopped doing engineering as a living or a hobby, I'd call myself a "former engineer" at best.
      I understand where you're coming from. I'm probably looking more at the term in the etymological sense, with it originally meaning "cleverly devising". I guess that's trade versus activity.
       

      Offline mrpackethead

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      If I stopped doing engineering as a living or a hobby, I'd call myself a "former engineer" at best.

      Is one of the primary activitys of an engineer to RANT?
      On a quest to find increasingly complicated ways to blink things
       

      Offline EEVblog

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      I missed that the said just "engineer". My point still stands though, I don't call myself a fitness instructor, and given that I only do fitness as a hobby, at best I'm a "fitness hobbyist" or "fitness amateur" despite being qualified. I'd make the same argument for "engineer". Amateur engineers have always called themselves hobbyists.
      If I stopped doing engineering as a living or a hobby, I'd call myself a "former engineer" at best.
      I understand where you're coming from. I'm probably looking more at the term in the etymological sense, with it originally meaning "cleverly devising". I guess that's trade versus activity.

      I've never really heard many electronics hobbyists call themselves an engineer, it just doesn't seem to be a thing. Unlike a person who plays the violin I can imagine them calling themselves a "violinist".
      Many qualified software engineers would call themselves a programmer, but I've never really heard a hobbyist programmer call themselves a software engineer?
      The term engineer seems to quite vocationally oriented.
       

      Offline EEVblog

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      If I stopped doing engineering as a living or a hobby, I'd call myself a "former engineer" at best.
      Is one of the primary activitys of an engineer to RANT?

      "Inform"  ;D
       

      Offline EEVblog

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        • EEVblog
       

      Offline mrpackethead

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      I've never really heard many electronics hobbyists call themselves an engineer, it just doesn't seem to be a thing. Unlike a person who plays the violin I can imagine them calling themselves a "violinist".
      Many qualified software engineers would call themselves a programmer, but I've never really heard a hobbyist programmer call themselves a software engineer?
      The term engineer seems to quite vocationally oriented.

      Model Train Engineers.  They most def think they are engineers. and nobody is paying.
      On a quest to find increasingly complicated ways to blink things
       

      Offline StreuB1

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      • Country: us
      If I stopped doing engineering as a living or a hobby, I'd call myself a "former engineer" at best.

      Is one of the primary activitys of an engineer to RANT?

      YES!!!   ;D ;D ;D
       


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