Author Topic: When is somebody who does engineering an engineer?  (Read 934 times)

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Offline cprobertson1

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Re: When is somebody who does engineering an engineer?
« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2019, 10:42:00 am »
Finding out what doesn't work is invaluable, especially early in your career. Somehow it's viewed as failure but I'd argue it's instrumental to success.

Whoops, I deleted part of my post in an attempt to trim it down a little!

I had previously said that "knowledge fails silently" and that you need feedback to create a self-correcting knowledgebase. Without feedback, "knowledge" becomes a linear process where the outcome never affects the knowledgebase - rife with cognitive bias and easily influenced. In fact, it's basically superstition - where you do something because of an assumed outcome, irrespective of whether the mechanism you believe to cause this outcome is actually correct or not.
 

Offline fourfathom

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Re: When is somebody who does engineering an engineer?
« Reply #26 on: September 18, 2019, 06:05:11 pm »
[...my tale of an incompetent boss meddling with my designs...]
So I quit.  That was the second-best thing that happened to me in my early career.  The best thing was getting fired from my first tech job.
Finding out what doesn't work is invaluable, especially early in your career. Somehow it's viewed as failure but I'd argue it's instrumental in success.

I'm not sure I understand how your point applies in my case (I do agree with it in general).  In my case I already knew what did and didn't work.  My designs worked and his didn't, or at least not very well.

This experience did help me learn what did and did not work career-wise.

When I was fired from my first technician job it wasn't because I was a bad tech, but because the engineering dept had borrowed me to work for them bringing up a new prototype (one of the first to use the Motorola 6800 processor!).  My boss's boss was always fighting with the engineering dept for resources, but Engineering usually got what they wanted (me in this case).  What my boss's boss *could* do is get rid of me.  So he did.  Perhaps the fact that I looked like a scruffy hippie didn't help my case.  I found a much better job within a week.

What did I learn from that?
  • It's a job, not "til' death do us part'
  • The company will do what they think is in their localized best interest, not mine
  • I want to do the best work that I can.  I'm getting a paycheck, I owe that to the company.
  • I should always seek out what is best for me.  If a job is boring, or doomed to stagnation and failure, I should look elsewhere.  I will try to not leave at a critical time, but in some cases it's *always* a critical time and this shouldn't be reason to keep me trapped in a bad situation.
  • Always seek opportunities to do exciting work where you are learning new stuff.  It's good to be an expert, but it's better to push beyond your comfort zone.
  • In spite of all the above, sometimes you just have slog through it.  Bills have to be paid, kids have to be fed, and a steady job is good to have.  The risk/reward ratio changes all the time, and some industries are more volatile than others.  Remember, "This too shall pass."  And keep your eyes open for new opportunities.

Yes, getting fired was a great career move for me.
 
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Offline GlennSprigg

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Re: When is somebody who does engineering an engineer?
« Reply #27 on: September 21, 2019, 12:08:53 pm »
There's another aspect of some 'Engineers' I've not seen discussed here !!
Many times over the decades, I've worked with companies that have 'engineers', Electrical/Electronic
or otherwise, who are Uni kids fresh out of School, but ZERO practical experience, even though they
have learnt a shit load of formulas/calculations etc. And worst of all, (as superiors), having ZERO
people-skills or management-skills !!  However, I LOVED working for companies that had Engineers
who have also come up through the ranks, and know what all facets of the work is about, and how
to work WITH people!!  No condescending needed in either direction. Just shared knowledge & help.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: When is somebody who does engineering an engineer?
« Reply #28 on: September 21, 2019, 01:16:30 pm »
I'm not sure I understand how your point applies in my case (I do agree with it in general).  In my case I already knew what did and didn't work.  My designs worked and his didn't, or at least not very well.

This experience did help me learn what did and did not work career-wise.

When I was fired from my first technician job it wasn't because I was a bad tech, but because the engineering dept had borrowed me to work for them bringing up a new prototype (one of the first to use the Motorola 6800 processor!).  My boss's boss was always fighting with the engineering dept for resources, but Engineering usually got what they wanted (me in this case).  What my boss's boss *could* do is get rid of me.  So he did.  Perhaps the fact that I looked like a scruffy hippie didn't help my case.  I found a much better job within a week.

What did I learn from that?
  • It's a job, not "til' death do us part'
  • The company will do what they think is in their localized best interest, not mine
  • I want to do the best work that I can.  I'm getting a paycheck, I owe that to the company.
  • I should always seek out what is best for me.  If a job is boring, or doomed to stagnation and failure, I should look elsewhere.  I will try to not leave at a critical time, but in some cases it's *always* a critical time and this shouldn't be reason to keep me trapped in a bad situation.
  • Always seek opportunities to do exciting work where you are learning new stuff.  It's good to be an expert, but it's better to push beyond your comfort zone.
  • In spite of all the above, sometimes you just have slog through it.  Bills have to be paid, kids have to be fed, and a steady job is good to have.  The risk/reward ratio changes all the time, and some industries are more volatile than others.  Remember, "This too shall pass."  And keep your eyes open for new opportunities.

Yes, getting fired was a great career move for me.
That's exactly what I meant. I wasn't talking about circuits or your trade. These kinds of lessons tend to become more expensive as your career progresses so learning them early is invaluable.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2019, 01:19:22 pm by Mr. Scram »
 

Online james_s

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Re: When is somebody who does engineering an engineer?
« Reply #29 on: September 21, 2019, 06:21:52 pm »
There's another aspect of some 'Engineers' I've not seen discussed here !!
Many times over the decades, I've worked with companies that have 'engineers', Electrical/Electronic
or otherwise, who are Uni kids fresh out of School, but ZERO practical experience, even though they
have learnt a shit load of formulas/calculations etc. And worst of all, (as superiors), having ZERO
people-skills or management-skills !!  However, I LOVED working for companies that had Engineers
who have also come up through the ranks, and know what all facets of the work is about, and how
to work WITH people!!  No condescending needed in either direction. Just shared knowledge & help.

Gotta start somewhere, nobody is born with all that practical experience, it is nice when there are a few graybeards around though to mentor the younger people coming in.

People skills are something that are lacking in a lot of engineers, I make an effort but I can't claim to have award winning people skills either.
 

Offline GlennSprigg

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Re: When is somebody who does engineering an engineer?
« Reply #30 on: September 24, 2019, 01:22:53 pm »
There's another aspect of some 'Engineers' I've not seen discussed here !!
Many times over the decades, I've worked with companies that have 'engineers', Electrical/Electronic
or otherwise, who are Uni kids fresh out of School, but ZERO practical experience, even though they
have learnt a shit load of formulas/calculations etc. And worst of all, (as superiors), having ZERO
people-skills or management-skills !!  However, I LOVED working for companies that had Engineers
who have also come up through the ranks, and know what all facets of the work is about, and how
to work WITH people!!  No condescending needed in either direction. Just shared knowledge & help.

James... you are correct. And I'm not judging you as an individual.
Of course 'everyone' needs time to prove themselves, and not be judged harshly within a learning curve.
I'm basing my words on certain real 'Past Experiences'. Some, (not talking about you), are so full of them
selves, that they can't see the proverbial 'Forrest For The Trees', when needing cooperation & help.

I'm not Religious by any means!, but I used to always tell the story about a little boy, out in the paddocks
one day, trying to lift a heavy stone. (Unsuccessfully!). His father came up to him and said... "Son, are you
using all your strength!". The boy said he was, but the father said... "No you are not, because you didn't
ask me for help!". Because there-in lies your strength...  (Soppy I know !!)

I don't discern the difference in a 'Work' environment. Share knowledge. No class distinction.
It works BOTH ways. There is a vast amount of knowledge that can be shared, at ALL levels.

Gotta start somewhere, nobody is born with all that practical experience, it is nice when there are a few graybeards around though to mentor the younger people coming in.

People skills are something that are lacking in a lot of engineers, I make an effort but I can't claim to have award winning people skills either.
 


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