Author Topic: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)  (Read 8143 times)

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Offline ferdieCX

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #75 on: May 04, 2018, 08:26:02 am »
And further, the problem with the "know everything" requirement is that the employers are rarely willing to pay for someone who knows everything. You see job descriptions that list requirements as "the sun, the moon and the stars," followed by salary range "small asteroid."
Spot on. Of course they want someone with decades of experience and a stupefyingly varied yet in depth skill set for the wages of a junior fresh out of college, but that's not going to happen. What does happen is that the results become a lot less predictable if you don't set realistic requirements. It could now be a subset combination of any of those things, or none of them.

Another thing you sometimes see is that employers or sectors say they can't find enough staff to keep up. Reality often is that there is plenty of staff available, but not at the wages offered. Only rarely there actually is no competent staff available.

And don't forget, the staff must know everything, be cheap AND younger than 40
 

Offline Kjelt

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #76 on: May 05, 2018, 07:21:30 am »
Agile can work for hardware as well as software. I was part of this in my previous company.
It requires some strict rules and project boundries though.
It probably will not work well for big launch mass production many n clients as first delivery.
What we did is think of a new product, unknown in the industry. Unknown if clients like it or even want it or pay the extra $ for it.
So we choose one client who was going to build a new HQ offered him to participate and actually be a Beta tester and gave him a huge discount. In the next two years we build four versions of the hardware product each time with improvements after the clients feedback and replaced the products in the end with the final product. Production teams were also thinking about cost down improvements in between the cycles.

The end outcome was actually that there were many restrictions and the product was too expensive, so that we did not continue selling it in masses to other clients.
But still it was a succes:
 1) because we had four products in two/three years where we normally made one finished product in that time and then hoped the clients would want it.
2) we saved the company a lot of money not going into mass production and failing to sell.

It required more than just agile we needed new faster and cheap production techniques, instead of molds taking a year and €300k a piece, we 3D printed a lot of parts for prototyping and first products.

But Agile requires the entire company to cooperate and understand this WOW. Esp management and product owners had a tendency to interfere last minute with new requirements That is not how it works and really stops the ART. The team has a phase for input, then plans and then leave them the hell alone while they build what you asked for, don't change the requirements in between the synchronised timeslots called sprints and PIs or you get chaos. Yes ofcourse it was chaos the first year  ;) they even had to fire a manager because he could not or did not want to change his personal WOW.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2018, 07:28:24 am by Kjelt »
 

Offline Bassman59

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #77 on: May 05, 2018, 05:44:08 pm »
And further, the problem with the "know everything" requirement is that the employers are rarely willing to pay for someone who knows everything. You see job descriptions that list requirements as "the sun, the moon and the stars," followed by salary range "small asteroid."
Spot on. Of course they want someone with decades of experience and a stupefyingly varied yet in depth skill set for the wages of a junior fresh out of college, but that's not going to happen. What does happen is that the results become a lot less predictable if you don't set realistic requirements. It could now be a subset combination of any of those things, or none of them.

Another thing you sometimes see is that employers or sectors say they can't find enough staff to keep up. Reality often is that there is plenty of staff available, but not at the wages offered. Only rarely there actually is no competent staff available.

And don't forget, the staff must know everything, be cheap AND younger than 40

It’s the old triangle. Pick 2!
 

Offline SL4P

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #78 on: May 06, 2018, 02:32:40 am »
Myths are indeed a huge problem in many disciplines these days. Part of the problem, I think, is that rapid communication allows these things to circulate and build-up rapidly.
Another example stemming from this rapid expansion of 'knowledge' is RELIABILITY.
Modern designs are infinitely more reliable than the same piece of gear forty years ago - so this leads to a sense of complacency.
When the new, 'young' designer implements an open-loop control system - with a reasonable assumption that it 'won't' fail under 90% of operating comnditions... the boss and accountant love him!

Well trained, and experienced developers insist on closed-loop, or redundant / fault-tolerant designs - so the equipment can tell you if it's failed, or correct itself.

Management see the young upstart has a cheaper, 'almost reliable' product vs the experienced which may or may not ever use it's designed in tolerance.

MONEY TALKS
Don't ask a question if you aren't willing to listen to the answer.
 

Offline R005T3r

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #79 on: May 15, 2018, 07:21:09 pm »
I get your point.

These are dark times for education, and darker times for engegneering because only one thing matters: money. Also, there's an epidemic of unwillingness to understand the basics that it's almost discouraging. As a crane technician, I see this in my work every single day: misuse, modifications that have a direct impact on safety, cranes that should be dismantled still works, workers that are wise enought to stay under the lifted load and then they kill themselves. Engegneers who don't even recognize that it is not a component but mainteinence is probably the most critical part of a crane,

 :horse:

 

Offline JohnnyMalaria

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #80 on: May 16, 2018, 01:33:58 am »
My definition of the difference between an engineer and a scientist is that the engineer makes a decision where all of the facts aren't known.

That's an extraordinary statement. What's your idea of what scientists do? I worked in the pharmaceutical industry for nearly 25 years as a scientist working on products that employed mechanical metering valves and complex manufacturing processes. I never waited until I had all the facts before putting forward my recommendations to solve critical problems, often engineering-related. Even if I wanted to gather all the facts I couldn't - lack of resources and time would prevent it.

What I see as a common sentiment in this thread is the silo mentality. "I know better than you." "I'm more qualified than you." etc etc. My success at pushing projects forward came from harnessing my deep expertise of my formal discipline, learning about other disciplines, applying my formal discipline creatively in those other disciplines, listening to those with other experiences/expertise, explaining why I disagree with something and being open to being uninformed myself. I learned to be open-minded and to accept the reality of the fundamental human behavior that often gets your goat. If you are an expert in something then you cannot possibly expect most people you have to interact with to have your level of knowledge.
Tell me it can't be done and I'll do it. Or give it a damned good try.
 

Offline JohnnyMalaria

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #81 on: May 16, 2018, 01:41:27 am »
Maybe my last "resort" is to actually write a decent engineering book about it.
In my opinion that is part of the issue. Good books are rare and/or very expensive.

To make money or to simply share your knowledge? Writing a book isn't as much fun as you might think and it certainly is not likely to provide a decent income. The market for technical books is pretty small. Finding a decent agent in the technical field is also a challenge and that's before getting a deal with a publisher who, incidentally, will sell it for a high price since the volume sold is very low.
Tell me it can't be done and I'll do it. Or give it a damned good try.
 

Offline G0HZU

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #82 on: May 16, 2018, 01:56:03 am »
Quote
That's an extraordinary statement.
Agreed. I decided not to bother with it though.

As I said before, I have the opposite problem of the OP. I'm actually scared to retire even though I can easily afford it. I'll miss the way my colleagues and I can sit down and analyse technical issues on a daily basis. I'm working in a company along with maybe 100 top engineers at various grades across RF/HW/SW/DSP/Mech. There simply isn't this kind of environment anywhere outside of work and I will miss it terribly.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 02:02:15 am by G0HZU »
 

Offline digsys

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #83 on: May 16, 2018, 02:56:04 am »
Quote from: G0HZU
... I'll miss the way my colleagues and I can sit down and analyse technical issues on a daily basis. I'm working in a company along with maybe 100 top engineers ...  There simply isn't this kind of environment anywhere outside of work and I will miss it terribly.
Went through a similar (but simpler) situation last year, and you're right ... You'll MISS IT terribly !!! I'm definitely going back to similar to what I had !!
Hello <tap> <tap> .. is this thing on?
 

Offline thermistor-guy

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #84 on: May 16, 2018, 03:23:38 am »
And further, the problem with the "know everything" requirement is that the employers are rarely willing to pay for someone who knows everything. You see job descriptions that list requirements as "the sun, the moon and the stars," followed by salary range "small asteroid."
Spot on. Of course they want someone with decades of experience and a stupefyingly varied yet in depth skill set for the wages of a junior fresh out of college, but that's not going to happen. What does happen is that the results become a lot less predictable if you don't set realistic requirements. It could now be a subset combination of any of those things, or none of them.

Another thing you sometimes see is that employers or sectors say they can't find enough staff to keep up. Reality often is that there is plenty of staff available, but not at the wages offered. Only rarely there actually is no competent staff available.

And then there are employers who get scared by an applicant who is willing to take the low wages, but who could do the boss's job plus his/her own without difficulty, and has done so in the past. Boss won't hire the applicant purely out of self-preservation.

As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for.
 


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