Author Topic: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)  (Read 8170 times)

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Offline P.Mouse

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Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« on: May 01, 2018, 03:57:30 pm »
I just need to vent this, but I pulled the plug after 40 years (close of being retired).
I decided to quit my career as an engineer.

I was mainly active in analog electronics, amplifiers, (SMPS) power supplier and other audio related stuff.
Unfortunately there seems to be a trend with people who have a serious lack of (basic) knowledge and skills.
In some fields it's even so bad that you're basically talking to a wall of myths.
Myths that are being spread like a terrible incurable disease.

What's worse is that it's impossible to have a good scientific factual discussion anymore about subjects.
People are being not only totally blunt and rude, but attack you on a personal level.
At the same moment their arguments are very far from scientific facts and seriously lack on very simple high school knowledge in physics/electronics.
I guess years of research, papers, books and all don't matter anymore?
To make it worse whole companies seem to be build on this.
(not the first fight I have with a owner)

Lately I had another of these typically non-discussions about basic knowledge and that was the last straw.
It's to unfortunate, but I just simply don't enjoy it anymore at all.
It basically is like talking to rude disrespectful toddlers 
Sometimes also the reasons that I am not very active on forums anymore.

Don't know yet what I am going to do next, I have enough savings for a while, so we will just see.

I just had to vent this. Feel free to share your own similar experiences.
 

Offline NANDBlog

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2018, 04:07:54 pm »
Become a consultant. They will only ask your opinion if they really need it and when you tell them, they at least shut up, because they know how much you charged them for it. Also, if you don't like your peers, you can just stand up and walk away. I think for good engineers with many years of experience, there actually any carrier path anyway.
I mean you can become the "Senior Principal very important engineer 3" somewhere if you feel like it, and have the same power over stupidity, like a junior code monkey.
 
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Offline P.Mouse

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2018, 04:12:32 pm »
Become a consultant. They will only ask your opinion if they really need it and when you tell them, they at least shut up, because they know how much you charged them for it. Also, if you don't like your peers, you can just stand up and walk away. I think for good engineers with many years of experience, there actually any carrier path anyway.
I mean you can become the "Senior Principal very important engineer 3" somewhere if you feel like it, and have the same power over stupidity, like a junior code monkey.
Thanks for your advice.
I have been professional consultant for many years.
Unfortunately it's not the first time that even a client tells you to read a book or two and that I know nothing about it etc.
As if I'm a newbie or something.

Anyway, I guess I am more interested in this "phenomena" than real practical advice.
Or am I the only one experiencing this?  ???
 

Offline BillB

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2018, 04:26:04 pm »
Not to pry, but can you give an example?  I find that fellow engineers are usually quite rational compared to the general public, and while we argue about what boils down to personal preference, arguments where facts are available usually don't last long.

On the other hand, if you are describing arguments with management or sales/marketing, then yes, this totally makes sense and is merely an occupational hazard.
 
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Offline tpowell1830

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2018, 04:27:42 pm »
It is difficult to comment on your experiences, but I too am very near retirement as well. My recent job as a contractor has been a challenge, because the manager is not a technical engineer, in fact not an engineer at all. The methodologies used by said manager is to always try and take shortcuts, although my niche job as a harness design engineer keeps my focus rather narrow, I have to deal with decisions made by said manager. Since this is space flight, I stick to my requirements and always refuse to take shortcuts, some of the decisions that I have no control over still affect my area, and I have to live with them.

With that said, it is very difficult, at times, to hold it together and go forward and deal with the problems that arise from bad decisions.

Bottom line, I feel your pain brother/sister, and it is a deepening travesty that this is happening to older folks who have so many years of experience and still much to offer. I don't feel like I know everything, but what I know, I know well. For real leaders where I work, I am recognized as being knowledgeable and given due respect, but for many younger folks, I am seen as an old man only, without much value. I see articles and social media memes all the time about how the 'baby boomer generation' is the root of all of the younger generations problems. This is a short-sided view, IMHO, and, if it continues, will create an even larger rift between the older folks and the younger ones.

I don't have any answers for you or all the social and workplace problems, but the one thing that I still believe is that, despite the occasional person that is obtusely opposed to thinking logically, there are some who will see the need to learn from our older generation. Please do not put us on top of a pedestal, because after all, we are still only human, with all of the earmarks of human flaws, but, when it comes to our knowledge, which IMHO, is achieved through the years, give that the respect that it deserves, no more/no less.

Just my 2 cents...
PEACE===>T
 
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Offline bd139

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2018, 04:38:54 pm »
I've done contract work for many years and had this all the time. What people see is that you are a threat to the management's hierarchy of competence and the status quo among the peons that work there. They exist in a little pocket of reality which is difficult to see out of and difficult to look in to and when something new turns up, particularly something new who has hit itself with the clue stick, they get frightened. This happens if you're a new hire as well unless you play dumb and establish the alpha techs.

As a borderline psychotic bastard twisted from years of putting up with shit, I have come to enjoy baiting the prima donna assholes causing them to quit, taking their jobs but on a contract rate, installing a totalitarian dictatorship and then ramping my rates.This is conveniently how you buy a house in London too.

Respect is earned of course, so part of the baiting is helping the subordinates of the assholes to rise up.
 

Offline P.Mouse

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2018, 04:43:32 pm »
Not to pry, but can you give an example?  I find that fellow engineers are usually quite rational compared to the general public, and while we argue about what boils down to personal preference, arguments where facts are available usually don't last long.

On the other hand, if you are describing arguments with management or sales/marketing, then yes, this totally makes sense and is merely an occupational hazard.
That's a little difficult to say, without going into deep technical therms.
It also highly depends on the type of field.
But for example audio; you can better ask were not.
Just the basic lack of control theory, basic physics and a general good feel about what is important or not.
Within 2 minutes it's about useless audiophool discussions.
Even sometimes on high levels were you would expect that people would know a thing or two.

I have similar experience if it comes to PCB design or revisiting older products.
To summarize, people claim stuff that is very remarkable seen the high amount of research and papers that are available about the subject.

Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong about a personal taste.
But many people seem to be unable to divide facts from subjective taste.
And in MANY cases it's more about STATUS than anything else.


Anyway like I said, I really don't want to get caught up into specific details.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 04:45:03 pm by P.Mouse »
 

Offline NANDBlog

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2018, 04:43:47 pm »
Thanks for your advice.
I have been professional consultant for many years.
Unfortunately it's not the first time that even a client tells you to read a book or two and that I know nothing about it etc.
As if I'm a newbie or something.

Anyway, I guess I am more interested in this "phenomena" than real practical advice.
Or am I the only one experiencing this?  ???
Oh, not at all. I had this in the past, second guessing everything I say or personally attacking me by peers because they don't like x. And of course, the mandatory belittling of someone else's work. I recently had a discussion, a guy was pointing out every single small mistake (of someone else) saying that this is bad engineering, nad not sure if he knows what x is doing. And I sad, he made choices given that the project was at least working in record time, and it allowed a successful product launch.
So yeah, people are very quick to judge others. But that is not just engineering I'm afraid.
 
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Offline P.Mouse

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2018, 04:48:13 pm »
And I sad, he made choices given that the project was at least working in record time, and it allowed a successful product launch.
So yeah, people are very quick to judge others. But that is not just engineering I'm afraid.
I hear you!

Engineering is so much more than just what's "theoretical the best solution".
In fact, "the best solution" doesn't exist, it is extremely relative!
It's how you can make it work with all the compromises given in a certain (specific) situation.

As a consultant I have to tell clients this over and over again.
Especially when some waste a lot of time and resources in useless details.
 
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Offline IanMacdonald

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2018, 04:58:32 pm »
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. Then, when there are posts all over the place supporting the myth, it becomes hard to challenge it. Even when absolute proof of the falsehood of the myth exists, people would prefer to 'believe' than to be considered an outsider for not believing it.

Magnet motors are on case in point. As is the notion that using HTTPS on an ordinary website (with advertising, etc) will prevent MITM attacks.  Or, that using Windows XP is far riskier than using Windows 10.

'Thermal runaway' used to be the favourite in electronics. Now, whilst that is a genuine problem in some circumstances, in most cases it is a lame excuse for the clot who doesn't know how to work out thermal resistances, and assumes that a transistor rating of '115W' means 115W on a two-inch square heatsink. 

Then, of course, there is climate change.. My latest thoughts on the matter.
 
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Offline metrologist

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2018, 05:36:38 pm »
Anyway, I guess I am more interested in this "phenomena" than real practical advice.
Or am I the only one experiencing this?  ???

Well, think about this. I was listening to the news reports that some well recognized college has installed a wimpering closet - for students to have a quiet place to go and cry during the rigors of finals week, etc... Safe spaces and cry rooms is what this new generation is accustomed to... Oh, and everyone gets a trophy, just for showing up - you're a winner! whiner? whinier? whiniest generation of all...

But just remember, you're the one that quite and took his ball home, and now you want to shake it off the edge of the balcony in spectacle...
 

Offline kony

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2018, 06:39:47 pm »
If anything, the inverse proportionality between arrogance and competence/knowledge of any person in question was always quite striking troughout the years for me. Applies to full spectra of positions, from higschools, trough academia personel to engineering companies and consultants.
 

Offline CopperCone

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2018, 06:40:59 pm »
 ::)
 
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Offline ebastler

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2018, 06:47:06 pm »
I was listening to the news reports that some well recognized college has installed a wimpering closet - for students to have a quiet place to go and cry during the rigors of finals week, etc... Safe spaces and cry rooms is what this new generation is accustomed to...

It's an art project, man. :palm:   A pretty funny one in my book. And it seems to have hit the spot with you...
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/04/26/cry-closet-utah-university-library/553082002/
 

Offline metrologist

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2018, 06:56:24 pm »
I was listening to the news reports that some well recognized college has installed a wimpering closet - for students to have a quiet place to go and cry during the rigors of finals week, etc... Safe spaces and cry rooms is what this new generation is accustomed to...

It's an art project, man. :palm:   A pretty funny one in my book. And it seems to have hit the spot with you...
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/04/26/cry-closet-utah-university-library/553082002/

Chuckles... it was coincidentally mentioned on my morning talk radio show. Building a solitary confinement box to explore "connections and missed connections through communication" is an interesting tactic. I really wish that was all it's about.

Wait til the engineers from the school of minecraft start hitting the streets.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2018, 06:59:09 pm »
I have been professional consultant for many years.
Unfortunately it's not the first time that even a client tells you to read a book or two and that I know nothing about it etc.
As if I'm a newbie or something.
Well, technology moves on. I buy books to keep up regulary. My most recent purchase is about how to keep a software development team on track and motivated using agile software development methods. Pretty interesting if I may say so but completely different to what I've learned in school a long time ago when nobody heard of extreme programming and agile.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline P.Mouse

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2018, 07:15:34 pm »
Anyway, I guess I am more interested in this "phenomena" than real practical advice.
Or am I the only one experiencing this?  ???

Well, think about this. I was listening to the news reports that some well recognized college has installed a wimpering closet - for students to have a quiet place to go and cry during the rigors of finals week, etc... Safe spaces and cry rooms is what this new generation is accustomed to... Oh, and everyone gets a trophy, just for showing up - you're a winner! whiner? whinier? whiniest generation of all...

But just remember, you're the one that quite and took his ball home, and now you want to shake it off the edge of the balcony in spectacle...
Well, to be very honest, the biggest issues I ran into my career is actually the "stoop whining, just be tough" attitude.
Mostly in combination with "I am older, so I know better" or "I have a higher degree so I know better".
All very destructive attitudes. recipe for very uncomfortable meetings and collaborations instead of working together.
(that was what I meant with rude and attacking personally in the first post)

If people are not open minded, you can't have proper discussions.

Less testosterone and more thinking, so to speak.

offtopic: The reason why the "cry-closet" is so ridiculous, is because it doesn't tackle the real problem.
Some companies have a tendency to only "patch" stuff, instead of thinking long therm or diving into the REAL problem.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 07:19:34 pm by P.Mouse »
 
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Offline P.Mouse

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2018, 07:17:24 pm »
I have been professional consultant for many years.
Unfortunately it's not the first time that even a client tells you to read a book or two and that I know nothing about it etc.
As if I'm a newbie or something.
Well, technology moves on. I buy books to keep up regulary. My most recent purchase is about how to keep a software development team on track and motivated using agile software development methods. Pretty interesting if I may say so but completely different to what I've learned in school a long time ago when nobody heard of extreme programming and agile.
Same here.
But it seems that in certain fields people has been stuck in the 70s/80s.
OR you get the other way around, which is mostly true in acoustics.
"Just use a FPGA/DSP and that will fix it". Yet people seem to forget that you can't get around physics.

 

Offline dmills

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2018, 07:48:01 pm »
Oh Audio, yea full of fashion mistaken for engineering (And fashion dressed up to look like science, bit like cosmetics sales).

Folks applying frequency domain fixes to time domain problems (Loudspeaker and 'Room' equalisation vendors, looking at YOU), and folks who do not understand orders of magnitude being especially annoying (No, the difference between 0.0001% and 0.00001% THD is not something to sweat |O ).

Then we have the whole Capacitor thing, often applied with no consideration for what that cap is doing, I am quite capable of deliberately placing a high ESR electrolytic, because sometimes my power plane analysis says to add damping somewhere, when some plonker 'upgrades' it to an organic polymer jobbie (Or worse some 4 inch long film monstrosity), you bet it sounds different....

Of course a lot of the educational material out there does not exactly help, digital audio books with silly stairstep pictures of quantised (but undithered, which is to say broken) waveforms, are just annoying and give completely the wrong idea about how things work. Vanderkooy & Lipshitz should be required reading before being allowed to publish on digital audio.

Finally for giggles there are the chuckleheads who blindly 'upgrade' opamps, yup that 797 sure sound different, that will be because it is going off in the middle of the shortwave band...

I despair some days, which is probably why I work in broadcast, where fashion as a design driver is at least somewhat limited.

Regards, Dan.
 
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Offline free_electron

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2018, 07:54:40 pm »
back in the day all you needed was ohm's law. Now with all the litigation ... better make sure you follow it.
Last time they opened a windmill park they showed some power graphs.
One politican asked why there was a difference between the produced power and the delivered power.
The engineers explained this was due to losses during transmission.
The politican asked more explanation ,less technical. The engineer responded : because of Ohm's law.
To which the politician said : he was going to make sure this law was changed under his tenure. The people should get all the power generated and no power should be held back by the companies running the transmission lines.  :palm:
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Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 
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Offline free_electron

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2018, 07:57:45 pm »
Oh Audio, yea full of fashion mistaken for engineering (And fashion dressed up to look like science, bit like cosmetics sales).

a bit like audio purists using valves  :palm:
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Offline dmills

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2018, 08:02:40 pm »
No issue with real audio purists, no issue with valves, but the two really do not go together in this day and age.

I mean if you are building a guitar amp, fine, it is an effects box that happens to amplify, and the simplest way to get the effect is to use glass fets, but don't claim low distortion, that is not why you do it.

Regards, Dan.
 

Offline P.Mouse

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2018, 08:17:43 pm »
No issue with real audio purists, no issue with valves, but the two really do not go together in this day and age.

I mean if you are building a guitar amp, fine, it is an effects box that happens to amplify, and the simplest way to get the effect is to use glass fets, but don't claim low distortion, that is not why you do it.

Regards, Dan.
Well exactly. I am not gonna judge my clients.
That's what is called engineering in my opinion.
To find a certain solution for a certain situation, aka "using your toolkit of knowledge and clever tricks to make things happen"
But for some people there is only "one perfect solution", yet they don't seem to understand that it only works in one (very) particular case.

Btw, the tube/valve purists are not really the issue.
The so called "smart engineers" designing very state of the art technology (and yes sometimes they really do) are.
Especially when they don't seem to understand the whole chain, and leave something fundamental as directivity or total power/SPL out of the equation.
Mix that with a stubborn old fashioned gray beard and you have someone in front of you that is incapable of having a reasonable discussion of any form.
Unfortunately that seems to be the standard nowadays.......
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 08:19:23 pm by P.Mouse »
 

Offline Kjelt

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2018, 08:35:57 pm »
I feel for you, it is getting worse IMO. You have to say yes even when you know it is not feasible or they call you negative. I sometimes get the impression that the people that promise miracles but deliver crap or deliver years later than scheduled are better rewarded than those who try to communicate that it is not possible or takes more time upfront and can even substantiate it.

I once saw a manager push an architect to "lie" to upper management that some project could be done and within a certain timeframe otherwise the project could be cancelled and the managers group probably dissolved. The project was two years late and every quarter delay there were "unknown causes" for delay, yeah right. If you ever wonder why some companies go down the drain, look at how many management layers there are between the people who have to build it and know what they are doing and the decision makers and realize that every layer filters the information in a positive way to get a good appraisal.

Worst example I heard was from a friend who designs smps.
He designed a (figures might be a bit incorrect but its just an example)
30W 95%eff smps  and an 90W 94% eff smps.
In comes the marketing guy: "Listen up I did marketing research with our customers and I now know what they really want: a smps that can be last minute configured between 30 and 90W with the same efficiency. Go build it so I can sell it!"

He could 't make the marketing guy understand :
1) that you can not get that high efficiency when the power output has such a high range
2) that this smps even with lower eff would cost more than a fixed output

The marketing guy went to his boss called him incompetent and the manager gave him a bad score that year on his annual assessment.
 
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Offline bd139

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2018, 08:39:07 pm »
Just remember to get paid hourly then every hour that they perpetuate the impossible is an hour of cash in your pocket.
 

Offline IanB

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #25 on: May 01, 2018, 08:54:12 pm »
Worst example I heard was from a friend who designs smps.
He designed a (figures might be a bit incorrect but its just an example)
30W 95%eff smps  and an 90W 94% eff smps.
In comes the marketing guy: "Listen up I did marketing research with our customers and I now know what they really want: a smps that can be last minute configured between 30 and 90W with the same efficiency. Go build it so I can sell it!"

He could 't make the marketing guy understand :
1) that you can not get that high efficiency when the power output has such a high range
2) that this smps even with lower eff would cost more than a fixed output

The marketing guy went to his boss called him incompetent and the manager gave him a bad score that year on his annual assessment.

That's just poor people management on the part of the engineer. He should have designed an SMPS that can switch between 30 and 90 W with a claimed efficiency of 95% 1 and given it to the marketing guy to sell. A majority of customers won't care to measure the actual efficiency, and if any do measure it and complain that it is not as specified, simply explain that the 95% is just a nominal figure for marketing purposes and of course the actual efficiency will vary...

1 of course with a footnote that the manufacture reserves the right to vary the design and specifications at any time at their discretion
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Offline basinstreetdesign

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #26 on: May 01, 2018, 08:57:41 pm »
I just need to vent this, but I pulled the plug after 40 years (close of being retired).
I decided to quit my career as an engineer.

...

Don't know yet what I am going to do next, I have enough savings for a while, so we will just see.

I just had to vent this. Feel free to share your own similar experiences.

Yeah, been there, done that...
I quit cold turkey after 30 years due to an increasingly acute awareness  that the skills I needed to learn were becoming less and less enjoyable or relevant.  Analog hardware was becoming less common, FW more so.  But I'd done lots of both.  Even so, my favourite  industry, broadcast video, was increasingly just data streams not analog hardware, or even just specialized digital streams.

But the worst was putting up with a person who was supposed to be my partner in our small consulting company and later on as my boss in a larger organization, schmoozing me with half-truths, BS, or outright lies to get me to stay on ("we need analog designers, we really do...").  So, enough was enough.

And for the next loooong while you wake up every day feeling pissed, that is, if you got a good nights sleep at all.

My best advice to you, OP is if you have  work space at home, a home lab, the most important thing is not to throw it all out in a moment of pique and disgust.

The anger you have on quitting work will radiate from you like Hawking radiation from a black hole that is slowly evaporating.   But evaporate it will until it finally disappears.  It may take a few years for it to completely dissipate, but it will.

Now, I can do what I love, build little gizmos for me or for others, or not as I choose, try to lend my thews to others on the social forums, or do whatever I choose.  And I continue to learn about this crazy stuff, which is the best part. ;)

Moneywise, I can maintain this lifestyle for ever on the standard government pensions alone and leave our (modest) savings invested.
Best of luck.

Gotta go, I have some perogies to cook.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 09:03:41 pm by basinstreetdesign »
STAND BACK!  I'm going to try SCIENCE!
 

Offline P.Mouse

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #27 on: May 01, 2018, 09:46:50 pm »
It's not anger from my side, just frustration.
Just don't wanna live a life of "disproving" people constantly.
So I just rather do something fun.

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.
In my professional career I can only name 4 (!!!!!!!) people who in fact read the most import things you need to know.
The rest of the bunch haven't even heard of these things at all.

Some may call it a ridiculous type of matter, but Merlin Blencowe wrote a few EXCELLENT books about tubes.
Even if you're not into tubes/valves, it is just so easily written and to the point.
Since his books you definitely see a change in attitude around engineers who like to fiddle around with good old tubies.
(which is sometimes also for kicks and fun)
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #28 on: May 01, 2018, 11:10:42 pm »
I just need to vent this, but I pulled the plug after 40 years (close of being retired).
I decided to quit my career as an engineer.

I was mainly active in analog electronics, amplifiers, (SMPS) power supplier and other audio related stuff.
Unfortunately there seems to be a trend with people who have a serious lack of (basic) knowledge and skills.
In some fields it's even so bad that you're basically talking to a wall of myths.
Myths that are being spread like a terrible incurable disease.

*snip*

Lately I had another of these typically non-discussions about basic knowledge and that was the last straw.

Why should that make you quit your paying career?
If you don't enjoy your work any more then move into a new or related field perhaps?
New people and a new change of scenery can often work wonders.
 

Offline Bassman59

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #29 on: May 01, 2018, 11:19:02 pm »
Folks applying frequency domain fixes to time domain problems (Loudspeaker and 'Room' equalisation vendors, looking at YOU)

I don't pay any attention to the hi-fi/audiophile world, but I've been a live sound mixer for a long time, and I've gotta say that the newest stuff is amazing. What Dave Gunness is doing, and what the d&b people are doing, and the l'Acoustics people are doing, is quite stunning. Remember, with live sound reinforcement, the problem is significantly more difficult that two speakers in your TV room.

To wit: my first time at the Sinclair in Cambridge, MA, I was doing my soundcheck with the drums. I put spot mics on the crash cymbal to the drummer's right, and another on the ride cymbal, down over his kick drum in front of him. And I could hear the phasing between those two mics, as they both picked up the ride cymbal. (The mic over the crash cymbal was maybe 3' away.)  Back in the day, the honk of the KF850 or a JBL whateverfuck system would totally mask that. (And the 850 was a revelation over previous rigs.) Yeah: d&b Q system. That shit is amazing.

 Oh, and at 9:30 in DC is its bigger brother, 12 boxes of d&b J-series a side in a 1250-cap venue. And it sounds like studio monitors.

Anyway. There's a lot of real processing going on, implemented by smart people who really understand the problems of sound reinforcement.

Quote
Of course a lot of the educational material out there does not exactly help, digital audio books with silly stairstep pictures of quantised (but undithered, which is to say broken) waveforms, are just annoying and give completely the wrong idea about how things work/

Those books oughta be burned, and the authors hung out over a ledge until they admit that they don't know what they are talking about.

Quote
Finally for giggles there are the chuckleheads who blindly 'upgrade' opamps, yup that 797 sure sound different, that will be because it is going off in the middle of the shortwave band...

"Why doesn't my console work any more? The power supply seems to be broken!" Yeah, nitwit, you replaced all of the TL072s with opamps that draw ten times the current and your supply ran out of gas. You should have worked that out before you did the swap. This is the primary reason why sockets on boards should be illegal.

 
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Offline dmills

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #30 on: May 01, 2018, 11:38:21 pm »
D&B Q is very cool, but D&B rigs have always been top kit, never had a chance to play with a J rig yet. Biggest complaint I have ever heard about a D&B rig was that it did not visually appear that there was enough of it (Sound was fine however)!
And yea, live sound is a hard problem, especially in not very good rooms.

DSP in that space has made a huge difference mainly by allowing us to do things that we knew we wanted but were way too expensive, delays for time alignment being the biggie for me, but also things like Bessel arrays and Cardioid subs that actually work reliably and can be rigged without very careful work with mathcad.

Still cannot fix a poor off axis response or a nasty flutter echo from the room with DSP however.

Regards, Dan.
 

Online digsys

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #31 on: May 02, 2018, 12:27:35 am »
Had a very similar decision made 7 months ago. Taking a break now, and deciding the future. Sooo many a$$hats to swat, soooo little time :-)
Hello <tap> <tap> .. is this thing on?
 

Offline G0HZU

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #32 on: May 02, 2018, 01:12:01 am »
I'd like to retire soon but I have the opposite problem...

I find the outside world (away from customers, competitors and colleagues) to be a slightly scary (and frustrating) place in terms of how inexperienced most people are when it comes to RF stuff. I've not seen anyone on a forum or a blog that I would consider to be a top notch RF engineer with loads of experience. I can chat and discuss RF stuff with plenty of people like this at work but not outside of work. Maybe they hide themselves really well but my old boss used to tell me that the way to spot a fake RF engineer (no matter how much they big themselves up) is to let them keep talking... and talking and eventually you realise they have no real experience.

So I will miss this when I retire. I won't miss the corporate side of things at work though. i.e. the ever increasing red tape and rules and restrictions that get worse every year... :(

« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 01:27:13 am by G0HZU »
 
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Offline IanB

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #33 on: May 02, 2018, 02:31:12 am »
I've not seen anyone on a forum or a blog that I would consider to be a top notch RF engineer with loads of experience.

But surely Shahriar (The Signal Path) at least knows the basics?  :)
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Offline IanMacdonald

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #34 on: May 02, 2018, 07:47:40 am »
https://www.illustrationhistory.org/images/uploads/Dinosaur_Parade.jpg

I guess those would be Tademasauruses, then. 

Just remember that these paintings were a Victorian-era guess at what Roman life was like, and are not strictly accurate.

In reality, they painted the dinosaurs in bright colours.
 

Offline P.Mouse

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #35 on: May 02, 2018, 10:12:05 am »
I just need to vent this, but I pulled the plug after 40 years (close of being retired).
I decided to quit my career as an engineer.

I was mainly active in analog electronics, amplifiers, (SMPS) power supplier and other audio related stuff.
Unfortunately there seems to be a trend with people who have a serious lack of (basic) knowledge and skills.
In some fields it's even so bad that you're basically talking to a wall of myths.
Myths that are being spread like a terrible incurable disease.

*snip*

Lately I had another of these typically non-discussions about basic knowledge and that was the last straw.

Why should that make you quit your paying career?
If you don't enjoy your work any more then move into a new or related field perhaps?
New people and a new change of scenery can often work wonders.
And you think I haven't done that? (many times).


Folks applying frequency domain fixes to time domain problems (Loudspeaker and 'Room' equalisation vendors, looking at YOU)

I don't pay any attention to the hi-fi/audiophile world, but I've been a live sound mixer for a long time, and I've gotta say that the newest stuff is amazing. What Dave Gunness is doing, and what the d&b people are doing, and the l'Acoustics people are doing, is quite stunning. Remember, with live sound reinforcement, the problem is significantly more difficult that two speakers in your TV room.

To wit: my first time at the Sinclair in Cambridge, MA, I was doing my soundcheck with the drums. I put spot mics on the crash cymbal to the drummer's right, and another on the ride cymbal, down over his kick drum in front of him. And I could hear the phasing between those two mics, as they both picked up the ride cymbal. (The mic over the crash cymbal was maybe 3' away.)  Back in the day, the honk of the KF850 or a JBL whateverfuck system would totally mask that. (And the 850 was a revelation over previous rigs.) Yeah: d&b Q system. That shit is amazing.

 Oh, and at 9:30 in DC is its bigger brother, 12 boxes of d&b J-series a side in a 1250-cap venue. And it sounds like studio monitors.

Anyway. There's a lot of real processing going on, implemented by smart people who really understand the problems of sound reinforcement.

Quote
Of course a lot of the educational material out there does not exactly help, digital audio books with silly stairstep pictures of quantised (but undithered, which is to say broken) waveforms, are just annoying and give completely the wrong idea about how things work/

Those books oughta be burned, and the authors hung out over a ledge until they admit that they don't know what they are talking about.

Quote
Finally for giggles there are the chuckleheads who blindly 'upgrade' opamps, yup that 797 sure sound different, that will be because it is going off in the middle of the shortwave band...

"Why doesn't my console work any more? The power supply seems to be broken!" Yeah, nitwit, you replaced all of the TL072s with opamps that draw ten times the current and your supply ran out of gas. You should have worked that out before you did the swap. This is the primary reason why sockets on boards should be illegal.
Yes, I have been active in the pro-audio/sound reinforcement world mostly.
Very well underestimated field, especially if the top three requirements are; it must keep working, it MUST keep working, it MUST KEEP WORKING!

I have seen gear failing during big concerts on live television.
Needles to say that the customer was not so amused.
The problem is that most customers in the pro-audio world are pretty conservative.
Which is pretty annoying when you try to solve real issues like weight and size, but people don't really seem to care/understand.

But to be very honest, nowadays bluetooth speakers are the other opposite.
Making a tiny box sound pretty decent, in fact sound more than fine for most of the consumers.
10 years back not one single person what have thought that these little bastards would become mainstream.
And to be very honest, some of them actually do sound very good indeed.

You can say what you want, but from an engineering point of view it's pretty remarkable.
When transducers are that small, the mass of air is all of a sudden a significant factor for example.


I'd like to retire soon but I have the opposite problem...

I find the outside world (away from customers, competitors and colleagues) to be a slightly scary (and frustrating) place in terms of how inexperienced most people are when it comes to RF stuff. I've not seen anyone on a forum or a blog that I would consider to be a top notch RF engineer with loads of experience. I can chat and discuss RF stuff with plenty of people like this at work but not outside of work. Maybe they hide themselves really well but my old boss used to tell me that the way to spot a fake RF engineer (no matter how much they big themselves up) is to let them keep talking... and talking and eventually you realise they have no real experience.

So I will miss this when I retire. I won't miss the corporate side of things at work though. i.e. the ever increasing red tape and rules and restrictions that get worse every year... :(
I can spot a "wanna be engineering" withing two sentences about certain subjects.   8) ;D

I would join a forum or some kind of group.
So many nowadays with retired way to smart people.
It's sometimes a shame they are actually retired.
(maybe I actually never really will, just do stuff on the side)
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #36 on: May 02, 2018, 01:42:15 pm »
I guess it's also because of the requirement to know everything today. Every employer wants his staff to know everything about everything. In software suddenly everyone is asked to be a full stack developer. Generally, they don't need a full stack developer. They just want the most bang for the buck. So of course people are spreading their training ever thinner and of course people who aren't actually complete full stack developers sell themselves as such. There aren't enough to go around to begin with. If you're terrible at describing your actual requirements, of course you'll get staff that doesn't actually fit the bill that well.

Ask shit, get turds.
 
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Online schmitt trigger

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #37 on: May 02, 2018, 02:07:16 pm »
I guess it's also because of the requirement to know everything today. Every employer wants his staff to know everything about everything.

That is correct, Even quote-unquote analog engineers require some knowledge of C+.

I just passed what appeared to be a very exciting opportunity, related to deep failure analysis (which I have been doing for over 20 years) because the employer was adamant that the engineer should be capable of writing windows applications.

For deep failures, physics and chemistry knowledge, in addition to significant electronic component and board assembly techniques is required. Those are a must. But developing Windows apps? WTF?
 

Offline P.Mouse

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #38 on: May 02, 2018, 02:25:54 pm »
I think the problem is not that companies expect someone who know it all, but more that certain people think they know it all.
Discussing with these type of people is a lost battle, because they are unaware of their own ignorance.
 

Offline dmills

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #39 on: May 02, 2018, 02:32:28 pm »
For an allegedly "Senior Hardware Engineer" (It says so on my appraisal, so it must be true), I seem to wind up writing a remarkable amount of C on various microprocessors, as well as fixing a remarkable amount of rather screwed up assembler written by others also on small cores. 

The problem is that the software team seem to think that 1GHz is slow, and that 1Mb of RAM is small, sigh.

And yes, employers not being too clear on what they want is a problem, being good at a sufficiently wide range of stuff while being an expert in **one** thing is getting ever harder. "Jack of all trades and expert in ONE" is not an easy thing but seems to be expected, to the point that I probably spend well north of £1,500 a year on journal subs, and probably at least the same on books and still cannot really keep up.

"Dunning Kruger" is definitely a thing, usually more obvious with the newly minted, but you find it almost everywhere if you look, it is usually disguised as simple certainties about complex things.

Regards, Dan.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #40 on: May 02, 2018, 02:36:43 pm »
I think the problem is not that companies expect someone who know it all, but more that certain people think they know it all.
Discussing with these type of people is a lost battle, because they are unaware of their own ignorance.
I'm not saying those people don't exist and Dunning Kruger can be a real hassle, but I see the workforce responding to the latest fad the HR drones are pursuing. You can't realistically expect the workforce to retrain within 5 years because everyone is asking for X instead of Y now and asking for something else again in 5 more years. It's something new every few years and the supply simply doesn't adapt as fast as that and probably isn't even prepared to actually make those changes, so people respond to bullshit with their own bullshit.

Another issue is that people that do play the fad game get chosen over people with relevant skills.
 

Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #41 on: May 02, 2018, 03:01:28 pm »
The lack of rigor and sanity in software engineering (especially wrt. web services) was enough to burn me out for the first time before I was thirty.  The lack of sanity and engineering in scientific computation did it again five years later, and I've never recovered. It's been eight years, and I still don't function properly.

I've found that answering questions on forums is a good way to keep up with the tech, and rarely make some interesting contacts, if you keep looking for the new and interesting stuff (to you, that is; I do not mean trendy), and completely ignore the popularity contest crap.  (We definitely do not live in the information age anymore; that came and went. We live in the reputation or popularity age, now.)

This.. I guess rejection of good practice, tested science, and robust engineering? .. is widespread, if you care to look.  One of the best examples I can think of, is the evolution of the C standard.  C99 was a great step in the correct direction, but most of C11 is utter crap.  None of the known good interfaces from POSIX (like getline()) got included in the standard, but a lot of frankly useless "safe versions" of I/O functions, invented by Microsoft, were.  It makes zero sense, unless you consider it from MS's business standpoint, ignore all long-term effects, and consider only the short term.  I just wonder how the committee members went along with it, some of them actually know what they are doing, programming/software engineering-wise.

I can see similar stuff in the embedded area.  Sure, Arduino is an excellent environment for playing with microcontrollers and electronics; it makes them Legos, essentially.  However, if you look at the implementation, it's not that impressive; many libraries conflict, or need changes to work with certain hardware or other libraries, fracturing the code base. Not good engineering.  Embedded Linux SBC's are even worse.  Too many of them use a hacked-up kernel and userspace, with zero regards to maintenance, and zero effort to push it upstream (so that the hardware would stay maintained for longer than until the manufacturer pushes out the next revision).  And, of course, people blame Linux, and not the manufacturers, for putting out a crappy software implementation.

How do you do work you can be proud of, and still get paid, in this world?
 
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Offline Yansi

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #42 on: May 02, 2018, 03:05:49 pm »
I find the outside world (away from customers, competitors and colleagues) to be a slightly scary (and frustrating) place in terms of how inexperienced most people are when it comes to RF stuff. I've not seen anyone on a forum or a blog that I would consider to be a top notch RF engineer with loads of experience. I can chat and discuss RF stuff with plenty of people like this at work but not outside of work. Maybe they hide themselves really well but my old boss used to tell me that the way to spot a fake RF engineer (no matter how much they big themselves up) is to let them keep talking... and talking and eventually you realise they have no real experience.

Well how the outside world should get experienced, if they don't teach the stuff in schools anymore and there is lack of experts to ask in the first place? Posting a specialized RF questions on forums mostly does not yield much answers either and there is complete absence of decent useful RF software for hobby and learning use, so when one wants to do something different or new (instead of just copying someone else's work), is completely stuck on its own. Or maybe just I am asking too stupid questions to be answered on wrong forums.
I do not know any RF engineer in person, I could ask any kind of question from such topic. This profession seems to be almost extinct or shrunk to gluing together ready made WiFi chips.
 
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #43 on: May 02, 2018, 03:20:36 pm »
I'd love for someone knowledgeable to share his experiences with us. The most interesting episodes Dave did were interviews with industry veteran aces.
 

Offline hermit

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #44 on: May 02, 2018, 03:43:17 pm »
(We live in the reputation or popularity age, now.)
I installed forum software once and went through and ripped out all of the references to numbers of posts and 'status'.  A while back some posting guru with thousands of posts on the Arduino forum asked for input on their first circuit board design and it became painfully obvious they were about 12 years old, if that.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #45 on: May 02, 2018, 03:44:11 pm »
How do you do work you can be proud of, and still get paid, in this world?
I have no problem at all doing that. However I accept that ways of doing things change and thus old ways die because they are obsolete.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #46 on: May 02, 2018, 03:45:31 pm »
I installed forum software once and went through and ripped out all of the references to numbers of posts and 'status'.  A while back some posting guru with thousands of posts on the Arduino forum asked for input on their first circuit board design and it became painfully obvious they were about 12 years old, if that.
You'd have to be an idiot to think post count reflects the quality of the post.
 

Online CatalinaWOW

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #47 on: May 02, 2018, 03:57:42 pm »
As someone who retired with some of your feelings, I would counsel some step back from the brink. 

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.  In some cases they aren't knowable, but more frequently they are merely unobtainable within the economic and schedule constraints of the problem.  Experience, judgement - whatever - stands in for the unknown elements.  Many engineers don't acknowledge this action in place of complete knowledge and get agitated when confronted with evidence that they are not fully cognizant.
 
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Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #48 on: May 02, 2018, 04:16:39 pm »
I'd love for someone knowledgeable to share his experiences with us.

Me too! Even better, if they occasionally take the time to help us newbies when we post questions, and give constructive feedback.

The main issue I have with sites like stackoverflow.com is that it is extremely hard for askers to evaluate whether an answerer knows what they are talking about. Funnily enough, the most reliable indicator I've seen is that if a member admits to making an error and fixes it, instead of ignoring the error or deleting their answer without comment, their advice is more likely to be useful and applicable. (This seems to apply in both programming and mathematics, too.)

And aside from decades of experience condensed into good books, there is not much as useful as an experienced mentor helping a newbie make better informed choices. (To that end, I'd like to politely ask that when criticizing harshly, include some background as to why that choice/design is poor, to help newbies.  Word of God is not useful in engineering, but experience is.)

However I accept that ways of doing things change and thus old ways die because they are obsolete.
I have no issues with things becoming obsolete. What I have issues with is people: general lack of sanity and robustness, and prevalence of short-sighted design and decisions.

For example, there are very, very few companies that create products that work anymore. Due to commercial pressures, they all create products that sell. Fitness for purpose is a tertiary consideration. (The secondary consideration is whether the management of the company will be on the hook for selling the products or not.)

Scientific computation is not any better.  I know of "bugs" that have been designated as "features", because fixing them would change published and peer-reviewed results.  Of course, most of the code is written by non-engineers -- honestly, more like hobbyists, when it comes to software engineering.
 

Offline Kjelt

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #49 on: May 02, 2018, 05:38:29 pm »
Worst example I heard was from a friend who designs smps.
He designed a (figures might be a bit incorrect but its just an example)
30W 95%eff smps  and an 90W 94% eff smps.
In comes the marketing guy: "Listen up I did marketing research with our customers and I now know what they really want: a smps that can be last minute configured between 30 and 90W with the same efficiency. Go build it so I can sell it!"

He could 't make the marketing guy understand :
1) that you can not get that high efficiency when the power output has such a high range
2) that this smps even with lower eff would cost more than a fixed output

The marketing guy went to his boss called him incompetent and the manager gave him a bad score that year on his annual assessment.

That's just poor people management on the part of the engineer. He should have designed an SMPS that can switch between 30 and 90 W with a claimed efficiency of 95% 1 and given it to the marketing guy to sell. A majority of customers won't care to measure the actual efficiency, and if any do measure it and complain that it is not as specified, simply explain that the 95% is just a nominal figure for marketing purposes and of course the actual efficiency will vary...

1 of course with a footnote that the manufacture reserves the right to vary the design and specifications at any time at their discretion
There comes a time that there will be no quality difference between chinese stuff and european made stuff if everyone would think and act like that.
Actually one of the only reasons companies still buy the products because they know the specs are no BS and they don't have to verify them.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 05:48:10 pm by Kjelt »
 

Offline Tomorokoshi

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #50 on: May 02, 2018, 05:46:27 pm »
Pseudo-random thoughts (includes stereotypes that are 3dB over the top. Put on -3dB glasses to read the realistic version):

1. There is a tendency for managers on software or electronics-heavy projects to have Mechanical Engineering backgrounds, not Electrical or Software Engineering backgrounds. This seems to come from that there is always more electrical and software work to do, as it proceeds at O(n2), but the brackets and boxes tend to get done at O(nlog(n)). The respective engineers eventually tend towards estimating projects the same way, which is why software engineers get in trouble from management for always making estimates that are well beyond what a mechanical engineer-manager will come up with. Mechanical engineers, tending to be the ones who played sports in school, are naturally more assertive while the chess-playing software engineers slink back to their cubes to put in even more 10-hour days while the managers go golfing.

2. Compared to certain other professions, in engineering almost by definition the task is always in a state of failure, incomplete, and broken. Not everyone can work like that for days, weeks, months, years, and decades on end. Once the project in finished, it dissipates away, to come back either in another state of failure, or as the cracked foundation upon which to build the next task. Meanwhile the salesman says, "Ship It!", and takes credit for the successes of the product, while engineering gets the blame for the failures.

3. Unknown and not understood by many is the distinction between Product Development and Technology Development. Similar to the issues above, Product Development may proceed at O(nlog(n)), while Technology Development may proceed at O(n2), O(n3), O(n!), etc. Which category a particular task falls in can be very difficult to determine early on, if one is even lucky enough to have that awareness to see it. Usually such things are completely missed, so the problem instead appears in the form of slipping schedules, multiplying budgets, and cascading problems.
 

Offline b_force

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #51 on: May 02, 2018, 08:12:30 pm »
Just bumped into this topic.
I can completely relate to this whole story.
Also active in audio and boy what a mess.
Whole companies totally build on myths and lies.

Makes you wonder why we put so much effort in doing proper research.
(Floyd Toole, anyone?)

Good luck with whatever you're decide to do!
"If you can't explain it simply (or at all), you don't understand it well enough." A. Einstein

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Offline ferdieCX

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #52 on: May 02, 2018, 08:37:16 pm »

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.


Do it.  :-+
I did it for my students after realizing, that the good books about general electronics are not any more in printing (at least not in Spanish) and that the second hand ones are scarce.
We live in a time, where very few people really cares about having a deep knowledge of anything. :palm:
To make knowledge available to the few people that really care about it, is an intellectually very rewarding task. ;D
 
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #53 on: May 02, 2018, 10:59:20 pm »
However I accept that ways of doing things change and thus old ways die because they are obsolete.
I have no issues with things becoming obsolete. What I have issues with is people: general lack of sanity and robustness, and prevalence of short-sighted design and decisions.

For example, there are very, very few companies that create products that work anymore. Due to commercial pressures, they all create products that sell. Fitness for purpose is a tertiary consideration.
That sounds like companies which are trying to implement an agile development workflow but have not grasped all the details yet. Agile is a completely new way of developing products. In the old days you'd develop a product from A-Z based on a design specification and then find out whether the customer likes it or not. In the agile way you develop partial product and finish it based on customer requirements. The idea is no time is wasted on features the customer doesn't need, the product is on the market quicker and customers get a product which fits their needs. However it is something you'd need to wrap your head around and not everybody (including management) gets it yet.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline basinstreetdesign

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #54 on: May 03, 2018, 12:03:08 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.


Do it.  :-+
I did it for my students after realizing, that the good books about general electronics are not any more in printing (at least not in Spanish) and that the second hand ones are scarce.
We live in a time, where very few people really cares about having a deep knowledge of anything. :palm:
To make knowledge available to the few people that really care about it, is an intellectually very rewarding task. ;D

Many times I have come home from the office to unload the cares of my job onto my wife knowing full well just what patience she needed to muster to wait out my rant of the day.  Most of the time the issues discussed originated from a lack of understanding of a fundamental point of the way engineering systems work or a realization that we could have handled a particular client-driven situation better if only we had had a little foresight and educated either the client or ourselves in an attempt to handle some risky event better.  After the heat of such a rant we would sometimes say things like “You know, somebody should write this stuff down” or “It’s too bad this stuff is not taught in school before the kids graduate to the real world”.

So I started organizing and writing thoughts about what was NOT taught in engineering school.  Stuff about getting a REAL education in a small company or diatribes on the joy of going it alone.  Also lessons learned concerning the execution of the engineering and design cycle or what and how to get it in writing.

I'm up to 160 pages and ran out of steam a while ago.  I'm sure it all still applies.  It could still stand a LOT of polishing and finishing...

But if you want to write a book on this stuff then go for it.  I would love to offer any constructive advice.
Tim
STAND BACK!  I'm going to try SCIENCE!
 

Offline BillB

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #55 on: May 03, 2018, 12:09:08 am »
It sounds similar because agile development is synonymous with cutting corners.   :D
 
Agile development only works in very specific types of projects and when the "customer" is fully involved through the entire lifecycle and completely comprehends the project management triangle.  For example, for web development projects where most of the features are user UI and the technology is low risk.

What ends up happening, however, is that companies latch onto the latest fad that promises, somehow, to magically sidestep all the steps necessary to develop a quality product.  The customer likes it because they don't need to put in the work coming up with requirements, the developers like it because the can jump right into coding and skip the boring architecture/design/documentation phase, and management likes it because they think they're getting something for nothing.

In no other engineering discipline would someone attempt agile development; design that PCB, building, bridge, etc. by skipping requirements and design to quickly implement features!  ::)
 
 

Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #56 on: May 03, 2018, 12:20:46 am »
In the agile way you develop partial product and finish it based on customer requirements. The idea is no time is wasted on features the customer doesn't need, the product is on the market quicker and customers get a product which fits their needs.
That only works when the customers are rational and seeking solutions to a problem they have, instead of seeking how to solve a problem with a tool they have already chosen.

I've always loved the work when I'm actually allowed to solve a problem. But, typically due to management having no clue about the technology or the problem at hand, or being mislead by salesmen or "experts" who fake it but have the social skills to not get caught too often, I'm asked to implement something that does not solve the actual problem, or creates at least as many new problems than it solves. It is often as if people do not want their problems solved, but someone to implement their magic thinking.
 

Offline Tomorokoshi

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #57 on: May 03, 2018, 12:37:39 am »
Agile: A methodology used with projects when someone comes in for a talk and gives away free copies of their book to management. It is then applied to hardware development.
 

Offline jmelson

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #58 on: May 03, 2018, 02:49:29 am »

Worst example I heard was from a friend who designs smps.
He designed a (figures might be a bit incorrect but its just an example)
30W 95%eff smps  and an 90W 94% eff smps.
In comes the marketing guy: "Listen up I did marketing research with our customers and I now know what they really want: a smps that can be last minute configured between 30 and 90W with the same efficiency. Go build it so I can sell it!"

He could 't make the marketing guy understand :
1) that you can not get that high efficiency when the power output has such a high range
2) that this smps even with lower eff would cost more than a fixed output

The marketing guy went to his boss called him incompetent and the manager gave him a bad score that year on his annual assessment.
The right answer (yes, of course, in hindsight) would be :  OK, so you want me to design a 90 W power supply that we can sell at the 30W price.  RIGHT?

Jon
 

Offline Corporate666

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #59 on: May 03, 2018, 07:13:35 am »
I just need to vent this, but I pulled the plug after 40 years (close of being retired).
I decided to quit my career as an engineer.

I was mainly active in analog electronics, amplifiers, (SMPS) power supplier and other audio related stuff.
Unfortunately there seems to be a trend with people who have a serious lack of (basic) knowledge and skills.
In some fields it's even so bad that you're basically talking to a wall of myths.
Myths that are being spread like a terrible incurable disease.

What's worse is that it's impossible to have a good scientific factual discussion anymore about subjects.
People are being not only totally blunt and rude, but attack you on a personal level.
At the same moment their arguments are very far from scientific facts and seriously lack on very simple high school knowledge in physics/electronics.
I guess years of research, papers, books and all don't matter anymore?
To make it worse whole companies seem to be build on this.
(not the first fight I have with a owner)

Lately I had another of these typically non-discussions about basic knowledge and that was the last straw.
It's to unfortunate, but I just simply don't enjoy it anymore at all.
It basically is like talking to rude disrespectful toddlers 
Sometimes also the reasons that I am not very active on forums anymore.

Don't know yet what I am going to do next, I have enough savings for a while, so we will just see.

I just had to vent this. Feel free to share your own similar experiences.

Honestly, I am going to put the blame on you here.

Life isn't about being factually correct, or "technically correct... the best kind of correct".  People who get hung up on being technically correct about small details are usually just covering up for some sort of insecurity or something in my experience.  The ability to compromise, salesmanship, personality, temperament, being able to understand ROI, cost/benefits and being a master of people skills and being able to light up a room and make people like you are FAR FAR more important skills than being the guy who is technically correct on minute details.

If you are having multiple fights with company owners, then it would seem you are failing on the aforementioned skills in favor of being hung up on being technically correct.   That does yourself a disservice, and if that has led you to being jobless late in your career and feeling like the whole industry is full of know-nothings who get by on bullshit and hot-air while you've jettisoned a 40-year career over your unwillingness to adapt and compromise and now find yourself with some savings and faced with having to find new work this late in the game... well, I don't think you came out ahead on this one friend.  I think you chose the wrong hill to die on by a long shot.

Hope things work out for you, seriously, but I genuinely don't think there are too many people smiling on their death beds because they died knowing they were technically correct to the end. 
It's not always the most popular person who gets the job done.
 

Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #60 on: May 03, 2018, 09:19:28 am »
The ability to compromise, salesmanship, personality, temperament, being able to understand ROI, cost/benefits and being a master of people skills and being able to light up a room and make people like you are FAR FAR more important skills
I'm not sure if you are being sarcastic, but I know people that genuinely think that way.

The issue I have with that, is that it is only relevant in a very limited context, where this particular moment in time and a very specific limited set of chosen values, are the only ones that matter.  Fact is, nothing beautiful, lasting, or truly new, has ever been built by people like that.

I know you don't want to, either; it's not cost-effective.
 
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Offline b_force

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #61 on: May 03, 2018, 09:33:21 am »
Honestly, I am going to put the blame on you here.

Life isn't about being factually correct, or "technically correct... the best kind of correct".  People who get hung up on being technically correct about small details are usually just covering up for some sort of insecurity or something in my experience.  The ability to compromise, salesmanship, personality, temperament, being able to understand ROI, cost/benefits and being a master of people skills and being able to light up a room and make people like you are FAR FAR more important skills than being the guy who is technically correct on minute details.

If you are having multiple fights with company owners, then it would seem you are failing on the aforementioned skills in favor of being hung up on being technically correct.   That does yourself a disservice, and if that has led you to being jobless late in your career and feeling like the whole industry is full of know-nothings who get by on bullshit and hot-air while you've jettisoned a 40-year career over your unwillingness to adapt and compromise and now find yourself with some savings and faced with having to find new work this late in the game... well, I don't think you came out ahead on this one friend.  I think you chose the wrong hill to die on by a long shot.

Hope things work out for you, seriously, but I genuinely don't think there are too many people smiling on their death beds because they died knowing they were technically correct to the end.
I don't agree at all here.
Yes to some little extend you're right.
But if after a while people just are talking BS and they simply just don't understand the fundamental basics or worse tell you that you don't know anything about it, that's were a discussion ends.
Good luck with it, I am also someone who is not gonna bother telling people things they SHOULD and MUST know.

 I even think what P.Mouse is doing is the right thing. Just let people believes in their own weird little false believes.
And yes, writing a book is indeed the right approach than.
"If you can't explain it simply (or at all), you don't understand it well enough." A. Einstein

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Offline nctnico

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #62 on: May 03, 2018, 10:20:34 am »
In the agile way you develop partial product and finish it based on customer requirements. The idea is no time is wasted on features the customer doesn't need, the product is on the market quicker and customers get a product which fits their needs.
That only works when the customers are rational and seeking solutions to a problem they have, instead of seeking how to solve a problem with a tool they have already chosen.

I've always loved the work when I'm actually allowed to solve a problem. But, typically due to management having no clue about the technology or the problem at hand, or being mislead by salesmen or "experts" who fake it but have the social skills to not get caught too often, I'm asked to implement something that does not solve the actual problem, or creates at least as many new problems than it solves. It is often as if people do not want their problems solved, but someone to implement their magic thinking.
Well as an engineer you should make sure you understand how what you are asked to make fits into the needs of the customer. If you just follow what the customer's procurement department and the sales people say they need then you are likely on a wild goose chase. But that has nothing to do with the development method but it has everything to do with getting clear requirements. The lead developer should talk to the technical people from the customer for that.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline andyturk

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #63 on: May 03, 2018, 11:34:01 am »


2. Compared to certain other professions, in engineering almost by definition the task is always in a state of failure, incomplete, and broken.

Yes. Well said.

It’s better if you have a choice about which projects to get involved with and the ability to only spend time on those where your personal contribution can move the ball across the goal line. When your work matters to others, it gives you freedom to shout back if some other nitwit’s idea is going to lose the game for the whole team.
 

Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #64 on: May 03, 2018, 12:00:39 pm »
Well as an engineer you should make sure you understand how what you are asked to make fits into the needs of the customer. If you just follow what the customer's procurement department and the sales people say they need then you are likely on a wild goose chase. But that has nothing to do with the development method but it has everything to do with getting clear requirements. The lead developer should talk to the technical people from the customer for that.
First: Well, to be honest, I'm not an engineer; I was a software developer and am now more of a scientist. I just see the value in good engineering, and try to follow sound engineering (no pun intended) principles.

Second: I've been the lead developer for most of my career.  My problems stem from not having the salesman bullshitting skills to fool clients and management into thinking I'm doing what they described to me, while I actually solve their underlying problem; and, being completely fed up with bullshitters and short-sighted idiots doing the opposite.  And being exploited by those with excellent social skills.

Think about this: One third of all large IT projects in Finland fail. And that is an acceptable state of the art. Salesmen love it, management get no repercussions, and everybody just shift the blame around.  "It's just how the world is."  I can't stand such asshattery.  We know how to build stuff well, but we choose not to, because doing so is not cost-effective. The result is crashing bridges, houses that become inhabitable due to mold issues, ceilings that crash, patient data systems that don't work, credit card services that are hackable so millions of people are at risk of their identities being stolen (misused) and all kinds of credit issues due to no fault of their own, and so on.  A pretty crappy world: more like a shantytown built out of garbage, where people use the unpaved streets as a toilet -- but with a really good-looking fake facade, if you look at it from a specific angle. (And don't mind the stench, you get used to it after a while.)

If I could, I'd live alone in the woods and switch to pottery or gardening, but I can't: I'm absolutely, irrevocably hooked to computational physics, simulations, sensor interfacing, and creating and discovering tools to solve problems, especially related to those aforementioned fields.
 

Offline P.Mouse

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #65 on: May 03, 2018, 12:46:51 pm »
I think there is some miscommunication here.
I wasn't talking about marketeers or anything else.
I was talking about direct co-workers or fellow engineers who claim to know it all, but aren't even able to understand the very basic concepts of it.
Worse spreading myths around which are purely based on marketing stories and use their status to claim to literally better than the rest.

I have been literally into situations people actually saying that someone else had to shut their mouth because they had a lower positions.
Even when everyone else knew that on a scientific or factual level they were totally dead wrong.
The "But this certain big company is doing it as well" is also often an argument these kind of people bring forward.
Not realizing that a big part of a product development is marketing or only offering a small niche or certain kind of customer.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2018, 12:48:38 pm by P.Mouse »
 

Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #66 on: May 03, 2018, 02:23:22 pm »
I was talking about direct co-workers or fellow engineers who claim to know it all, but aren't even able to understand the very basic concepts of it.
Worse spreading myths around which are purely based on marketing stories and use their status to claim to literally better than the rest.
No, I'm just communicating badly: I'm talking about those people too. I just call them marketers and whatnot, even though they claim to be developers or whatever, because it describes better what they do: they market themselves, instead of working for those who pay their salaries. Bad wording, sorry; me fail english. (Also, I haven't worked with proper market professionals, myself.)

I have been literally into situations people actually saying that someone else had to shut their mouth because they had a lower positions.
I've had a manager introduce me to an expert in the field, in the hopes that some of it would rub off on me. With me having prepped that same expert on that particular subject the previous week.
 

Offline Bassman59

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #67 on: May 03, 2018, 08:28:26 pm »
Agile: A methodology used with projects when someone comes in for a talk and gives away free copies of their book to management. It is then applied to hardware development.

And how many board spins are allowed because "agile development" demands "early delivery" and "continual improvement?" I honestly don't understand it.
 

Offline Bassman59

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #68 on: May 03, 2018, 08:37:02 pm »
I guess it's also because of the requirement to know everything today. Every employer wants his staff to know everything about everything.

Ask shit, get turds.

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."
 
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Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #69 on: May 03, 2018, 08:48:24 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.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2018, 09:25:51 pm by Mr. Scram »
 

Offline ebastler

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #70 on: May 03, 2018, 08:59:49 pm »
Geez, guys. And I thought I was a bit jaded...
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #71 on: May 03, 2018, 09:28:36 pm »
Geez, guys. And I thought I was a bit jaded...
We call it how we see it. The economy has picked up and is doing quite well. Is this reflected in the wages offered?
 

Offline KE5FX

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #72 on: May 03, 2018, 10:56:10 pm »
Agile: A methodology used with projects when someone comes in for a talk and gives away free copies of their book to management. It is then applied to hardware development.

And how many board spins are allowed because "agile development" demands "early delivery" and "continual improvement?" I honestly don't understand it.

Then again, board spins are cheap, especially nowadays, compared to the cost of being outcompeted.  If we could iterate PCB spins as fast as we can iterate software releases, we'd never have to worry about component obsolescence, supply-chain hiccups, bloated inventory costs, regional regulatory differences, or any number of other things.
 

Offline IanB

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #73 on: May 03, 2018, 11:30:22 pm »
Then again, board spins are cheap, especially nowadays, compared to the cost of being outcompeted.  If we could iterate PCB spins as fast as we can iterate software releases, we'd never have to worry about component obsolescence, supply-chain hiccups, bloated inventory costs, regional regulatory differences, or any number of other things.

Right, it's much more than board spins. It's about tooling up for production, establishing supply lines for components in the BOM, considering lead times and order volumes, and much more. You can't just simply change a product design every few weeks or months like you can with software.

The reality is that "Agile" as it applies to software doesn't apply to hardware. The hardware equivalent is "Lean Manufacturing", which has many similar principles, but it is applied in a way that is more appropriate to the industry.

That said, I see much evidence of short production runs where someone seems to design a product, make a certain number for sale, and then switch to a new design when the first lot of production is complete. It can be annoying when I buy something I like, go back for more, and find they don't make it anymore.
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Online BravoV

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Re: Why I quit my job as an engineer after 40 years (RANT)
« Reply #74 on: May 04, 2018, 05:38:33 am »
The reality is that "Agile" as it applies to software doesn't apply to hardware. The hardware equivalent is "Lean Manufacturing", which has many similar principles, but it is applied in a way that is more appropriate to the industry.

Not very sure, but from my personal very limited experience, this "Agile" buzzword obeys the basic law of physic everywhere (software included), as once you grew with big mass body, you just can not make fast and "safe" turn anymore, without burning lots of energy (resources) to cope with the inertia. Every major changes need the readiness, simple things like documentation, support infrastructure, back end cost management/adjustment, and etc.

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
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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 »
 

Online 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 !!
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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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