Author Topic: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer  (Read 24937 times)

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Online AndyC_772

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[UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« on: January 26, 2015, 05:06:34 pm »
This ad has been removed because the position is no longer open.

I'd like to thank all those of you who made constructive comments.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2015, 01:48:14 pm by AndyC_772 »
 

Offline linux-works

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2015, 11:06:19 pm »
it would be nice to see more job ads on this forum.  wonder if that would work out ok or just become a noise generator?

btw, you may want to rethink this one line:

- have an excellent academic background, including a degree in Electronic Engineering (or a related subject) from a respected university

lots of people are good at the stuff you are looking for, but may not have a degree or degree from a snooty named place.  in fact, I've had more luck with self-trained hw/sw guys than ones who went to famous name schools.

judge the person, not their sheepskin.  that's my advice, fwiw.  and good luck, hope you find your employee.
 

Online tom66

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2015, 11:23:45 pm »
- Salary offered is between £35k and £40k.

Your post was quite interesting until that point. For that skill and responsibility level I'd be looking for more like 45-50k, or maybe 4 days a week. What are house prices like around there? Still, good luck, you might find a good graduate or someone who is willing to take a chance.

The South of England is one of the most expensive places to live in the UK. Although you could live somewhere like Basingstoke, a complete and utter black hole, for relatively little. (I lived there for about 3 years.)
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2015, 11:27:32 pm »


btw, you may want to rethink this one line:

- have an excellent academic background, including a degree in Electronic Engineering (or a related subject) from a respected university

lots of people are good at the stuff you are looking for, but may not have a degree or degree from a snooty named place.  in fact, I've had more luck with self-trained hw/sw guys than ones who went to famous name schools.

judge the person, not their sheepskin.  that's my advice, fwiw.  and good luck, hope you find your employee.

+1
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Offline KJDS

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2015, 11:30:35 pm »
- Salary offered is between £35k and £40k.

Your post was quite interesting until that point. For that skill and responsibility level I'd be looking for more like 45-50k, or maybe 4 days a week. What are house prices like around there? Still, good luck, you might find a good graduate or someone who is willing to take a chance.

The South of England is one of the most expensive places to live in the UK. Although you could live somewhere like Basingstoke, a complete and utter black hole, for relatively little. (I lived there for about 3 years.)

I spent 18 months contracting in Basingstoke, staying in a B&B through the week. I found one reasonable restaurant and had a few nightmare experiences, including having to explain to a waitress why gravy over the salad wasn't good, and that was from one of the better places. It's a bizarre town, with absolutely nothing to commend itself. Also in commuting distance is Bordon. I've driven through it but never dared stop.

The job description and salary are probably about right, Nokia and Quinetiq used to employ hundreds of engineers in Farnboro without having to pay excessive salaries.

Online tggzzz

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2015, 11:42:18 pm »
- Salary offered is between £35k and £40k.

Your post was quite interesting until that point. For that skill and responsibility level I'd be looking for more like 45-50k, or maybe 4 days a week. What are house prices like around there? Still, good luck, you might find a good graduate or someone who is willing to take a chance.

The South of England is one of the most expensive places to live in the UK. Although you could live somewhere like Basingstoke, a complete and utter black hole, for relatively little. (I lived there for about 3 years.)

It has the major advantage of only bring a few miles from Lasham GlidingClub!
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Offline zapta

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2015, 01:40:00 am »
btw, you may want to rethink this one line:

- have an excellent academic background, including a degree in Electronic Engineering (or a related subject) from a respected university

It has value when billing customers.
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Offline DmitryL

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2015, 10:02:23 am »
The job description and salary are probably about right, Nokia and Quinetiq used to employ hundreds of engineers in Farnboro without having to pay excessive salaries.

Lol. It is 10-15 grand less than average with this list of requirements. That's probably the reason why the topicsatarter didn't go for a job agency/site.
Nokia and other more or less big companies give an average salary, but try to compensate it with in-house benefits, like health insurance, pension contributions, occasional bonuses, cheap canteens and similar.
Graduates are cheap, even smart ones, but the requirements list is too good for them. Maybe a pensioner will fit :)
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2015, 10:05:44 am »
btw, you may want to rethink this one line:

- have an excellent academic background, including a degree in Electronic Engineering (or a related subject) from a respected university

It has value when billing customers.
The customer just wants the job done. A track record of successful delivery is worth far more than some bits of paper
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Offline DmitryL

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2015, 10:25:11 am »

- have an excellent academic background, including a degree in Electronic Engineering (or a related subject) from a respected university

The customer just wants the job done. A track record of successful delivery is worth far more than some bits of paper

The quote above is just copy-pasted from job sites ads or standard job description that average companies (read: "hens from HR") post there. It is a standard harrasment :) but once you get to the interview with real people almost no one really cares, they want something real and able to check if you have proper skills. You know this better than me, I presume :)


 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2015, 10:39:50 am »
Although I do have an electronic engineering degree, and I am sure it opened a few doors at the beginning of my career, I learned very little of any practical use during my time at university. Indeed, in some cases I knew more than the lecturers, many of whom were of the "those who can't, teach" variety, and then most weren't exactly very good at teaching either.

Spending more days than strictly necessary in freezing cold garages in the middle of winter with soldering irons meant there was little left to teach me, in a practical sense. The only useful course I did was one on Pascal which formally taught pointers and data structures. Indeed, I think that the use of data structures is sometimes a way to separate a self-taught programmer from a formally taught person. Not always, but sometimes. True, there was a bit of maths that occasionally has proved useful, but mostly because it showed just another way of doing what I'd already done at A level (national UK exams for 18 yo's).

I could easily have completed my degree without ever having picked up a soldering iron or used an oscilloscope, and indeed I'd say most of my peer group were in that camp.

That was 30 years ago. More recently in the UK, everyone and their dog has a degree, it seems to be a rite of passage nowadays. My concern with graduates in the UK these days is that as well as being two-a-penny, some think that the world owes them a living, and their magic piece of paper is a passport to that. I had one new grad working for me who refused to send a fax as he felt they should have someone do it for them. (When he did finally do it, he sent the same fax half a dozen times, customer phones up say all they were receiving was blank paper each time, it didn't dawn upon him he'd put it in the ADF the wrong way round). Needless to say, we fell out.

I'd far rather have someone who's keen with demonstrable real world practical skills, is honest and reliable, communicates reasonably well, doesn't bullshit, knows how to use a shower and can be put in front of a customer. Sometimes there is a correlation between that bit of magic paper and my preferences, but not always. Of the hundreds of projects I've been on, I have only ever once had to provide a CV as a consultant on a project when working through someone else, to this day I have no idea why.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2015, 10:41:34 am by Howardlong »
 

Online AndyC_772

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2015, 10:57:22 am »
Thanks for the comments so far, all duly noted.

Online tggzzz

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2015, 11:17:23 am »
btw, you may want to rethink this one line:

- have an excellent academic background, including a degree in Electronic Engineering (or a related subject) from a respected university

It has value when billing customers.
The customer just wants the job done. A track record of successful delivery is worth far more than some bits of paper

There's some validity there, but also limits.

If your experience is in XYZ and the next job requires ABX, then a decent university degree may help with credibility that you can learn AB on the job without too many foulups/delays.

Most of my jobs have been in that ABX category, and a decent degree helped me.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Online tggzzz

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2015, 11:25:27 am »
Although I do have an electronic engineering degree, and I am sure it opened a few doors at the beginning of my career, I learned very little of any practical use during my time at university. Indeed, in some cases I knew more than the lecturers, many of whom were of the "those who can't, teach" variety, and then most weren't exactly very good at teaching either.

We've all seen that phenomenon, and is isn't limited to teachers :(

Quote
I could easily have completed my degree without ever having picked up a soldering iron or used an oscilloscope, and indeed I'd say most of my peer group were in that camp.

I couldn't, and only a few on my course were in that camp. They were destined to become technical salesreps.

Quote
That was 30 years ago. More recently in the UK, everyone and their dog has a degree, it seems to be a rite of passage nowadays. My concern with graduates in the UK these days is that as well as being two-a-penny, some think that the world owes them a living, and their magic piece of paper is a passport to that.

Yes, those are intereating phenomena. But any halfway decent interviewing process should be able to weed out such slackers - it isn't rocket science (except to HR droids that seem to value teamwork and shyness above all else).

Quote
I'd far rather have someone who's keen with demonstrable real world practical skills, is honest and reliable, communicates reasonably well, doesn't bullshit, knows how to use a shower and can be put in front of a customer.

I've always wanted and needed both - and got them.

Quote
Sometimes there is a correlation between that bit of magic paper and my preferences, but not always. Of the hundreds of projects I've been on, I have only ever once had to provide a CV as a consultant on a project when working through someone else, to this day I have no idea why.

I've worked in places where providing a client with an abbreviated CV was SOP. Such places were great fun with great clients.

There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
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Offline Wilksey

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2015, 11:48:26 am »
Uh Oh, is this going to turn into another multi page post about how little is being offered like Daves post?  :-DD

Anyway, I have read the description, and for the "required" skills, the pay isn't too bad, on the upper end of that scale would probably be better, I would say, prepare to go up to 45k if the person has some of the "bonus" skills, and also of course, depending on length of service in the industry.

It's not unreasonable for a job advert to be advertised at that level of pay, it also depends on what training is required etc.

I have seen adverts at 35k and when you enquire the employer says after the 6 months probation period it would go up and if you tell them what you are looking for they can build that into the contract of employment, so if I said I wanted £45k, and they agreed, after 6 months I would expect it to go up £10k as agreed (if everything was going OK of course).
 

Online tom66

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2015, 11:56:07 am »
PM sent
 

Offline KJDS

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2015, 12:05:52 pm »
The most difficult part will be finding someone that you're prepared to put in front of your customers.

Offline dannyf

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2015, 12:43:24 pm »
A few years ago, we were in the market for a Cortex-Mx programmer, more towards experienced / project lead level. Offered $200 - 225K and we were beaten a few times by people offering $250K or over.

PIC/AVR programers are a dime a dozen, on the other hand.

My understanding is that the market for phone firmware developers is even worse.
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Offline VK3DRB

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2015, 12:48:09 pm »
A few years ago, we were in the market for a Cortex-Mx programmer, more towards experienced / project lead level. Offered $200 - 225K and we were beaten a few times by people offering $250K or over.

PIC/AVR programers are a dime a dozen, on the other hand.

My understanding is that the market for phone firmware developers is even worse.

Problem with those jobs is the money is good whilst the work is there, Also, Arm Cortex programmers are not that rare these days. PIC/AVR programmers? Good ones are rare and are worth the extra money. A bad one can cost a company their business. Same with anything really, even mechanical engineers. What is rare is a good embedded programmer who also has comprehensive skills and experience in analogue and digital hardware design. They are worth every cent.

Good companies attracts good people and they are worth keeping.

A close friend told me just today that his mate works for a small company that pays crap money for engineers but the boss pockets $10K to $20K per week in salary alone. The worker rides an electric bicycle to work and the owner told him he is not allowed to recharge it at work because it is costing the company (him) 25 cents in electricity per day. People have to bring their own milk, tea and biscuits, and he wont allow people to take more than the maximum 60 minutes off for lunch even though they work long hours. The company is making heaps of money, but it has a high turnover, not surprisingly. The boss is either greedy or just plain stupid... maybe both. The worker is now looking for another job.

If you want to keep the best, pay them well and treat them well. And never, NEVER believe the door that does not squeak does not need oil.
 

Offline Galenbo

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2015, 03:52:10 pm »
it would be nice to see more job ads on this forum.  wonder if that would work out ok or ...
I would like that, too

But with the same minimum requirements that this ad offers: Place, price, daily tasks.
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Offline Galenbo

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2015, 04:01:32 pm »
btw, you may want to rethink this one line:

- have an excellent academic background, including a degree in Electronic Engineering (or a related subject) from a respected university

It has value when billing customers.
The customer just wants the job done. A track record of successful delivery is worth far more than some bits of paper

I saw the opposite. Working for an airport, our company had to show success stories, but they also asked a detail list of the guys who will work on the project, and their degree(s).
I think they were ripped-of in the past by some shiny salesmen, who sent some stone-age workers after the document got signed.

"just wants the job done" is another sales cliché thing from the nillies. What document describes the "job", what is considered "done", and replace "just" by how and when the company is expected to react at the sure moment things WILL go wrong.
If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a nonworking cat.
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2015, 04:17:50 pm »
btw, you may want to rethink this one line:

- have an excellent academic background, including a degree in Electronic Engineering (or a related subject) from a respected university

It has value when billing customers.
The customer just wants the job done. A track record of successful delivery is worth far more than some bits of paper

I saw the opposite. Working for an airport, our company had to show success stories, but they also asked a detail list of the guys who will work on the project, and their degree(s).
I think they were ripped-of in the past by some shiny salesmen, who sent some stone-age workers after the document got signed.

I've repeatedly had good clients make exactly that point. The only difference was they tended to use the phrase "bid the A-team, field the C-team". In addition, they were reassured seeing the CVs of named individuals, and preferably meeting them.

Clients that took the trouble to understand how we worked (and why) tended to be better clients than those that made unthinking presumptions.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline KJDS

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2015, 04:49:24 pm »
btw, you may want to rethink this one line:

- have an excellent academic background, including a degree in Electronic Engineering (or a related subject) from a respected university

It has value when billing customers.
The customer just wants the job done. A track record of successful delivery is worth far more than some bits of paper

I saw the opposite. Working for an airport, our company had to show success stories, but they also asked a detail list of the guys who will work on the project, and their degree(s).
I think they were ripped-of in the past by some shiny salesmen, who sent some stone-age workers after the document got signed.

I've repeatedly had good clients make exactly that point. The only difference was they tended to use the phrase "bid the A-team, field the C-team". In addition, they were reassured seeing the CVs of named individuals, and preferably meeting them.

Clients that took the trouble to understand how we worked (and why) tended to be better clients than those that made unthinking presumptions.

My name, and a very brief resume is often added to a proposal by one of my clients with my permission. I'll occasionally get some work out of it, but as there is often a year between the initial proposal and contract award then I never know if I will really be available for it.

Major companies will usually expect a list of names and a paragraph of resume on a serious proposal.

Offline linux-works

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2015, 04:49:34 pm »
our industries must be very different.  in my 30+ yrs working as a software devel, not ONCE has anyone ever asked me about my degrees while ON the job.  not the boss, not a client (for heaven's sake!) and its just not done!  its not even allowed, by convention.  hell, most software gigs I've been at, they don't even want you telling your peers your JOB TITLE!

it sounds like some industries are more paranoid than others.  but in software, in the bay area, at least, not once has anyone ever said "I want X of your guys on this project and they have to have Y quals and Z degrees".  never.   not once.  the client does not get access to that info and they almost never get direct access to engineers on the project (you may need to shuffle them around and so 'binding' people to projects is not always the best thing and if you tell a customer that person A is on the job and you need to move A to some other task, you are now stuck).

look, mr. customer, you are looking for a job to be done and we'll do that job.  here is what our work plan is, our spec and some past success stories by our company.  if you want to go with us, great.  if not, well, maybe next time.

that's it.  you don't get to see inside the company.  that's our business, not yours.

 

Offline linux-works

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2015, 04:54:32 pm »

Major companies will usually expect a list of names and a paragraph of resume on a serious proposal.

again, not in my experience (which is all US based, half in the boston area and half in silicon valley).

it sounds like this is very cultural and varies a lot based on which country and which field you are in.  like I said before in my last post, in all my years doing software, not once has any client ever tried to get info about the people that were assigned to his project or product.  I would not even feel right - if I was a customer - asking about the personnel and their backgrounds.  it would be an insult and its just not done!
 

Offline IanB

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2015, 05:37:06 pm »
Major companies will usually expect a list of names and a paragraph of resume on a serious proposal.

::Nod:: Quite familiar with this.

again, not in my experience (which is all US based, half in the boston area and half in silicon valley).

it sounds like this is very cultural and varies a lot based on which country and which field you are in.  like I said before in my last post, in all my years doing software, not once has any client ever tried to get info about the people that were assigned to his project or product.  I would not even feel right - if I was a customer - asking about the personnel and their backgrounds.  it would be an insult and its just not done!

This says a lot about the clients. For instance, if you were hiring a builder to do some work on your house, would you just hire someone who said "hey, I can do this"? Wouldn't you ask for references, talk to previous customers, look at examples of their work, make sure they are properly licensed and qualified to do such work?

If not, more fool you.
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Offline linux-works

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2015, 06:13:07 pm »
let me ask you: you need to see a doctor (say); do you interview them?  do you ask them tech questions to see if they are 'real'?  do you ask for their degrees and grades?  how about lawyers?  how about other professionals?

I'll ask questions on contractors, but I'm NOT going to ask for 'what school did you go to'.  not once, not ever, not for any field where I would hire someone (that would work for me).

I've always thought that was a double standard.  seeking jobs in engineering, the companies want to know about my degrees, but if I seek a doctor, its just NOT DONE - to ask for their quals.

so, ymmv (seems regional, at least) but the only time I've been asked about my degrees is at point of hire into a job.  once I'm hired, its no one's business (esp. not clients!) what my exact background is.

I find it very odd that people think they have a right to invade employees backgrounds, even to that (light) level.  the company hires you and its their job to select good people.  a step disconnected from that is when a client hires a company.  he selects that company based on what he thinks they can do, but prying INSIDE the company just seems outright wrong and way too micro-managing to me.

 

Offline KJDS

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2015, 06:29:00 pm »
let me ask you: you need to see a doctor (say); do you interview them?  do you ask them tech questions to see if they are 'real'?  do you ask for their degrees and grades?  how about lawyers?  how about other professionals?

I'll ask questions on contractors, but I'm NOT going to ask for 'what school did you go to'.  not once, not ever, not for any field where I would hire someone (that would work for me).

I've always thought that was a double standard.  seeking jobs in engineering, the companies want to know about my degrees, but if I seek a doctor, its just NOT DONE - to ask for their quals.

so, ymmv (seems regional, at least) but the only time I've been asked about my degrees is at point of hire into a job.  once I'm hired, its no one's business (esp. not clients!) what my exact background is.

I find it very odd that people think they have a right to invade employees backgrounds, even to that (light) level.  the company hires you and its their job to select good people.  a step disconnected from that is when a client hires a company.  he selects that company based on what he thinks they can do, but prying INSIDE the company just seems outright wrong and way too micro-managing to me.

In the UK it is illegal to work as a solicitor, barrister or medical doctor without the appropriate qualifications, and that applies to many other professions as well, though not for an engineer.

A quick check on the law society website will help you find someone with the right qualifications and specialization. If I'm paying for a professional service I may well want some evidence of what level of service I'm going to get. That doesn't mean that I'd only ever want to employ a degree qualified engineer, I've worked with some brilliant people who haven't got degrees, but it's perfectly reasonable to know who you are doing business with.

Offline Galenbo

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #28 on: January 29, 2015, 06:39:49 pm »
our industries must be very different.  in my 30+ yrs working as a software devel, not ONCE has anyone ever asked me about my degrees while ON the job. 

Indeed a very different industry.

In software, there are 14-year kids that are better programmers than 99% of the ones who hold a master, people who leave college to start up a multimillion business.
This simply doesn't happen in the traditional industry. Like designing and installing a test plant for airplane jet engines.

Search the reason, and why this also defines al other differences.

But I see many software-world people getting a Cisco, Prince2, McsE, Itil or other certification. I'm sure this is mentioned in selling the software project: Customer, you will get people with xxx certification.

that's it.  you don't get to see inside the company.  that's our business, not yours.

Good for developing the next app for some event-sales-related customer happyness.

Definitely not if you work for the military, medical, energy or safety related customer.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2015, 06:49:46 pm by Galenbo »
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Offline KJDS

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #29 on: January 29, 2015, 06:47:19 pm »
I've worked with a few managers that really need to be certified.

Offline linux-works

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #30 on: January 29, 2015, 07:53:49 pm »
But I see many software-world people getting a Cisco, Prince2, McsE, Itil or other certification. I'm sure this is mentioned in selling the software project: Customer, you will get people with xxx certification.

interesting.  I just finished a gig at cisco and, again, I've never seen any customer ask for anyone's quals in our team; or heard of this happening at all, for anyone that I've worked with at cisco.

agreed that having some certs will help you get hired into a company.  after you are hired, though, folks in my field never again ask what your background was.  interviewing sucks badly enough as it is; why go thru it more than once per company?  lol
 

Offline grumpydoc

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #31 on: January 29, 2015, 08:56:10 pm »
Quote
In the UK it is illegal to work as a solicitor, barrister or medical doctor without the appropriate qualifications.
For medicine, sadly, anybody can call themselves "Doctor" and even treat people. It is assumed that adults have capacity to choose wisely.

The legally protected title is "registered medical practitioner".

Interestingly it is illegal to practice as a vet or treat animals in any capacity without a recognised qialification.
 

Offline linux-works

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #32 on: January 29, 2015, 10:24:02 pm »
do they retest doctors (etc)?

if they don't, then what he did 10, 20 or 30 yrs ago may not be totally relevant today.  mostly, but quite a lot has changed.

I could say the same thing about my field, software: who cares what I did 20 or 30 yrs ago in school.  its all different now (it was fortran and pascal for me, during my day.  mostly those are dead languages - mostly - today).  sure, algs and data struct are mostly the same, but a lot has changed since the old days.

so, doctors don't need to keep proving themselves (do they?).  I'm pretty sure lawyers don't have to keep taking tests to stay current in their field.  no one asks those guys to demonstrate -current- knowledge.  but everyone doubts engineers and those guys have to keep proving themselves.

sure seems like a double standard to me.
 

Offline IanB

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #33 on: January 29, 2015, 10:34:10 pm »
I'm pretty sure lawyers don't have to keep taking tests to stay current in their field.

In the U.S. they do. In most states attorneys are required to undertake continuing legal education in order to maintain their license to practice.
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Offline miguelvp

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #34 on: January 30, 2015, 02:34:46 am »
A list of achievements, degrees, qualifications etc is very common for companies that are still young and might rely in investing money to keep them afloat while they get to a break even point.

No serious investor is going to bet their capital without knowing details of the people working in there.

I'm not saying that startups that need investment capital is a good approach, but sometimes it's the only way to jump into a field that already has competition. You have to be big enough to compete so a gradual growth might not be feasible at all and they might need to staff and acquire equipment so that they'll be competitive from the get go.

I did work for startups before and sure enough on their investing offerings they will list those qualifications and achievements of all key individuals to ease the investor's mind.
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #35 on: January 30, 2015, 08:58:14 am »

Yes, those are intereating phenomena. But any halfway decent interviewing process should be able to weed out such slackers - it isn't rocket science (except to HR droids that seem to value teamwork and shyness above all else).

Indeed, and I am not sure exactly when it was that HR (it was Personel when I started) became so omnipotent.

The very acronym, "Human Resources", tells you that you're nothing more than a commodity. The way many approach appraisals and enforced churn rates tells you that too.
 

Offline Yago

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #36 on: January 30, 2015, 10:24:02 am »

Yes, those are intereating phenomena. But any halfway decent interviewing process should be able to weed out such slackers - it isn't rocket science (except to HR droids that seem to value teamwork and shyness above all else).

Indeed, and I am not sure exactly when it was that HR (it was Personel when I started) became so omnipotent.

The very acronym, "Human Resources", tells you that you're nothing more than a commodity. The way many approach appraisals and enforced churn rates tells you that too.

When I worked at GEC the HR guy that interviewed me had a degree in Geography FFS.
He was a also a lying little shit.
I left the place quickly, it was a terrible "lab" and  terrible job, only regret is I never got the chance to "re-educate" that dishonest person.
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #37 on: January 30, 2015, 01:26:47 pm »

Yes, those are intereating phenomena. But any halfway decent interviewing process should be able to weed out such slackers - it isn't rocket science (except to HR droids that seem to value teamwork and shyness above all else).

Indeed, and I am not sure exactly when it was that HR (it was Personel when I started) became so omnipotent.

The very acronym, "Human Resources", tells you that you're nothing more than a commodity. The way many approach appraisals and enforced churn rates tells you that too.

When I worked at GEC the HR guy that interviewed me had a degree in Geography FFS.
He was a also a lying little shit.
I left the place quickly, it was a terrible "lab" and  terrible job, only regret is I never got the chance to "re-educate" that dishonest person.

During the university milk round I applied to ~6 GEC establishments, was offered interviews at 9, an was offered jobs at establishments I hadn't visited. At one place employees made comments to the effect "... and I'm sure you will be getting offers from other companies..."; I listened, heard, and understood :)

A few years later I applied to another GEC establishment. The droid "listened" to what I had done in terms of analogue, digital and software, and then asked me whether "I was reaily hardware or software engineer". The questions he asked were designed to find out how little money I would accept, not what would encourage me to be a valuable employee.

I never applied to another GEC company.
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Offline Howardlong

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #38 on: January 30, 2015, 01:43:47 pm »
As a general rule of thumb, HR are little more than self-serving box tickers. Quite what value they think they add by interviewing an individual is beyond me.
 

Offline grumpydoc

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #39 on: January 30, 2015, 02:12:28 pm »
Quote
do they retest doctors (etc)?

if they don't [........]

so, doctors don't need to keep proving themselves (do they?).  I'm pretty sure lawyers don't have to keep taking tests to stay current in their field.  no one asks those guys to demonstrate -current- knowledge.  but everyone doubts engineers and those guys have to keep proving themselves.

sure seems like a double standard to me.

Doctors in the UK (as in all 1st world healthcare systems) have to gain their degree, then undergo a long (typically 10+ years) period of additional training and accumulation of experience. Part of this is further qualifications, usually to the level of a PhD or equivalent before being allowed to "fly solo" (i.e be the clinician "in charge" of a patient's care). They then have to demonstrate a minimum amount of continued professional development and education and, now, a 5-yearly scrutinisation process by the GMC.

Solicitors don't have quite such arduous requirements but are required to do a minimum amount of continued professional development and are also closely scrutinised by their regulatory authorities.

Double standards indeed.


 

Online tggzzz

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #40 on: January 30, 2015, 04:17:28 pm »
As a general rule of thumb, HR are little more than self-serving box tickers. Quite what value they think they add by interviewing an individual is beyond me.

A1: more than they actually do contribute.
A2: if they are lucky, they stop managers doing something illegal that causes the company to be sued.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Online tggzzz

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #41 on: January 30, 2015, 04:19:47 pm »
Quote
do they retest doctors (etc)?

if they don't [........]

so, doctors don't need to keep proving themselves (do they?).  I'm pretty sure lawyers don't have to keep taking tests to stay current in their field.  no one asks those guys to demonstrate -current- knowledge.  but everyone doubts engineers and those guys have to keep proving themselves.

sure seems like a double standard to me.

Doctors in the UK (as in all 1st world healthcare systems) have to gain their degree, then undergo a long (typically 10+ years) period of additional training and accumulation of experience. Part of this is further qualifications, usually to the level of a PhD or equivalent before being allowed to "fly solo" (i.e be the clinician "in charge" of a patient's care). They then have to demonstrate a minimum amount of continued professional development and education and, now, a 5-yearly scrutinisation process by the GMC.

You are being insufficiently grumpy, especially in the light of today's news reports such as http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-31048279
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline zapta

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #42 on: January 30, 2015, 04:43:18 pm »
let me ask you: you need to see a doctor (say); do you interview them?  do you ask them tech questions to see if they are 'real'?  do you ask for their degrees and grades?  how about lawyers?  how about other professionals?

I try to avoid medical doctors that don't have a college degree, especially when it comes to complex surgeries.
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Online tggzzz

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #43 on: January 30, 2015, 05:38:25 pm »
let me ask you: you need to see a doctor (say); do you interview them?  do you ask them tech questions to see if they are 'real'?  do you ask for their degrees and grades?  how about lawyers?  how about other professionals?

As far as possible, yes.

The last time was in November just before emergency surgery on my knee. I asked the consultant how many of these injuries they saw and operated on per year. the answer was satisfactory.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline GreyWoolfe

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #44 on: January 30, 2015, 05:52:06 pm »
let me ask you: you need to see a doctor (say); do you interview them?  do you ask them tech questions to see if they are 'real'?  do you ask for their degrees and grades?  how about lawyers?  how about other professionals?

I try to avoid medical doctors that don't have a college degree, especially when it comes to complex surgeries.

So, are you trying to say that you would never go to Joe's Tire Center, Hair Care Products and Surgery Center?   >:D  Come on down, you can get your tires rotated, you favorite shampoo and your knees replaced all in 1 simple visit.
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Offline linux-works

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #45 on: January 30, 2015, 09:37:23 pm »
let me ask you: you need to see a doctor (say); do you interview them?  do you ask them tech questions to see if they are 'real'?  do you ask for their degrees and grades?  how about lawyers?  how about other professionals?

As far as possible, yes.

The last time was in November just before emergency surgery on my knee. I asked the consultant how many of these injuries they saw and operated on per year. the answer was satisfactory.

uhm, that's not an interview or a competancy test.  that's just a sanity check, at best.

everytime I go for a job interview, I get the same grilling and 'we dont believe you until you show us otherwise' treatment.  in contrast, I just don't see that being done to other professional fields.  for some reason, hw and sw are 'special' (and not in a good way).
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #46 on: January 30, 2015, 09:55:40 pm »
So, are you trying to say that you would never go to Joe's Tire Center, Hair Care Products and Surgery Center?   >:D
Coming to a store near you.  :-DD

Laughing aside, businesses like that may actually become a necessity for sufficient income.  :o

everytime I go for a job interview, I get the same grilling and 'we dont believe you until you show us otherwise' treatment.  in contrast, I just don't see that being done to other professional fields.  for some reason, hw and sw are 'special' (and not in a good way).
I've experienced this as well, specifically through HR departments. Yet when I managed to bypass HR, it's not been an issue.
 

Online tom66

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #47 on: January 30, 2015, 10:01:28 pm »
When I did my job interview for my hardware placement, the HR lady basically asked when I'd be available and how long for, I chatted to the other two engineers for the rest of the interview, it was great. I'm sure that's fairly rare though.
 

Offline KJDS

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #48 on: January 30, 2015, 10:51:30 pm »
I love contracting, don't have to deal with HR at all.

Offline Howardlong

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #49 on: January 30, 2015, 11:25:44 pm »
I love contracting, don't have to deal with HR at all.

+1!

No appraisal bollocks either, and minimal politics.

However at the last place I contracted at, I still had to go through a full disclosure check. It was unnecessary, I'd already done another year long contract for the same outfit eighteen month earlier, but it ticked a few boxes for the HR department. I did get rather PO'd when I realised that the when I completed the online form for the disclosure check, including all my personal details, passport, driving license details etc, that the credentials to access all that information was then sent in an automated email in clear text in an email over the internet. Not cool.
 

Offline DmitryL

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #50 on: January 31, 2015, 12:06:22 am »
No offence to any contractors, but engineering is not a commodity.

Well said.. now try to tell this to a bunch of managers above you :)
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #51 on: January 31, 2015, 12:35:34 am »
He wrote it exactly to spec. It was extremely hard to use, but technically met the requirements.
If you give a contractor a spec and he doesn't find things misssing or wrong with it, find someone else.
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Online nctnico

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #52 on: January 31, 2015, 01:00:16 am »
I dislike contractors. Not personally or anything, but they have a habit of coming in, not really understanding the product or the problem, doing a half-arsed job that they know they won't have to maintain and buggering off. I'm currently re-doing a big ATE project pretty much from scratch because of that. In the past we have had bad experiences too.
Hiring the cheapest contractor has that effect  >:D
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Offline rx8pilot

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #53 on: January 31, 2015, 01:20:39 am »
I have had good and bad contractor experiences. Sometimes we did not communicate well and sometimes the contractor was not up to the task. I learned quickly that the process of vetting a contractor well enough to minimize risk often was more than it was worth. If we had a long term need, we would hire someone full time. If we have a short term need, I don't want to spend a ton of time getting an outsider up to speed enough to do a good job on top of the rate which is generally 2x the normal rate (which is fair for this type of work). There are VERY few engineers that can take a concept and successfully ask the right questions to get going. Beyond being hard to find, they need a lot of money to keep around raising the risk factor.

I now simply skip projects that can only happen if I get contractors. We do what we can and I don't have the stress of dealing with the outside. Maybe someday I will find an amazing freelancer that will change that.
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Offline Howardlong

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #54 on: January 31, 2015, 01:53:39 am »
I dislike contractors. Not personally or anything, but they have a habit of coming in, not really understanding the product or the problem, doing a half-arsed job that they know they won't have to maintain and buggering off. I'm currently re-doing a big ATE project pretty much from scratch because of that. In the past we have had bad experiences too.

There was one guy who wrote some firmware. He wrote it exactly to spec. It was extremely hard to use, but technically met the requirements. We noticed that if you entered more than 80 characters into the serial terminal it would crash because he didn't bother checking the buffer size. His response was that the spec didn't say it had to, and no commands were >80 characters so it was user error. So basically you have to write a watertight deal-with-the-devil spec, pay more later to get the issues fixed or put in a "must not be shit" clause and try to argue it.

No offence to any contractors, but engineering is not a commodity.

*cough* do I detect a modicum of prejudice creeping in perchance?  ;)

It also depends on how they are managed as well as the individual.

Personally I like the fact that I am still asked back to do stuff at places I've worked at, I think that says a lot. But equally like you I've dealt with some real wankers too, the sort where if you don't specify exactly what you're looking for they won't give you a relevant answer. But that can apply to permies too although tends to be to a lesser extent.

Not all contractors are the same. And you never know, you might one day find yourself liberated too!

Edit to add...

My longest "contract" lasted 17 years. Far longer than most permie jobs, same desk, five different offices, six different takeover/mergers and more bosses than I have fingers that's for sure. Sage words from Mike, if the individual is not asking for more information around a given scenario, then you're going to get what you're going to get. Not dealing beyond 80 characters is unforgivable schoolboy stuff, s/he should be made aware and if s/he doesn't care then he might need to consider another career. But equally, I had a permie write some code for a financial application that rolled over to the 13th month instead of incrementing the year and resetting the month to January. He still gets piss take for that from me 20+ years later.

If you think contractors are bad now, you should've been around during Y2K...
« Last Edit: January 31, 2015, 02:09:58 am by Howardlong »
 

Offline KJDS

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #55 on: January 31, 2015, 09:34:21 am »
I've worked with good and bad contractors

I've worked with good and bad permies.

Generally, a bad contractor doesn't last long and doesn't get invited back, whereas a permie, once his feet are under the desk can be a nightmare to remove.

It's careless in the extreme to slag off all contractors, or all permies just because of a few bad experiences.

Online AndyC_772

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #56 on: January 31, 2015, 10:18:58 am »
they have a habit of coming in, not really understanding the product or the problem, doing a half-arsed job that they know they won't have to maintain and buggering off.

I think you'll find there are two types of contractor; those who can't get or keep a permanent job, and those who have the technical and commercial skills to make a successful business out of selling their time and expertise.

A good contractor, just like any other good engineer, will take the time to understand the project, its context, how it will be used and so on. Bear in mind that you may live and breathe a particular product every day, but to someone coming in from the outside it's completely new, and although your project may well be within their skill set, it's outside of their previous experience.

An example: I had a call from a company a few years ago asking whether or not I knew anything about "test". (Yes, that was it. "Test".)

I thought about it for a moment, and said "yes". After all, I've designed, built, programmed and operated ATE, and spent the last 10 years designing products with BITE, JTAG and so on. So yes, I know about testing electronic products, and I thought I could probably help them.

It turned out that what they really wanted was someone who was, very specifically, familiar with the process of testing unpackaged semiconductor dice in a wafer fab - but never thought to mention this important detail. And why should they? It's all they did, day-in, day-out, and they'd been given my name and a recommendation. They assumed I worked in the exact same industry, and instinctively knew exactly what they meant by "test". We went our separate ways.

That's an extreme example, but I think it illustrates the point that both parties share responsibility for making sure an engineer knows exactly what's needed. I've done quite a few jobs where the customer has needed some coaxing to reveal important information about a system - sometimes with a degree of reluctance, even, where proprietary IP is involved. But without that extra knowledge, I couldn't guarantee that the products I designed would actually have been fit for purpose.

It's my job to know what needs to be in the spec, and to make sure the information is there before I can give a quote or get started. Not all engineers really understand this, regardless of whether they're employed or hired by the hour.

Offline gregariz

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #57 on: January 31, 2015, 12:00:51 pm »
it would be nice to see more job ads on this forum. 

+1


btw, you may want to rethink this one line:

- have an excellent academic background, including a degree in Electronic Engineering (or a related subject) from a respected university

lots of people are good at the stuff you are looking for, but may not have a degree or degree from a snooty named place.
AndyC is trying to grow his business and put the best image forward to potential clients so its an entirely reasonable request. So the person needs to be practical, technically excellent and have a degree. There are plenty of degree'd people who fit that bill.

BTW AndyC I like hearing about success stories like these so I'd love to know how you got started?
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #58 on: January 31, 2015, 12:08:16 pm »
they have a habit of coming in, not really understanding the product or the problem, doing a half-arsed job that they know they won't have to maintain and buggering off.

I think you'll find there are two types of contractor; those who can't get or keep a permanent job, and those who have the technical and commercial skills to make a successful business out of selling their time and expertise.

A good contractor, just like any other good engineer, will take the time to understand the project, its context, how it will be used and so on. Bear in mind that you may live and breathe a particular product every day, but to someone coming in from the outside it's completely new, and although your project may well be within their skill set, it's outside of their previous experience.

An example: I had a call from a company a few years ago asking whether or not I knew anything about "test". (Yes, that was it. "Test".)

I thought about it for a moment, and said "yes". After all, I've designed, built, programmed and operated ATE, and spent the last 10 years designing products with BITE, JTAG and so on. So yes, I know about testing electronic products, and I thought I could probably help them.

It turned out that what they really wanted was someone who was, very specifically, familiar with the process of testing unpackaged semiconductor dice in a wafer fab - but never thought to mention this important detail. And why should they? It's all they did, day-in, day-out, and they'd been given my name and a recommendation. They assumed I worked in the exact same industry, and instinctively knew exactly what they meant by "test". We went our separate ways.

That's an extreme example, but I think it illustrates the point that both parties share responsibility for making sure an engineer knows exactly what's needed. I've done quite a few jobs where the customer has needed some coaxing to reveal important information about a system - sometimes with a degree of reluctance, even, where proprietary IP is involved. But without that extra knowledge, I couldn't guarantee that the products I designed would actually have been fit for purpose.

It's my job to know what needs to be in the spec, and to make sure the information is there before I can give a quote or get started. Not all engineers really understand this, regardless of whether they're employed or hired by the hour.

A common and less extreme example is that clients frequently ask you to implement their solution. A wise engineer will then do some basic "knowledge elicitation" to discover their problem. Frequently you discover that their solution won't cure their problem, or there is a much simpler/cheaper way to solver their problem. Sometimes they don't actually realise that their problem isn't technical in the first place, and that a non-technical solution will solve their woes!
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
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Online AndyC_772

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #59 on: January 31, 2015, 01:53:33 pm »
AndyC is trying to grow his business and put the best image forward to potential clients so its an entirely reasonable request. So the person needs to be practical, technically excellent and have a degree. There are plenty of degree'd people who fit that bill.

BTW AndyC I like hearing about success stories like these so I'd love to know how you got started?

Thank you. A few encouraging words mean a lot.

I've worked as a salaried employee for the last 15 years or so. My first job out of university was as a junior engineer, and over the years I worked my way up to being a senior engineer in a larger firm. I always felt I was being 'pigeon-holed', though.. good at my job within its bounds (designing circuits that work well and don't get sent back), but not to be allowed anywhere near the customers. I found that frustrating, as there was clearly a layer of obfuscation being imposed between the people who had problems, and the people who were potentially able to solve them.

A few years ago, a former colleague now working for another firm called me and said they had a technical problem that their own engineers couldn't solve, and asked me if I'd be interested in taking a look. I fixed the problem, produced a little report describing what it was and how I'd fixed it, sent them a bill, and thought nothing more of it.

Not long after, he called me again to say how impressed the team were with the work I'd done, and offered me regular work for 1 day a week. At the time I was getting a bit fed up with my full time job anyway, so I decided to take the risk and ask my boss for a reduction in my working week. "How would you like to save a few quid on the R&D budget?", was how I phrased it.

To cut a long story short, I ended up working a 3 day week, plus one day at the new company, and one day where I had to start finding my own customers independently. Once word got around that I was available, though, the phone started to ring, and I gradually found my '5th day' getting busier.

The first year, I did have days where I genuinely had no work to do. It was a little unsettling, but I put them to good use learning new skills that I thought might become useful one day. I'd been strictly hardware focused before, but since I now have to deliver complete products on my own without the benefit of a team to fill in my skills gaps, I now spend as much time writing embedded firmware as I do designing the boards it runs on. Those quiet days were the ones I used to study microcontrollers and learn C, and the effort has paid off a hundred times over.

By halfway through last year, I was working 7 days a week and it was starting to get on top of me, so I quit my job to focus on my own customers full time. I hoped that by giving up 3 days' work, that would mean I'd be working a 4 day week and would have long weekends to enjoy. I'd have time to be out riding my motorcycle, or taking photographs, or whatever else took my fancy. Work/life balance and all that.

It didn't work out like that! Four days soon became 5, then 6, then 7 again. Frankly, I should be working right now, and as soon as my cup of tea has soaked in, I'll be back in the lab.

A lot of it is about who you know. I'm eternally grateful to my friends, colleagues and other business contacts who have put me in touch with potential customers, and who have said nice things about the work I've done. So far, with only a few exceptions, they are the only way I've found work - or perhaps more accurately, work has found me. And I'm struggling to keep up with it all.

Offline linux-works

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #60 on: January 31, 2015, 05:51:47 pm »
btw, you may want to rethink this one line:

- have an excellent academic background, including a degree in Electronic Engineering (or a related subject) from a respected university

lots of people are good at the stuff you are looking for, but may not have a degree or degree from a snooty named place.
AndyC is trying to grow his business and put the best image forward to potential clients so its an entirely reasonable request. So the person needs to be practical, technically excellent and have a degree. There are plenty of degree'd people who fit that bill.

I still think the degree is noise.  it may be relevant for recent grads, but if you have 2 yrs working experience, that will mostly shadow the school stuff and the school stuff quickly becomes irrelevant, very fast.  the only thing school is useful for is to teach you to think; and many people can do that perfectly well (maybe better!) without formal college.

all I'm saying is that you may miss a true 'star' if you insist on sheepskins.

of course, if you get a star AND that guys has his degree, fine.  but look for the star (with work experience under his belt), first; the degree is secondary.
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #61 on: January 31, 2015, 07:14:54 pm »
The degree is more than just the knowledge acquired at college.

Self taught people tend to pick bad habits or they might not know how to work with others, or lack the discipline to learn a thing through without getting distracted with other aspects, or they stop researching once they have something that will work without digging deeper for a full understanding.

I wonder how many grand piano masters are self taught?
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #62 on: January 31, 2015, 07:26:45 pm »
The degree is more than just the knowledge acquired at college.

Self taught people tend to pick bad habits or they might not know how to work with others, or lack the discipline to learn a thing through without getting distracted with other aspects, or they stop researching once they have something that will work without digging deeper for a full understanding.

I wonder how many grand piano masters are self taught?

While I agree with you, someone is sure to point out that graduates can pick up bad habits etc.

One thing I have noticed is that people with degrees are less prone to assuming that their viewpoint is the only valid/correct viewpoint.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
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Online AndyC_772

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #63 on: January 31, 2015, 08:06:56 pm »
I guess as I'm the one specifying that applicants should have a degree, I should probably chip in here.

Almost all the good engineers I know, do have degrees. I've come across one or two who don't, but they're in a tiny minority, and are certainly outnumbered by people who don't have degrees and have a chip on their shoulder about people who do.

In my line of work - even before I started doing consultancy across a wide range of industries, but even more so now I do - I regularly find myself having to solve problems in areas that I've not come across before. I don't have experience to fall back on, and I'm sure we've all found ourselves in a similar position.

It's the sound theoretical background that I fall back on whenever I lack relevant experience. Knowing about how a control loop works, or how heat flows, or how waves propagate, have all been invaluable at one time or another - and not in a context I'd merely come across in a previous project.

I could go on, but suffice to say I think I'm a much better engineer today than I would be if I'd not spent four years learning the science, and its consequences, that underpin our industry.

Offline IanB

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #64 on: January 31, 2015, 08:19:19 pm »
I could go on, but suffice to say I think I'm a much better engineer today than I would be if I'd not spent four years learning the science, and its consequences, that underpin our industry.

 :-+

I think at least half of an engineering degree is getting a solid foundation in general scientific principles and their application.
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #65 on: January 31, 2015, 08:20:58 pm »
I guess as I'm the one specifying that applicants should have a degree, I should probably chip in here.

Almost all the good engineers I know, do have degrees. I've come across one or two who don't, but they're in a tiny minority, and are certainly outnumbered by people who don't have degrees and have a chip on their shoulder about people who do.

In my line of work - even before I started doing consultancy across a wide range of industries, but even more so now I do - I regularly find myself having to solve problems in areas that I've not come across before. I don't have experience to fall back on, and I'm sure we've all found ourselves in a similar position.

It's the sound theoretical background that I fall back on whenever I lack relevant experience. Knowing about how a control loop works, or how heat flows, or how waves propagate, have all been invaluable at one time or another - and not in a context I'd merely come across in a previous project.

I could go on, but suffice to say I think I'm a much better engineer today than I would be if I'd not spent four years learning the science, and its consequences, that underpin our industry.

Precisely. In all respects.

I'm continually unpleasantly surprised by the people that almost state they think degrees have little value. As with any community, there is an element of having a self-selected audience and confirmatory bias. I hope the inexperienced can see past that.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
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Online tom66

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #66 on: January 31, 2015, 08:26:17 pm »
The anti-institutional bias here is quite strong. The theory at my university is incredibly useful. However, I take one look at most of the students in my class, and wonder if they will ever get a job. Few can solder to even a reasonable level, even fewer can program or read a basic schematic. It really is baffling.
 

Offline zapta

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #67 on: January 31, 2015, 08:34:34 pm »
Self taught people tend to pick bad habits or they might not know how to work with others, or lack the discipline to learn a thing through without getting distracted with other aspects, or they stop researching once they have something that will work without digging deeper for a full understanding.

I have formal education in some disciplines and am self thought in others and the difference in depth of understanding is obvious. The formal education forces you to go through all those difficult and often boring details of the theory.
Drain the swamp.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #68 on: January 31, 2015, 08:42:15 pm »
The anti-institutional bias here is quite strong. The theory at my university is incredibly useful. However, I take one look at most of the students in my class, and wonder if they will ever get a job. Few can solder to even a reasonable level, even fewer can program or read a basic schematic. It really is baffling.
What is also baffling is that some manage to get a degree without knowing anything they should have learned in those 4 years. Still I'm with Andy about spending 4 years on learning the theory!
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline djsb

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #69 on: January 31, 2015, 08:57:23 pm »
What's important is Enthusiasm and a willingness to learn whatever age you are.  I learn something new every day where I work and I meet some wonderful students. Or maybe I only see my own enthusiasm reflected back. I hope Andy finds someone who can help him in his business.
David
Hertfordshire,UK
 University Electronics Technician, London PIC,CCS C,Arduino,Kicad, Altium Designer,LPKF S103,S62 Operator, Electronics instructor.  http://debuggingrules.com/ Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
 

Offline KJDS

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #70 on: January 31, 2015, 08:59:37 pm »
I went to see a customer a few years ago and he was in a bad mood, having spent his morning teaching people with Masters degrees to solder.

I pointed out that I'd rather spend a morning teaching someone to solder then a couple of months to get them proficient in control theory.

I actually had a half day lesson at university on soldering, not much, but enough to learn the basics. We also had an evening course through the first year learning proper metalworking, learning how to set up lathes and milling machines, welding and casting and that has occasionally been useful through my career.

Whilst I do believe that the theory and mathematics is the most important part of an engineering degree it would be better if some effort was made on real practical stuff.

Online tggzzz

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #71 on: January 31, 2015, 09:42:02 pm »
I pointed out that I'd rather spend a morning teaching someone to solder then a couple of months to get them proficient in control theory.

:)

Quote
Whilst I do believe that the theory and mathematics is the most important part of an engineering degree it would be better if some effort was made on real practical stuff.

If there's no practical, then it isn't a real engineering degree. Ditto theory.

Theory without practice is mental masturbation; practice without theory is blind fumbling.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
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Offline jpb

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #72 on: January 31, 2015, 10:19:22 pm »
Speaking as someone with an electronic degree (actually engineering science) I too have found the theory very useful in odd circumstances for example working out the structural soundness of a gold air bridge on a monolithic microwave integrated circuit.

But I would worry about someone who did an electronics degree without having sufficient interest in the subject to have done some hobby electronics including soldering. I got interested in electronics first and then chose to do it for a degree rather than say physics or maths which I might have done instead.

 

Online AndyC_772

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #73 on: January 31, 2015, 10:37:07 pm »
That's precisely why I chose to post the vacancy here first, before going via general job sites or agencies.

Chances are, if you're reading this, you're interested in electronics.

Offline Howardlong

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #74 on: February 01, 2015, 08:45:32 am »
I find that the bad contractors often get brought back repeatedly because it isn't obvious to management that they are bad. The product kinda works and when it needs updating they just get the same person back to do it. Sure, it takes them longer because of the crap design, but management doesn't know that.

The good contractors tend to become permanent anyway.

Interesting comments MC, because when I was doing contracts I found it was exactly the opposite! A complete generalisation, but I found that it was the more mediocre contractors were the ones who became permies. The really rubbish ones didn't see their contracts to full term. The good ones remained contractors. Indeed, it was not uncommon for good permies to leave on a Friday and come back on Monday as a contractor (that was indeed an offer I had, but declined, when I switched from permie to contractor).

It sounds like either your management are not very good or maybe there's something else? I am not sure how old you are but when I was much younger, as a permie, I have to say that I used to resent the way contractors were parachuted in for a few weeks or months and then disappeared.

When I switched to doing contract work myself I realised that the best way to survive was to take care in the work I did, and if that meant I did some of it at my own expense in my own time on occasion then so be it, but that was rare. The last contract I did I was brought in to a completely different role in a different area of a company I'd worked at before, based on an internal recommendation. They have indeed asked me back yet again since, but I have regretfully declined as I was busy working on my own projects. However I still get invited to, and attend, their team social events even though I haven't worked there for 2 1/2 years!

Why don't you have a chat with your manager about it? If you have resentment about the use of contractors, and how it's making you feel, as a permie you ought to be able to discuss that. If you don't think you want to, for whatever reason, maybe it's time to consider working somewhere different that is more in touch with their employees?
 

Offline KJDS

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #75 on: February 01, 2015, 10:01:03 am »
I find that the bad contractors often get brought back repeatedly because it isn't obvious to management that they are bad. The product kinda works and when it needs updating they just get the same person back to do it. Sure, it takes them longer because of the crap design, but management doesn't know that.

The good contractors tend to become permanent anyway.

Interesting comments MC, because when I was doing contracts I found it was exactly the opposite!
....

I was going to respond to that last night with the reply "boolox" but I'd had a few beers so thought it prudent not to comment.

I'm now sober, therefore I'm happy to say that good contractors becoming permies is indeed, bollox. I know about 100 contractors, one of whom has become a permie. The rest are still enjoying the benefits of contracting, as are quite a few of the permies I'd got to know.

Offline Stonent

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #76 on: February 01, 2015, 11:38:54 am »
I find in my line of work, IT, there tend to be a lot of people who just don't really understand in depth how things work.

Maybe I'd be an a-hole for doing it, but I'd consider asking an applicant to start at the outlet and describe in detail how a computer starts up all the way until the desktop is ready.

or "How might you install a driver that can't boot due to lack of that driver?"

I'd be impressed if I found someone who knows how to use the windows debugger to read crash-dump files.
The larger the government, the smaller the citizen.
 

Offline GK

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #77 on: February 01, 2015, 12:20:23 pm »
it would be nice to see more job ads on this forum.


I once had a similar thought; even suggested an employment classifieds section to the forum. However now considering the amount of bullshit that appears to get posted in every single job thread, I don't think so any longer.
Bzzzzt. No longer care, over this forum shit.........ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #78 on: February 01, 2015, 02:17:09 pm »
I find in my line of work, IT, there tend to be a lot of people who just don't really understand in depth how things work.

Maybe I'd be an a-hole for doing it, but I'd consider asking an applicant to start at the outlet and describe in detail how a computer starts up all the way until the desktop is ready.

or "How might you install a driver that can't boot due to lack of that driver?"

I'd be impressed if I found someone who knows how to use the windows debugger to read crash-dump files.

I've been out of IT for a couple of years now, but I was in it in one form or another since the mid 70s and I agree. Knowing the fundamentals helps you identify problems as entire systems as opposed to the more typical blinkered approach. The typical programmer says the immortal phrase "it's a network problem" when they haven't really go a clue, the network guy says it's a server problem, and the server guy says it's an app problem. Having an open mind and a broad range of skills is automatically nurtured by knowing the fundamentals, but nowadays people are pigeon holed and having a broad range of skills isn't valued.

I'd have loved it if someone had asked me to start at the outlet in an interview, they might end up with quite a bit more than they bargained for that's for sure.

Not sure if I could answer your other two questions nowadays, although at one point in my career I did write quite a number of graphics drivers for Windows 2.0, 2.1 and 3.0, back in the days where a good deal of that stuff was still in assembler, and you counted your instruction cycles. We used Symdeb back then, but more recently it became windbg and I think KD? or something, plus you needed a bunch of OS symbol files appropriate to your OS version (there were also debug versions of some Windows versions, not sure if that still applies) to figure out. As you can prolly tell it's been a while...
 

Offline Galenbo

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #79 on: February 02, 2015, 07:06:47 pm »
I went to see a customer a few years ago and he was in a bad mood, having spent his morning teaching people with Masters degrees to solder.

I pointed out that I'd rather spend a morning teaching someone to solder then a couple of months to get them proficient in control theory.

So why doesn't he hire Masters that have proven their skills to solder?
Was their management course result more important?

I solder since I was 12 years old, including plastic toys.

Chances are that the ones that can solder are way better in control theory, too.
Not in repeating the graphs, words and formulas, but in looking at the result and defining possible shortcomings.
If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a nonworking cat.
 

Offline KJDS

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #80 on: February 02, 2015, 08:23:58 pm »
I went to see a customer a few years ago and he was in a bad mood, having spent his morning teaching people with Masters degrees to solder.

I pointed out that I'd rather spend a morning teaching someone to solder then a couple of months to get them proficient in control theory.

So why doesn't he hire Masters that have proven their skills to solder?
Was their management course result more important?

I solder since I was 12 years old, including plastic toys.

Chances are that the ones that can solder are way better in control theory, too.
Not in repeating the graphs, words and formulas, but in looking at the result and defining possible shortcomings.

Why do you think that a correlation might occur between soldering skills and control theory

Offline linux-works

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #81 on: February 02, 2015, 08:44:34 pm »
Why do you think that a correlation might occur between soldering skills and control theory

I think I see a correlation.  too much coffee -> shaking hands -> can't control the position of the soldering iron well.

LOL


"It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed, the hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion."


that's control theory, right?  back off the coffee so you can solder properly?

(heh)
 

Offline jpb

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #82 on: February 02, 2015, 08:55:24 pm »

Why do you think that a correlation might occur between soldering skills and control theory

One of my lecturers (in computer science) told us that there was a high degree of correlation between the time at which people found the room for the registration and induction at the start of the degree course and the resultant class of degree at the end.

His suggestion was it would save a lot of time and effort if they didn't bother with final exams and just awarded degrees in the order at which candidates came to the introductory talk! :)
 

Offline zapta

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #83 on: February 02, 2015, 09:24:53 pm »
Why do you think that a correlation might occur between soldering skills and control theory

Because soldering is one of his stronger skills.  People come with all kinds of strange rationales to justify why they are valuable more than others.
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline Galenbo

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #84 on: February 04, 2015, 05:32:55 pm »
Why do you think that a correlation might occur between soldering skills and control theory

1. I see no inverse correlation, the way you stated it.

2. Don't mention "control theory", please specify, like:
 
A) writing down an exact copy of something in a book about control theory
B) making a painting about a guy explaining control theory
C) a guy that knows how to apply what he learnt in the lessons control theory, in a real experiment
D) ...

I choose C, you can choose the same, or another.

What I saw in my education as engineer, is that there was only a minority that was hands-on, and guess what? VERY often they were multi-hands-on. They repaired their bycicle, played with electronic kits, made something in wood, made an RC plane, and so on.

When we were in projects, those hands-on of course were better and faster in soldering, making a base plate, but also in applying control theory. They went straight forward over the known issues like V-max and V+max, PID factor limiting, simple filtering, installing a fast working demo, doing some tests on it and then, with that data, open the books and see how to refine.

In big contrast to the so-called theorists, still discussing about the usage of the right word, arguing about overcomplex models till none of them knew anymore what they were talking about. Every time again. Think they all ended up in sales and management. At least I saw their efforts afterward.



   

« Last Edit: February 04, 2015, 05:35:13 pm by Galenbo »
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Offline Galenbo

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #85 on: February 04, 2015, 05:40:18 pm »
Why do you think that a correlation might occur between soldering skills and control theory

Because soldering is one of his stronger skills.  People come with all kinds of strange rationales to justify why they are valuable more than others.

Thanks for the compliment. I consider myself as just-above-average in the practice of soldering.

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

Online tom66

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #86 on: February 04, 2015, 09:31:42 pm »
The soldering skills of most students at Leeds Uni leave a lot to be desired, but they can't entirely be blamed as my university does not provide tuition. Sigh.
 

Offline jlmoon

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Re: [UK] Job ad: Wanted, electronic engineer
« Reply #87 on: March 25, 2015, 03:52:18 pm »


btw, you may want to rethink this one line:

- have an excellent academic background, including a degree in Electronic Engineering (or a related subject) from a respected university

lots of people are good at the stuff you are looking for, but may not have a degree or degree from a snooty named place.  in fact, I've had more luck with self-trained hw/sw guys than ones who went to famous name schools.

judge the person, not their sheepskin.  that's my advice, fwiw.  and good luck, hope you find your employee.

+1


Amen!    +1
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