I want to piggyback on Naomi Price's post about our new endeavor, "Define Yourself." Out on the road these past nine months, I've met more than 1,000 engineers and the ones I talk to at any length are like all other engineers: curious, engaged, skeptical, practical. Engineers seem largely optimistic about the world.
But that's counter to what we read here often. Last year, we did a survey about job satisfaction. The results were underwhelming. Many times commenters talk about a dying profession in North America, jobs drifting overseas, lack of respect in the work place.
So, in the spirit of "Define Yourself," let's lay the cards on the table. Please answer the following, in the comment field below:
"Engineering is the _____________ profession in the world because ____________."
Engineering provided me with great fulfillment. I created equipment to help blind people. I did the circuit design, mechanical design, PCB design, and then production engineering. Thousands of people's lives were improved by my work.
In the last project, I did not only rf design, but I wrote the software for the computer that interacted between the transmitter, the user and the radio circuitry. Imagine designing a whole system that actually worked. And then I designed the test equipment for production testing.
Unfortunately, my lawyer stole all of the company assets, plus tens of thousands from the IRS and hundreds of thousands from the banks. The banks destroyed my career trying to recover the stolen money.
Being a good engineer is not enough to run a business. You must know whom to trust!
@Acteon2, I have sort of the opposite problem; my employer is great (making lots of money, growing, treats us well), but my job and my boss, uh, not so much. But, tenacity being a valuable trait in this business, I'm not giving up by any means.
When I was in college (1983-1988), I figured that getting a BSEE was the quickest, surest way to make the most money. That's not why I chose to do what I do (I just love designing and building circuits), but it seems to be true. There are slower but sure ways, like going to grad school or med school or law school, and less sure ways like starting a business or "going Hollywood". And of course Walmart is always hiring if you want quick and sure, but you won't make much money.
Engineering is the greatest profession in the world because it is the closest to creation a mortal can get. I mean that in the most reverent way possible to our Creator.
Engineering is kind of like Olympic figure skating where the judges tell you that the schedule has been changed suddenly and now you only have 2 minutes to do your 3 minute routine and they've also added in a new jump that the crowd told them they wanted and the judges sketch it out quickly for you on the back of an envelope...and then suddenly the lights dim and the music starts and you step out onto the ice... ;)
Engineering is the most undervalued profession in the Western world because we do such amazing things with such apparent ease that nobody believes it takes skill and experience. (It seems a lot like watching Olympic figure skaters. Problem is most of those out there wouldn't try to design circuits, so they don't gain appreciation through the bruises those of us foolish to try a triple Lutz have.)
Sounds like a place I used to work. I left and found a fun place to work. I used to get a giggle out of one employee at that company who had a screen saver with a count-down clock to retirement (didn't work, when 0 should have been reached the benefits had been reduced enough that he still couldn't retire).
But the "t" isn't exactly right next to the "b" on a keyboard, making that a very odd and curious mistake to make.
Anyway, my dad used to say to me "When God was handing out smarts you got in line for darts." To which I would respond "No dad, I suck at darts too." And now I'm an engineer. How about that? Come to think of it he had one hell of a train set.
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.