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Bait and switch

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Test_engineer
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re: Bait and switch
Test_engineer   4/18/2011 1:46:04 PM
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Before you do, you might want to read up on "Operation Paperclip". The essence of this story was: It's not who you are (or were), but what you know. Most professions and trades deal with very specialized knowledge; for example, heart doctors, licensed electricians. On the other hand, guys and gals who have chosen to work in embedded electronics have to go the opposite way. They have to have strong knowledge in a wide variety of subjects ranging from DSP to wavelet analysis to advanced math; and, I'm not even including technical writing and the other soft skills. In other words,embedded IT people have to be generalists, not specialists.

KB3001
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re: Bait and switch
KB3001   4/13/2011 8:02:04 PM
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@cdhmanning, I concur.

cdhmanning
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re: Bait and switch
cdhmanning   4/13/2011 1:13:48 AM
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Surely the American Dream has always been about access to opportunities. The Dreamers (for want of a better phrase) that traveled from Europe saw that there were opportunities for a man (and very seldom a woman) to work hard or invest well and make a comfortable life. You were the master of your destiny. Of course that did not apply to all people coming to America. eg. slaves. These days immigration (legal and illegal) continues because many people still see America as providing better opportunities than their native countries. Increasingly though they are heading to other parts of the world. At some point (perhaps the mid 1950s) the opportunities were many and the need to work hard dropped off. The American Dream was replaced by an inflated sense of entitlement. That sense of entitlement now conflicts with globalisation. Jobs are just jobs, but Americans see them as "American Jobs". Why should an American auto-worker or engineer have more right to jobs than an Asian? Why should they be paid more? Why should a unionised American auto-worker have a guaranteed USD100k/year job for doing what the market says is only worth $10k/year. The book argues for professional protectionism (after all that's all registration etc really are). I argue that this would kill of American industry faster. Such professional registration allows doctors (and even plumbers and electricians) to charge inflated prices. That might work for a short period, but would inflate the costs of the whole industry. There is a big difference between a doctor (or even a plumber for that matter) and an engineer. The engineer's work can be taken offshore with nothing hoilding it to a specific location. A doctor (or plumber) can't be undercut effectively because there is no practical way to send a sick person (or leaky toilet) overseas to be fixed.

KB3001
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re: Bait and switch
KB3001   4/12/2011 11:03:17 AM
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Elaborate please :-)

KB3001
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re: Bait and switch
KB3001   4/12/2011 11:03:01 AM
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I am saying the problem is much deeper and wider than some might think. Engineering is just another discipline and instead of trying to argue for a special status (noble profession etc.) I think we should go to the root of the problem i.e. the wider political, economic and social organisation of the developed world.

KB3001
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re: Bait and switch
KB3001   4/9/2011 3:48:45 PM
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@Richard, I am not sure there has even been a golden age when workers were fairly rewarded for their hard work. The people who had the capital have always exploited workers one way or another. In the days of plenty, things do not appear bad, but when things get tougher, the exploitation becomes very clear for everybody to see. PS. The American Dream worked for some but failed miserably for others, and I am not sure it's such a revolutionary idea either. At various stages of human history, people moved from one place to another to seek new opportunities. In the 19th century, for instance, Britain was a magnet for German and other European entrepreneurs, artists and intellectuals. They just did not call it the British Dream then :-)

KB3001
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CEO
re: Bait and switch
KB3001   4/9/2011 3:39:41 PM
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I agree. It's the power of capitalism and no discipline is immune to it.

resistion
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re: Bait and switch
resistion   4/9/2011 1:43:54 PM
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Education will suffer the outcome of the profession.

Luis Sanchez
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re: Bait and switch
Luis Sanchez   4/9/2011 5:01:56 AM
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All this reminds me of another book. "Who ate my cheese". I think is an exaggeration but the phrase "The only constant is the change" applies here. Nothing has a guarantee that will last forever and the engineering isn't exempt of suffering a shift of location. Seems quite logical that outsourcing manufacturing and development would result in a switch of jobs in engineering but, I'm a little surprised that no one decided to avoid this at the proper time. I think the forces of business are stronger than the desire of man to govern their environment. But perhaps all this responds to a natural development of a country whereas a puberty stage is related with technological development and the young adulthood is focused on bringing innovation and new business models. Don't you think?

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