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So Much Work, So Little Time for Engineers

8/19/2014 09:00 AM EDT
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kfield
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Re: Taking Up Engineering Time
kfield   8/22/2014 2:27:54 PM
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@DrQuine  "As multi-tasking expands, the associated inefficiencies become more burdensome."

The question is whether anyone can really multi-task well, we all talk about the need to do it, but I am sure performance overall suffers.

DrQuine
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Taking Up Engineering Time
DrQuine   8/22/2014 2:02:58 PM
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As multi-tasking expands, the associated inefficiencies become more burdensome. Time accounting when working on multiple projects becomes an increasing burden as does reporting progress to multiple managers and the associated meetings overhead. Finally, managing the computers adds to the burden: when a computer demands 20 minutes to install a critical software update or shutdown, productivity suffers.

DrFPGA
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Re: Engineering is Fun
DrFPGA   8/22/2014 11:21:51 AM
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just other puzzles to solve- how to manage your manager, how to prioritize, how to find the right company to work for, etc... (Maybe not the type of puzzles most engineers were trained for however!)

kfield
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Re: Engineering is Fun
kfield   8/22/2014 11:06:46 AM
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DrFPGA: Well- it seems to me that many (well at least some) engineers work long hours because they are having fun. Getting paid to solve puzzles, build things and be creative- living the dream..

I think you make a really good point. THe complaint is rarely "i had too many puzzles to solve," it's usually around busy work, meetings, and silly management edicts that frustate engineers the most.

DrFPGA
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Engineering is Fun
DrFPGA   8/21/2014 6:29:21 PM
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Well- it seems to me that many (well at least some) engineers work long hours because they are having fun. Getting paid to solve puzzles, build things and be creative- living the dream...

rick merritt
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Productivity
rick merritt   8/21/2014 3:38:00 PM
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All the new ways to communicate (Skype, Fbook, Twitter, Chat..oh and email) have afforded us new ways to talk to anyone, anytime and create new virtual communities, but they have also created a time sink.

When I first got on Facebook a colleague said "Welcome and say goodbye to anoither 45 minutes a day!"

 

Anand.Yaligar
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Re: So true!
Anand.Yaligar   8/20/2014 12:29:53 PM
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I think attending client calls (unless you are in a core company like IBM Research, Microsoft Research, Google etc) is what gobbles up most of the time of engineers. I've heard such junior engineers spending their time playing games on the office PlayStation, and they couldn't go home because the client calls would have come at any time. So they were made to sit all through the day.

Anand.Yaligar
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Managing work hours
Anand.Yaligar   8/20/2014 12:27:20 PM
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 "The claim is real -- engineers are busier than ever, but it's management's job to set the priorities and fight for more resources," Foster stressed."

Managing work hours is crucial if you want your engineers to stay focused and competitive. Most engineers fail to do this, and thus it is the managers job to force them into a fixed regime that includes adequate rest and excercise.

Measurement.Blues
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Re: So true!
Measurement.Blues   8/20/2014 9:54:11 AM
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how many really tough problems do you solve when you are not staring at them but instead you are doing something completely separate, like walking, reading a book, even sleeping?

We've all come up with ideas when we're not staring at our work, but how much of our time is spent on "busy" work, the kind that has to be done but is monotonous, requiring no thought? We often need to longer hours just to do that.

zbo
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bad managers
zbo   8/19/2014 8:52:12 PM
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There are just people out there that shouldn't be managers. Actually, let me rephrase. There are managers out that that us as engineers shouldn't take crap from and bother working for. I've learned enough that life's too short to be involved in bad work.

 

Scenario #1 - you're employed and have been looking elsewhere. The manager interested in having an interview should never call the person out of the blue if that person has an email address in the resume. If the manager is asking for basic things that are already in the resume, he has not taken the time to review it. This is a job you should not waste time persuing because that would be an idiot you'll need to deal with - unless you're out of work and need the money

 

Scenario #2 - Manager should be looking out for his/her team members. If you're in a meeting with other teams where the other team is reporting a problem with the project, don't start immediately putting blame at your own guys in front of other people without fully understanding the situation.

 

Scenario #3 - There are managers that solely care about numbers and bookings. They're pure sales weasels, not there to manage. Well, I guess 'manage' would be the appropriate term, since they're not there to 'lead'.  In any case, they are ones that are so disconnected with technology, people that work for them, completely disregards effots that their team puts in, show no remorse when people from his team leaves. They're so high up in the food chain that they're most interested is how much commission they get from bookings.

 

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