Design Con 2015
Breaking News
News & Analysis

So Much Work, So Little Time for Engineers

8/19/2014 09:00 AM EDT
38 comments
NO RATINGS
1 saves
Page 1 / 2 Next >
More Related Links
View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
<<   <   Page 2 / 4   >   >>
RDC IP
User Rank
Freelancer
Theoretical limit
RDC IP   9/1/2014 1:01:50 PM
NO RATINGS
cutting jobs will reach a theoretical limit when a single engineer has to attend two meetings at the same time in different locations.  development plans, ratings, six sigma, iso 900x, all are a waste of time.

David Ashton
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Taking Up Engineering Time
David Ashton   8/31/2014 5:58:01 PM
NO RATINGS
@Karen...Love those rosy cheeks!!

kfield
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Productivity
kfield   8/31/2014 11:14:07 AM
NO RATINGS
@rick merritt "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."

You didn't mention the time spent avoiding being found as well!

kfield
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Do more with less
kfield   8/31/2014 11:13:03 AM
NO RATINGS
@mosspp "I remember the first time many years ago when a pointy-haired manager said to our team, "we just have to do more with less."

 

I would love to see some very specific examples of "doing more with less," and the associated trade-offs. Like, does quality suffer?

kfield
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Taking Up Engineering Time
kfield   8/31/2014 11:10:30 AM
NO RATINGS
@ C VanDorne @Kfield, I dig your caricature.  Where did you get it done and can it be made available to us out here in the trenches?

 

You mean this?

 

This is the full image:  

Dan Guidera, the guy who also does our cartoon did it for me. i Love his work, he also made me a witch for Halloween! I can get you in touch with Dan if you'd like one of your own--he can work off of any photo!

 

 

C VanDorne
User Rank
CEO
Re: Taking Up Engineering Time
C VanDorne   8/25/2014 1:53:13 PM
NO RATINGS
And now for something completely different:

@Kfield, I dig your caricature.  Where did you get it done and can it be made available to us out here in the trenches?

Reverse Engineer
User Rank
Freelancer
This is news?
Reverse Engineer   8/23/2014 10:51:36 PM
NO RATINGS
I don't recall hours being shorter in the good ol' pre-internet days.  But silly cost cutting and management interference (especially with schedules and resources) is worse than ever.

Sure, productivity is higher because tools are better and information easier to get, but projects are so much bigger and complex they trip over themselves, in no small part to overblown features that may get little or no use.  Yet management techniques haven't scaled up to properly coordinate these huge productions so chaos is barely contained.

Whatever happened to small is beautiful?

MalaysianEngineer
User Rank
Rookie
Didn't Silicon Valley bring back the long work hours?
MalaysianEngineer   8/22/2014 7:36:32 PM
NO RATINGS
Read somewhere that the trend for longer working hours was due to the fact that silicon valley engineers worked so hard in the 1960s and 1970s that it was promoted as a culture of excellence to the rest of the US?

Got this from an article http://www.salon.com/2012/03/14/bring_back_the_40_hour_work_week/:

"The first is the emergence of Silicon Valley as an economic powerhouse in the late 1970s. Since WWII, the valley had attracted a unique breed of worker — scientists and technologists who carried with them a singular passion for research and innovation. Asperger's Syndrome wasn't named and identified until 1994, but by the 1950s, the defense industries in California's Santa Clara Valley were already drawing in brilliant young men and women who fit the profile: single-minded, socially awkward, emotionally detached and blessed (or cursed) with a singular, unique, laser-like focus on some particular area of obsessive interest. For these people, work wasn't just work; it was their life's passion, and they devoted every waking hour to it, usually to the exclusion of non-work relationships, exercise, sleep, food and sometimes even personal care. The popular stereotype of the geek was born in some real truths about the specific kinds of people who were drawn to tech in those early years.

The culture that grew up in the valley over the next few decades reflected and valorized the peculiarities of what Lockheed's company psychologists were calling by the late '50s "the sci-tech personality." Companies broadened their working hours, so programmers who came in at noon and worked through till midnight could make their own schedules. Dress codes were loosened; personal eccentricities were celebrated. HP famously brought in breakfast every morning so its engineers would remember to eat. The local 24-hour supermarket carried microchips alongside the potato chips, so techies working in their garages could stop in at 2am for snacks and parts."

 

Perhaps they expect all of us to be the same as those quoted in the article above?

 

Although I do admit that I spend most of my weekends working on my pet projects, it would suck if I had to do company work.

 

 

MalaysianEngineer
User Rank
Rookie
Didn't Silicon Valley bring back the long work hours?
MalaysianEngineer   8/22/2014 7:36:26 PM
NO RATINGS
Read somewhere that the trend for longer working hours was due to the fact that silicon valley engineers worked so hard in the 1960s and 1970s that it was promoted as a culture of excellence to the rest of the US?

Got this from an article http://www.salon.com/2012/03/14/bring_back_the_40_hour_work_week/:

"The first is the emergence of Silicon Valley as an economic powerhouse in the late 1970s. Since WWII, the valley had attracted a unique breed of worker — scientists and technologists who carried with them a singular passion for research and innovation. Asperger's Syndrome wasn't named and identified until 1994, but by the 1950s, the defense industries in California's Santa Clara Valley were already drawing in brilliant young men and women who fit the profile: single-minded, socially awkward, emotionally detached and blessed (or cursed) with a singular, unique, laser-like focus on some particular area of obsessive interest. For these people, work wasn't just work; it was their life's passion, and they devoted every waking hour to it, usually to the exclusion of non-work relationships, exercise, sleep, food and sometimes even personal care. The popular stereotype of the geek was born in some real truths about the specific kinds of people who were drawn to tech in those early years.

The culture that grew up in the valley over the next few decades reflected and valorized the peculiarities of what Lockheed's company psychologists were calling by the late '50s "the sci-tech personality." Companies broadened their working hours, so programmers who came in at noon and worked through till midnight could make their own schedules. Dress codes were loosened; personal eccentricities were celebrated. HP famously brought in breakfast every morning so its engineers would remember to eat. The local 24-hour supermarket carried microchips alongside the potato chips, so techies working in their garages could stop in at 2am for snacks and parts."

 

Perhaps they expect all of us to be the same as those quoted in the article above?

 

Although I do admit that I spend most of my weekends working on my pet projects, it would suck if I had to do company work.

 

 

mosspp
User Rank
Freelancer
Re: Do more with less
mosspp   8/22/2014 3:56:42 PM
NO RATINGS
I remember the first time many years ago when a pointy-haired manager said to our team, "we just have to do more with less."  I thought, yeah I can see where this is going.  Eventually we'll be asked to do everything with nothing.

<<   <   Page 2 / 4   >   >>
Radio
NEXT UPCOMING BROADCAST
EE Times Senior Technical Editor Martin Rowe will interview EMC engineer Kenneth Wyatt.
Top Comments of the Week
Like Us on Facebook

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
EE Times on Twitter
EE Times Twitter Feed
Flash Poll