3) I agree that the Harvard and Chicago business schools types really don't have a clue. Then again these people are taught that they can mangage anything, this would be the definition of clueless.
4) If you honestly think that people (Management and Engineering) is doing this for anyone but themselves, you might want to look closely at your experieced life. In the end I try to do what is best for the guy to my left and too my right(hence friends). But in the end you have to watch out for yourself. Even a boss that is helping you with classes and career development is looking out for themselves(you perform = them looking good).
4) One of the hardest things is too get an older engineer to teach up and comings. A truly fantastic engineer will go out of their way to teach less experienced staff.
5) The line about the young managers being intimidated by their elders literally had me ROFL. Whenever I have and issue with an older engineer it falls into three categories: 1) He assumes he knows better and is unwilling to back it up with science("Thats how it is done"), 2) Fundamental lack of respect ("You whippersnapper", yes I have literally been called a whippersnapper), 3) Lack of productivity/innovation, usually related to doing the same thing for twenty years with the same people.
In the end this isn't meant to be a flame but a reminder. That at one time an older engineer looked down on you and equated your age to your skill and wouldn't listen to what you had to say.
Feel free to comment
At the ripe old age of 31 I guess I would be consider one of those young engineers. I've spent time in both a large and small company and thoroughly enjoy the small company more. Yes, I run a team of older and younger engineers, while leading technically. Yes, I'm overworked and underpayed. Yes, I've spent my time wimpering under the table from what some marketing weenie wants, yet I still talk to customers.
I normally just enjoy reading the posts but I think it was time for one my still thumb sucking generation to say something.
1) There is a lot of equating here that a older engineer = good engineer. Age and experience do go hand in hand only to a degree. I could jump on the S.S. Pontification regarding all of the older engineers I've met that can't design how to find the butt with two hands. In the end, experience is about what you have done, where you have been and did you learn from your mistakes. If you spent 20yrs on one piece of software(COBOL programmers) or hardware(defense hardware) you probably don't know much.
2) The difference between an optimist and a pessimist is not experience but how many times the world has been piled on you. So guess what boomers, you have been kicked around for most of your lives, hence why you went from being great optimists to some of the most pessimistic people I have ever known. As I see the world before us I can feel pessimism gnawing but can only hope that I will still maintain my optimism for my children's sake.
This technical vs. management track has been an issue for a long time, and apparently still is. There is always this pressure to move to management; one is not considered a success unless this happens. Well, some of us have neither management skills nor aspirations, and recognize this; we DO have contributions to make on the technical side. But most companies are making it clear that they do not value such contributions from older engineers, and when pressed, the dreaded cost, time, speed, and health excuses come out...
I recognise but avoided most of these dilemas by changing carers and employer about every six years. Always accomplishing something that was not done before and left while on top, not for money, but for a new challenge. When told I was very good at something,and I would be doing it for a while, then I knew it was time for a change.
Now I am retired and every day is Saturday.
Since I was laid off in 2002 at age 47, I've had 5 different jobs, 3 out of 5 of them through contract engineering firms. Actually, if you count the job that went from contract to direct and the job that changed from one contract engineering firm to another, it's actually 7 jobs. All but one time (I didn't like the work I was doing & found another job), I was laid off from the job I was working at. Various reasons were given like the amount of work the company was getting was going down, the contract the company had (that I was working on) ended.
Each time I've been laid off, it seems like it gets harder to find another job. It's difficult to find a way to "get a foot in the door" to even talk to someone rather than being relegated to electronic resume and cover 'letter' submission only.
I'm not sure whether the blame for this lies with management or the HR people or the program the HR people decide to use to filter resumes. I just know that as I get older it seems to be getting much harder to stay with doing electronic design, which is what I really enjoy doing (and learning about new parts and applications).
Selfishness. Selfishness. Selfishness.
Shareholders are selfish.
Managers are selfish.
Employees are selfish.
Everyone works to maximize their own benefit.
However, the irony is when any of the parts suffers the whole suffers.
Maximization of benefits (longterm) happens
only when all parts win. However, due to ignorance or lack of concern selfishness seems to dominate and that is why there's problems.
However, it does start with management.
Good management works to make sure both the shareholders as well as the employees win - and of course the managers as well.
Let's get back to the win-win-win philosophy. It's the only one that wins long term.
My vote for written word of the week goes to tfc (see above) for:
The naive young engineer parrots sales saying "yes, we can do it!" while the experienced engineer is rocking under the desk, whimpering over and over "I'm going to my happy place."