Most of us work in some sort of chain, (or tower, if you prefer), producing work that depends on others, and is in turn depended on. (E.g. business or functional logic encoded in software that depends on hardware to work. I've always felt it desirable to have at least an outline understanding of the neighbouring fields. Hardware people need to know something about physics and chemistry on one side, and software on the other. Similarly, software types need to know a bit of hardware and some business, and so it goes on.
Sweet. Ten years later after I worked for a certain solution “froward” company that my EEtimes story was based. In a recent 2015 interview one of those special people, who is no longer with said company, told an interviewer something that was strange and likely not true, if what was said was really said and not redacted. I asked for clarification from the interviewer about what was said or if they even had the right person and the interviewers are being tight lipped about who spewed. Just goes to show that if you do the right thing for an employer and they ultimately benefited, the ex-sycophants still years later whine that their obtuse behinds which they roasted in the fire for years was scorched and was my fault because I came by and pointed out they may be happier turning around. Makes me wonder how many other of my interviews/jobs these people have ruined over ten years.
I worked for a company for 12 years designing a range of fibre optic switches. (check out the spelling of fibre!)
My bit was the opto-mechanics. I can sympathise deeply with the sentiments in these posts. Guys, I feel your pain. One of the posts earlier mentioned that it is obvious when mechanics isn't working, but not so software and electronics. In the fibre switch, the mechanics was small and delicate, and small mechanical disturbances (thermal, vibration, electrical noise) could make a difference but it wasn't obvious by observation. When there was a problem the blame was assigned thus:-
1. it's a mechanical problem, the mirror is in the wrong place (it was once many years previously but not on the five plus subsequent problems)
2. Right, the mechanics is OK, must be an electrical problem
3. Right the electrics is OK, must be a software problem
Usually the 'head in charge would decide on what the root cause was and waste time and money trying to fix something that wasn't broken. The three disciplines had enough respect for each other to get on and sort the problem (eventually when the management "help" had evaporated when the solution was looking intractable)
Oh, and I relate to the story above about the saw project that was estimated to take 2 months scheduled to be done in one month and quoted to the customer as 2 weeks.
I don't work for that company any more :-)
Fresh real-life example: A few weeks ago I released code that worked exactly as expected on prototype hardware. When used on the next board-spin of prototypes, it didn't work, which of course meant it was a software fault. Yesterday it was proven that not only was the circuit changed, but a wrong part had been used on the dozen proto builds, so it wasn't even the proper changed circuit. Put in the right part, and the software works again. Gee, what a concept.
This is the second story about the hardware induced noise I read here. Since noise mixed in a signal is so common and most of the time it is random, problems happen here and there somehow give a hint, even not strong and clear.
A specific software in general will hardly produce random troubles here and there.
Software and hardware are often trained by management to blame each other :-)
(As in: when the "real" mission to create and ship and SUCCEED [as a team] is derailed into the "fake" mission to grab credit and avoid fault, this blame-game usually results...)