I found early on in my career that I needed to create and not just design. The creating in the early years took the form of woodworking, making custom pieces to fit into my 125+ year old house. There was a lot of satisfaction in building something by hand in wood. As I have moved on from just basic design to system level development I find that the architecture of a system provides a much needed opportunity for creativeness. I still work in wood but now more often work building the components of a system into something that is better than just the sum of the components. System level holistic design is and can be very rewarding for the both sides of the brain. Enjoy the season and Merry Christmas (or Happy Hanukkah) to all.
I look forward to this time of year for the holidays and time off with family of course, but also because the solstice roughly coincides with the beginning of ski season in the western U.S. There is nothing quite like the feeling of freedom and exhilaration one experiences while gliding down a forest-laden snow capped mountain on a clear, sunny winter day.
As for creativity in engineering, I have had some conversations with my daughter on this subject. Some of her fellow engineering students think that the profession requires only excellence in math & science, and not so much skill in written or verbal communication, or people skills. My advice to her was to think of the math & science skills as tools in a toolbox, much as a custom furniture maker has his box of woodworking tools and the skills to use them.
But just as skill with woodworking tools does not make one a successful furniture maker, the best engineers also require a great deal more than skillful mastery of their toolset. The right-brain skills are often the ones that make all the difference -- the ability to see things from a different perspective, the ability to express complex ideas in simple terms, and the ability to form persuasive arguments backed by facts -- yes, salesmanship is an important skill for engineers too.
If asked which engineering courses I feel we're the most important to my career development, I'm inclined to say they weren't engineering courses at all, but rather, all the non-engineering courses that at the time seemed so unimportant.
Here in India , especially in my city Pune, this period is one of the best in terms of weather, The night temperature drops down to about 10 deg C and the days maximum is around 27 deg C. These cool mornings make me get up and have a refreshing jog in the nearby park , then enjoy a hot cup of tea. Christmas and the new year is celebrated with high spirits and festivity and nigh long parties.
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
Brought to you by