Oh man, I've had nights where an entire shared webserver goes down due to some stupid tiny thing and it takes HOURS of rebooting and tweaking to figure out how you messed it up. I can't imagine having to begin my shift after the ordeal though!
Quite an experience. Can relate to what author has described. This reminds me of one of many experiences in my career where we had sleepness nights. When we were to release our first design schematics fir digital set top box we kept reviewing the design and making sure nothing goes wrong.and when the first three boards arrive, the days never end as we wanted to see the board bring up successful.
Sheetal, not much matches the pressure of having an auto company production line stop because of your machine. And that kind of happening draws big attention quite quickly. Plant manager in just over a minute, and then higher ups quite quickly after that. I never caused one, but I have been part of the recovery team, showing that the backup machine was ready to take over in just a very few seconds. That was a good feeling.
Karen, About handling stress, during a recent job interview the question came up about handling stress, and my response elicited an additional question: "and what do you consider a high stress situation?" To which I responded, "coming under heavy automatic weapons fire, sir", which sort of ended the questioning. Certainly supporting data communications can be quite a high pressure ordeal, no doubt. But sometimes it helps to check ones perspective.
Really, it would be quite interesting to know what took out that big a chunk of communications all at once. It would be interesting a nd educational to know, and possibly even useful.
I have my suspicions about an oscillator problem somewhere in the system but being that I think I replaced everything this doesn't seem likely. Another option that no one ever would admit would be a problem with the satellite itself, but I didn't have a vector signal analyser to look for distortions in the constellations. On the spectrum analyser everything looked great which is 95% of the indication in most circumstances. It surely would have been a better story if I had know why!
I couldn't say specifically if you can train fear out because I haven't had to. But I suppose with the right coaching I suspect you might, sitting with someone showing you how to be confident in your work. Ultimately much of it comes down to self-confident and stepping back, but ultimately you have to stop and realise it doesn't matter. I have other stories about people under pressure in middle-east conflict zones where life and death is real, but in most peoples daily life it isn't so you can relax and do your job.
I certainly agree about gender not being in the capability qualifcation matrix. As engineers,I evaluate them exclusively on abilities and skillsets. That is different from evaluating people as able to work on a team, which some otherwise very capable engineers that I have met just can't work with others. So what makes an exellent engineering team member is a bit more demanding than just what makes a really good engineer. The ability to communicate clearly and accurately is vital as well. And none of that seems to be gender dependant.