Engineer vs. Tech

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by jaygatsby, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. jaygatsby

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 23, 2011
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    Occasionally I see some subtle anti-tech hate on here, so I wanted to get some feeback from the masses.

    I started off as a tech. Did military, then years as a tech. I worked with engineers, and realized that I knew vastly more than they did about tech. I could intuitively understand solutions for problems involving things like code, web, radio and satcom, whereas they knew numbers and how to conform to standards.

    The engineers knew their topic. But seemed to have problems with flexibility. Seemed to be unable to span a broad range of technology. An EE seems to always suck at coding. A radio guy is confused by Unix or web technologies.

    I made vast sums of money as a tech. Because I was very, very good. More than I'll ever make as an engineer, I think... but now I am in engineering school. It's hard, it gives me epiphanies and teaches me wonderful things. Aside from the military, it's the best professional decision I've ever made.

    Having experienced both, I still think that techs are more capable of forming technology to their will than an engineer is. An engineer... actually a team of them, can make something through trial and error. But a good tech can form solutions out of relatively nothing, and all by his lonesome.

    And PS - I am annoyed by the engineer stereotype... 'Hey look I like Dilbert. I'm so wacky. Dressing terribly is just who we are; cuz we're smart or somethin'! Neat, huh? Oh Lol, I haven't had a date in years.' Techs can be snappy dressers, with girlfriends. And smart at the same time.

    Finally, techs often come from a different background. They are self-starters. Engineers were put through college by their parents.

    Discuss.

     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
  2. Georacer

    Moderator

    Nov 25, 2009
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    You didn't like the stereotypical despise towards the techs, but you seem to have fit the EEs into a tight mold.

    You gotta think both ways.
     
  3. jaygatsby

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 23, 2011
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    You sir have a point.
     
  4. loosewire

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 25, 2008
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    They have a degree on the wall and signature that means

    something.
     
  5. jaygatsby

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 23, 2011
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    It means a lot... being in an engineering program now, I realize that it's an amazing eye opener.
     
  6. Georacer

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    Nov 25, 2009
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    Even though I don't have my degree yet, I 'd like to call myself an engineer. And I don't have a problem with a type of person fitting better into a job description.
    Of course not all engineers have pocket protectors and wear knit sweaters. But I 'd say that most of them have a knack for perfection and hard rules.

    On the other hand, I admit that I don't like (semi)professional musicians, guitarists especially. I have hobnobbed with a few and all of them had a superfluous and obnoxious character.
    But I admit that they have their use.
     
  7. loosewire

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    Loosewire, the enlightener.
     
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  8. MrChips

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    Oct 2, 2009
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    I'm a tech and proud of it.
     
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  9. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Gen-u-wine BSEE's do things I couldn't do, so do physicians, but I still fix their air conditioners, otoscopes, and muscle stimulation machines because they can't.

    Point is, every person has different talents and different limitations. This doesn't bother me. People that think being excellent in one field of endeavor means he's better than me does bother me. I've never corrected a physician, but I've corrected a lot of design flaws made by BSEE's.
     
  10. tshuck

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2012
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    Interesting, but as Geo pointed out, that is a pretty tight mold you've forced me into.:)

    I got a BSEE. I currently work as a software engineer working with RTOS development, hardware drivers, OOP(C++ & C#), and the occasional Linux. I've built webpages using HTML, Javascript, CSS, and PHP from scratch.

    As far as the personal stereotype, I am the second of two kids, coming from a woman that was widowed with her youngest(me) at 11 months. There was no money to be had from my mother for college, to this day, I believe my college fund sits in an account somewhere, accruing interest on my $27.50. I worked my way through college and came out without any debt(aside from the new car I bought, also with my own money). I owe everything I have to the struggles my mom went through to raise me the way she did. I am married to my high-school sweetheart, and, while I do wear the occasional Star Wars t-shirt(my wife got me for Christmas), I'd like to think I'm not a bad dresser.

    You seem to have met the wrong EEs....
     
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  11. strantor

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    Oct 3, 2010
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    Sorry, I didn't much more than skim your post or the rest of the thread after reading the first line. Not that I was put off by it, I'm just the type that's distracted by shiny things.

    Can you provide an example or two of this anti-tech hate? I'm a tech. I've been a tech for the past 10yrs or so, also military trained. I've been reading threads on this site from a tech's perspective since I joined. If anything, my perception is that the people I would consider experts on this site are mostly techs as well, and if there were an anti-anything sentiment, it would be an anti-engineer one. But even that is a stretch.

    P.S. I'm also in an engineering program now. What branch of the military were you in?
     
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  12. jaygatsby

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 23, 2011
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    How do you know I was in the military, if you only read the first line?
     
  13. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

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    I didn't say I didn't read it. I said I didn't do much more than skim it. Military is shiny to me, so I was distracted by it. See that's why I had to address the first line before too many distractions sidetracked me.
     
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  14. strantor

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    so, no discussion about military training or anti-engineer sentiment then?
     
  15. Brownout

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    say what ????
     
  16. ErnieM

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    Apr 24, 2011
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    Not very much from my read.
     
  17. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    Whats lacking in the education system today and the answer to this question is
    "ALL ABOUT REAL WORLD EXPERIENCE"

    "Fresh" EE's are just about worthless now-a-days and so are "techs" without any experience.
    But once an EE gets enough experience they can dance around a tech any day because they not only have experience but know the fundamentals behind that experience.
     
  18. loosewire

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    They don't dance,they have a degree that makes them more money doing less.

    We all know that a tech does more hands on, there no way round a tech

    not having that degree .
     
  19. tindel

    Active Member

    Sep 16, 2012
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    Okay - I'll bite.

    First - My parents didn't put me through engineering school - I put myself through engineering school while paying for a house, putting food on the table, putting my wife through college, and loving my wife enough that she didn't leave me through that very trying period of our lives. You are lucky you didn't say this to my face, or you would have got a strong 'talking' to. I've worked very hard to get where I'm at, and I'm proud of the skills I've developed, and I've done it with no more than emotional support from my parents and good teamwork and mentoring from my peers. So you better check your attitude at the door (homepage).

    Secondly - I work very hard with the techs that I am around. I'm aware that there can very quickly be a social-economic divide between the two disciplines - and I hate it. I want every tech that I work with to know that we're on the same team and I value their input. That being said, I have the final say in the design, and I try to explain to them my rational for doing something a certain way if they have questions, but the techs have changed my mind a few times too. I've learned a ton from the techs that I've worked with. Some have been better than others, but I learn from them all. I hope that they learn a thing or two from me too. It takes all of us to build the final product.

    Thirdly - I firmly believe that the techs in my company make more than the engineers, at least sum total. They are paid hourly and they can work as much as they want if there's work. They get double time on Sundays and holidays (that's triple time total). But I'm at home with family Friday through Sunday usually - so it's a trade-off. I'm salary - I get paid what I signed up for.

    Finally - I'm a power engineer - but I have designed complex web-pages, written decent scripts for testing, fixed audio amplifiers, fixed guitar stomp-boxes, torn apart all kinds of electronics just to see how they worked, recently got an ancient oscilloscope to work, fix my own plumbing, remodeled a few bathrooms, and do maintenance on my cars. These are the things that good engineers just do. And they enjoy it.

    Finally x2 - I dress like a total kook - and I'm proud of it. I don't give a damn what anyone thinks about how I dress.
     
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  20. loosewire

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    Apr 25, 2008
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    I had no intention to up set any one,its a matter of a resume in today job market.

    There is for the purpose of a resume and pay grade there is a difference on paper

    only. There is no changing that fact ,who is better or smarter has nothing to do with

    who is going to be hired thru a resume process,maybe this make more sense.

    A online resume you never come face to face,it has to do with education facts

    and back up paper work.


    P.S. There are thousands of personal stories of great men that can go far beyond what your average guy can do.

    They are called self made men,there are alot of them on this Forum,there no doubt about it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
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