Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by cmartinez, Jan 28, 2015.
Good article giving due recognition to engineers.
IMHO, a great engineer is just like a great artist -- they both paint fearlessly with a broad brush.
All the while meticulously taking care of the details...
No...that's what the technicians/drafters/designers are for!
Well... in that context I'd say I agree... the word engineer after all, comes from the word ingenious ...
I've spent months (edit: sometimes years) developing ideas that, when complete, could be scribbled on one side of a cocktail napkin.
But that one cocktail napkin would then set a factory full of techies into motion towards realization of the idea.
It's the thinking part that makes us what we are, IMHO.
I guess I'm doomed. I think too much with my hands.
I know you are joking. Lot's of what goes into those ideas is prototyping and testing new thoughts and ideas as they come about.
My point is, we are worth more spending time using our brains that our hands. Otherwise, I'd be out digging ditches with a spoon.
and my highest goal today was to check the brakes on a van
I don't feel very smart today.
Or checking brakes on a van...
I know alot of circuits designed over a few brews after normal working hours. Napkins were the engineering notebook for the evening.
Whenever I have an Idea, I usually think deeply on it until I have thoroughly visualized it... then I might do a sketch or two on grid sheet (yes, I still use those) and then I start modeling directly into AutoCAD or ExpressPCB and I start writing code in whatever language is appropriate, using no previous flow chart... although I do cram lots of comments in the code
I burn up a lot of paper doing sketches and calculations. Eventually I copy the finished design into my permanent notebook with lots of comments. There never seems to be enough comments because re-reading later never takes me as far down that rabbit hole as my head was when I designed it. I have even read pages that I gave to a customer several years ago, and I can barely read them because the details are so...detailed. Imagine how the customer felt!
That happens to me too... I call it the million-piece puzzle syndrome... When you start working on it, first you begin by laying aside small batches of pieces that look alike, sharing the same colors or geometry... then you concentrate on putting the puzzle together, and when you're finished, it would actually be a lot easier to start over if you had to... but if you are away from the puzzle for too long, you realize you forgot most of what you were thinking when you try to start working on it again... That is why all designs, (and I mean also drawings, diagrams, etc, and not just software) must have a generous amount of comments and observations if you want to keep it for posterity.
A few months ago, I read about a case in which some special process for manufacturing components for nuclear missiles had been forgotten... the process was so secret that it was never detailed in documentation, and most of the scientists and engineers involved in the project had died already... so they had to put together a team to re-invent what had already been invented more than 40 years ago!
Serves the paranoid little weasels right.
"Ooh! Everything is so secret we can't even tell ourselves!" and everybody else figured it out anyway.
Did you know that was one of the reasons why the Maya civilization declined, and eventually disappeared?
What was the secret that the Mayans couldn't tell themselves?
That killing everybody to appease the Sun God was hurting their population growth?
No... Their culture was quite advanced in Mathematics, Architecture, Astronomy and other areas like Administration and government organization... But they were so secretive and jealous of this accumulated knowledge, that they stopped sharing it with people outside their own families... so in the end what happened was inbreeding ... until the families got so small that eventually the knowledge was practically lost
Ah! Nepotism at its finest.