Do universities gild the lily when it comes to EE?

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EE is a discipline with amazing opportunities. Many universities are too much into marketing these days, in general.

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"Another company I knew had no title hierarchy at all. Every professional employee got the same base salary and had the same basic title. Differential compensation was determined by the distribution of a pool of money that varied with company performance, and each individual's variable pay was determined by peer-review of their contribution for the last period. "

Strikes me as about the worst possible means of compensation. I don't imagine this approach yields, say, at least a 3:1 ratio of the highest paid to lowest paid employee at the end of the year, yet I think most people would easily concede that the most productive employees often are easily 3x more productive than the least productive ones. Additionally, *peer* reviews often tend to drag down the ratings of high performers, but the low performers dislike the idea that they'll eventually be held to higher standards; peer reviews often degrade into little more than popularity contest.


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Joel Koltner

I don't remember the source, but a while back I read about a study of the ratio of productivity between the highest and lowest performers. The lowest ratio was among numerical control machinists -- the best and the worst did about the same amount and quality of work. Civil engineers had the lowest ratio among engineers (fewer morons, more PEs), EEs were in the middle, and MEs had fairly high ratios. The software developers, however, had the largest ratio: infinity. It seems that the worst software developers do negative work -- creating work for others while accomplishing little or no work themselves. The report said that 10:1 to 100:1 ratios were common among software developers, and commented on the fact that employers would rather pay 100 developers $50K a year than pay one developer $500K a year to do the same work.

BTW, to come out high under the peer review system, fix people's computers -- especially their home PCs -- for them, always jump right on tasks that someone else is waiting for, and give everyone a high peer review and make sure they know it. Doing your actual job is optional. :)

Guy Macon
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Guy Macon

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