A Sign of a Real Engineer

I know a very big one that you also know where it often happened that the sales folks did the deal sans engineers to a large extent. "With our socks you can fly all the way to the moon, and then some!" .... "He promised you WHAT?!"

But it wasn't any better at the competitors, mostly it was worse there.

[...]
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Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com/
Reply to
Joerg
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;-) Most of the sales teams I know of have engineers on staff. A couple of friends, once very good engineers, are now in sales. Last I was in touch, one was quite high up the ladder.

Government contracts are like that, though. Reality doesn't mean much when billion$ are at stake.

You betcha. In so many ways.

Reply to
krw

Hmm, you should work on that! In my experience such people can be slow to work with because they get lost sorting out irrelevant details :-)

--
Failure does not prove something is impossible, failure simply
indicates you are not using the right tools...
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Reply to
Nico Coesel

You know that engineers are dangerous...someone might get a straight answer to an embarrassing question, talking to an engineer without salesman supervision... :-)

Reply to
Bill Martin

Engineers are too eager to try to give customers what the customer thinks they want- sales people will try to sell them what is available, which is actually often for the better for all concerned.

Best regards, Spehro Pefhany

--
"it's the network..."                          "The Journey is the reward"
speff@interlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
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Reply to
Spehro Pefhany

that

to

pony.

Same here. But I have very clearly noticed that most of them lose touch with reality soon after the first few fat commission payments have landed in their bank accounts. One guy even had an MBA and he became one of the worst in that sense, making technical demands that would have bankrupted the company. Otherwise a great guy, and the fact that he defected is still a major loss to the engineering profession.

[...]
--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com/
Reply to
Joerg

There must be a Dilbert strip in here somewhere. ;-)

Reply to
krw

That depends on the engineer and the sales guy. (And the instructions given to the engineer).

The problem that we had was that the sales guys would be the ones selling things that didn't exist and couldn't be built for anywhere close to the amount of NRE it was sold for.

One of our lead sales guys never did that -- and he was the one that made sure to maintain friendships with folks in engineering, and to ask whenever he had a doubt about what it would take to do something.

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Tim Wescott
Control system and signal processing consulting
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Reply to
Tim Wescott

My dream at that company was that if I were to own such a place, the policy on commissions on sales that required NRE work was that the sales guy would get the usual percentage on anything off the shelf, and a higher percentage on the _net_ of anything requiring NRE. So if he went and sold something that cost ten times as much as it took to build -- there went his commission.

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Tim Wescott
Control system and signal processing consulting
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Reply to
Tim Wescott

that

to

pony.

Well, they're better where they are than many of the engineers I know who traded in their calculators for pointy hair.

At one time the sharpest engineers were promoted into management. The problem is that engineers often make lousy managers. OTOH, if the least competent engineer is promoted into management, at least the company doesn't lose a good engineer.

Reply to
krw

Would you find any sales people who would wait, for the years a large project takes to complete, for their commission check?

Reply to
krw

I've noticed a trend lately for semi companies (not naming names) to have technical support questions taken by non-expert people who, eventually, don't answer the questions. Sometimes they close out the support ticket, sometimes they don't.

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John Larkin                  Highland Technology Inc
www.highlandtechnology.com   jlarkin at highlandtechnology dot com   
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Reply to
John Larkin

Two further signs of an engineer:

- failing to get nurses phone number

- hanging out on comp.arch.embedded during weekend

See ya, Dave

Reply to
Dave Nadler

Engineering skills and people skills are orthogonal. So the people that need to be promoted into management are the sharp engineers who can lead.

I suspect that computers are somewhat to blame: in an environment where being a "good" engineer means getting along well with technicians and draftsmen, it automatically meant that you had management ability. Now being a "good" engineer may just mean that you're good at managing a computer -- and they respond differently than people do to managing.

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Tim Wescott
Control system and signal processing consulting
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Reply to
Tim Wescott

I'd say there's a lot more to engineering than being "good at managing a computer". A decent administrative assistant is "good at managing a computer". I agree that engineering and management skills are orthogonal but so are management and people skills. There is a difference. You can get along with everyone and still make a lousy manager. I get along with technicians and everyone else (it's easy - give them the credit and take the blame) but I'm certainly never going into management. Nope, not buying that load.

Reply to
krw

An engineering diabetic friend of mine had an insulin pump that had a Freescale 6808 in it. He found a bug in the way it was supposed to work.

He then did a very engineering thing, He dumped out the code into an emulator, reverse engineered the code fixed the bug, reprogrammed the insulin pump and then told the manufacturer in detail that they had a bug, followed up with an email detailing the fix, the company accused him of stealing their code.

Legal didn't get involved until he explain the fix had been "tested"

Walter..

Reply to
Walter Banks

I have seen that scenario and it'll spell doom. Luckily this was never at companies I worked at or that were my clients. But it happened at vendors. The biggest blooper: An engineer-turned-PHB at a power supply manufacturer decided if we needed med grade they could just wing it. I told them they should at least get an IEC601 consultant. "Nah, we have all expertise right inhouse". Yeah, right. At the TUEV test lab their supplies blew out left and right and they overlooked the "minor" detail that Canada did not allow resettable thermofuses. They lost the whole account. One of their guys sat in my office begging, his voice began to crack and he was close to bursting into tears.

A manager is allowed to make decisions and if those are wrong, such as when the manager overrule a few very sound decisions by others ... kablouie.

Another example: Me. When I took over a division I saw that they were totally over-extended with projects. So I canned almost half of the projects. Had those been the wrong ones I bet the whole company would have gone under. Then I decided that we need aerospace folks to lead production because that's an industry that is also heavily regulated but where schedules are almost law. My boss (the CEO) almost turned pale when I followed through with that because it had never been done. I remember his words "Joerg, if you screw this up I may have to fire you, unless the board fires me first".

That doesn't have to be orthogonal. Ok, only some engineers can lead but which ones those are does not correlate much with their engineering skills either way. It has a lot to do with other skills. For example, IME former military guys (who served in some kind of leadership role), scout leaders, church leaders, those are often the people who can also sucessfully lead a group of people in a company. Meaning they can be respected leaders. They also do not break under stress.

That only goes for Dilbert style workplaces. A real engineer has to perform in design reviews, QC meetings, when something has hit the fan, and so on. Those are all situations where you better have people skills. For example, I am for all practical purposes fulfilling the role of a circuit designer and EMC salvaging guy most of the times these days. Sometimes I have to salvage a situation where a contract house has screwed up. That is like a dance on egg shells and you can't break any. You have to make sure that all parties including the one that has screwed up remain on good terms and this is not at all easy. One li'l temper flare and game can be over. Can't have that happen.

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com/
Reply to
Joerg

half

ten-minute

had

there's

Oh no. The knack came from her side of the family.

?-)

Reply to
josephkk

Grin, I was chatting with my 11 year old son last night. Talking about money and the cost of college. I mentioned that a really good school costs $40-50k per year. He later suggested that he should buy some lottery tickets. We talked a little about this (observing that I never buy 'em). He then mentioned that a of his friend had won $1,000 in the lottery. "Oh and how much college will that pay for?", I asked him. "One week", was the immediate response. (I hadn't worked out the answer yet.)

There's always hope in the next generation.

George H.

Reply to
George Herold

You can spend that much on a really bad school as well.

A lot of that is living expense. Paradoxically, some of the most expensive places to live are college towns of state flagships. And wages there are not that great. I was shocked at the gap between income and outgo at Penn State.

Your son should plan to live with studious, frugal people. Cheap recreation only, and no car.

Reply to
spamtrap1888

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