Searching \ for '[OT]: What makes an engineer (long winded)' in subject line. ()
Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure! Help us get a faster server
FAQ page: techref.massmind.org/techref/index.htm?key=what+makes+engineer
Search entire site for: 'What makes an engineer (long winded)'.

Exact match. Not showing close matches.
PICList Thread
'[OT]: What makes an engineer (long winded)'
2001\04\11@095817 by Steve Nordhauser

picon face
In the C/C++ thread, there has been some discussion of the value of a degree.
Since I regularly make hiring decisions, evaluate resumes and such, I thought
I would throw in my thoughts.  First and foremost, an engineer is someone who
engineers.  It has nothing directly to do with a degree.  Some of the engineers
that I have respected most had no degree.  There was a group in the mid-80s
on long island (3 guys) who, on their own designed a 4Kx4K vector video display
using AMD bit slice components.  It could rotate and scale a wireframe in real-time.

All of the software was microcode (NOT code running on micros  -look it up).  They
were amazing.  Not a degree in the group.

Another friend of mine has been running a successful business for over 10 years.  He

has layed out and tested 100's of boards.  He can walk into a factory with a down
production line, open a motor inverter, understand and fix it without schematics,
save
them $10,000 in down time and feels he can't charge over $35/hr because he only
has a 2 year degree.

The last programmer I hired didn't finish his 2 year degree after attending 6
different
schools.  He did write games on the side, helped people set up networks, showed me
some well documented code, and answered specific questions with specific answers.
When I asked him how he liked object oriented code, he jumped out of his chair and
said 'C++ is sooo cool!' and sat back down.  This from someone in his early 30's.
He
is an fine programmer and now an excellent friend.

These people are all engineers.  Fine ones.  To me, as a perspective employer, all a

degree means is that someone has a detailed background in the sciences and math.  If

they did research, that may speak of real interest in a topic.  What I want to know
is
'what excites them?'.  What are their hobbies (robotics, ham radio)?  What is the
most
interesting project they have ever worked on?  How do they handle challenges?
Mostly,
degrees get in the way.  They set the financial bar too high for small companies.
The
average starting salary for an MS from RPI is about $68K.  With no experience.  Call

the career centers.  Without management experience (and staying out of Boston and
CA)
the same engineers max out at $90K with 20 years experience.  They will learn more
about how engineering works the first time they put 1000 hours into a real world
problem
where good enough is not 'good enough' than they did at school.  I know some of the
schools are getting more hands-on and that's good.  Co-op is even better.  A one
year
internship is best.  Only European students seem willing to do this.  I've had about
8
interns from Germany, France and now Poland for 6 months to a year.  Everyone
enjoys it, they are productive and walk away with real value (I think).  They are
all hired
into non-junior level jobs at any rate.  I am at least satisfied with their
abilities and sometimes
dazzled.  Also, I make sure that they are trained, not cheap labor.

Apparently, this is a subject that I had a lot of thoughts about.....

Steve Nordhauser
Director of New Product Development, Imaging Systems
IEM Corp

--
http://www.piclist.com hint: To leave the PICList
spam_OUTpiclist-unsubscribe-requestTakeThisOuTspammitvma.mit.edu


2001\04\11@105518 by Roman Black

flavicon
face
Steve Nordhauser wrote:
>
> In the C/C++ thread, there has been some discussion of the value of a degree.
> Since I regularly make hiring decisions, evaluate resumes and such, I thought
> I would throw in my thoughts.


Having been both an employee and employer in many
situations, I think the no.1 attribute of a good leader
(or employer) is to have a thorough understanding of
the employee's abilities. To be good at hiring decisions
would expand that conecpt so that you are good at
RECOGNISING a potential employees abilities.

You always want to hire someone based on their ability
to do the work. Too many hiring officers are lazy, and
rather that developing test systems where new applicants
can be tested for ablity, they choose an easy way out,
ie, look for degrees, assuming that someone who PASSED
must be good at doing things.

Being one of those fortunate people who was usually
top of the class while breezing through subjects
also taught me that 90% of the people who PASS were
really not very good and not worth hiring. I personally
would not choose to work for anyone who was too stupid
to realise my abilities, or didn't at least implement
simple testing to actually determine my abilities.
-Roman

--
http://www.piclist.com hint: To leave the PICList
.....piclist-unsubscribe-requestKILLspamspam@spam@mitvma.mit.edu


2001\04\11@122451 by Bill Westfield

face picon face
   Mostly, degrees get in the way.  They set the financial bar too high for
   small companies.

Well, that's pretty much IT in a nutshell.  At a small company, a degree
isn't so important (but the flip side of this implication is that the lack
will be used to offer you a lower salary :-)  At a large company, a degree
is something the HR department will use to weed out "inappropriate" resumes
before any hiring engineering manager ever sees them.

BillW

--
http://www.piclist.com hint: To leave the PICList
piclist-unsubscribe-requestspamKILLspammitvma.mit.edu


2001\04\11@124812 by D Lloyd

flavicon
face
part 1 5302 bytes content-type:text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Hi,

While UK degrees are supposedly superior (a recent engineering journal
showed that UK engineers were more likely to be employed after n months as
opposed to other European countries, which may have something to do with
speaking English.....), I have found that my degree bears little relevance
to what I do for my employer. Out of the entire course, I have taken 3
modules concerning the writing of code; two of which were concerned with
intermediate C and one of which was tailored to embedded systems. None of
the modules contained any lectures regarding how to design/review/test
firmware, real-time issues and I would say that none of these modules
taught me anything I didn't already know: I scored > 95% in all of them,
while other students I know, who were using global variables/gotos all over
the place, did not know what a structure was, using variable names like
"a", "a1" and "b"; ints where chars would have sufficed etc also scored
highly, which is a bit annoying.

As to other subjects, they only touch the surface but I would say there is
definite value in final year projects and this is what a potential employer
should be concerned with; how a student handles this element, to which they
are supposed to target all their engineering ability has to be the most
important - it is certainly the area I learned most from and put the most
effort into.

I'd say that you do not need a degree to be successful in any
field......but a good degree will probably get you an interview. And,
exceptional people will not stop at a degree, anyway, they will go on to a
PhD.........

Dan










(Embedded     Steve Nordhauser <.....digitalKILLspamspam.....NYCAP.RR.COM>KILLspamspam.....MITVMA.MIT.EDU>> image moved   11/04/2001 14:57
to file:
pic15941.pcx)





Please respond to pic microcontroller discussion list
     <
EraseMEPICLISTspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent by:  pic microcontroller discussion list <PICLISTspamspam_OUTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>


To:   @spam@PICLISTKILLspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU
cc:
Subject:  [OT]: What makes an engineer (long winded)

Security Level:?         Internal


In the C/C++ thread, there has been some discussion of the value of a
degree.
Since I regularly make hiring decisions, evaluate resumes and such, I
thought
I would throw in my thoughts.  First and foremost, an engineer is someone
who
engineers.  It has nothing directly to do with a degree.  Some of the
engineers
that I have respected most had no degree.  There was a group in the mid-80s
on long island (3 guys) who, on their own designed a 4Kx4K vector video
display
using AMD bit slice components.  It could rotate and scale a wireframe in
real-time.

All of the software was microcode (NOT code running on micros  -look it
up).  They
were amazing.  Not a degree in the group.

Another friend of mine has been running a successful business for over 10
years.  He

has layed out and tested 100's of boards.  He can walk into a factory with
a down
production line, open a motor inverter, understand and fix it without
schematics,
save
them $10,000 in down time and feels he can't charge over $35/hr because he
only
has a 2 year degree.

The last programmer I hired didn't finish his 2 year degree after attending
6
different
schools.  He did write games on the side, helped people set up networks,
showed me
some well documented code, and answered specific questions with specific
answers.
When I asked him how he liked object oriented code, he jumped out of his
chair and
said 'C++ is sooo cool!' and sat back down.  This from someone in his early
30's.
He
is an fine programmer and now an excellent friend.

These people are all engineers.  Fine ones.  To me, as a perspective
employer, all a

degree means is that someone has a detailed background in the sciences and
math.  If

they did research, that may speak of real interest in a topic.  What I want
to know
is
'what excites them?'.  What are their hobbies (robotics, ham radio)?  What
is the
most
interesting project they have ever worked on?  How do they handle
challenges?
Mostly,
degrees get in the way.  They set the financial bar too high for small
companies.
The
average starting salary for an MS from RPI is about $68K.  With no
experience.  Call

the career centers.  Without management experience (and staying out of
Boston and
CA)
the same engineers max out at $90K with 20 years experience.  They will
learn more
about how engineering works the first time they put 1000 hours into a real
world
problem
where good enough is not 'good enough' than they did at school.  I know
some of the
schools are getting more hands-on and that's good.  Co-op is even better.
A one
year
internship is best.  Only European students seem willing to do this.  I've
had about
8
interns from Germany, France and now Poland for 6 months to a year.
Everyone
enjoys it, they are productive and walk away with real value (I think).
They are
all hired
into non-junior level jobs at any rate.  I am at least satisfied with their
abilities and sometimes
dazzled.  Also, I make sure that they are trained, not cheap labor.

Apparently, this is a subject that I had a lot of thoughts about.....

Steve Nordhauser
Director of New Product Development, Imaging Systems
IEM Corp

--
http://www.piclist.com hint: To leave the PICList
KILLspampiclist-unsubscribe-requestKILLspamspammitvma.mit.edu






part 2 165 bytes content-type:application/octet-stream; (decode)

part 3 105 bytes
--
http://www.piclist.com hint: To leave the PICList
RemoveMEpiclist-unsubscribe-requestTakeThisOuTspammitvma.mit.edu


More... (looser matching)
- Last day of these posts
- In 2001 , 2002 only
- Today
- New search...