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The current state of engineering
#1
The current state of engineering
The current state of Engineering

I wanted to share some thought about the state of engineering in the current world. Before that I want to give you some background as I consider it important. I am an electrical engineer who lives in a 3rd world country (Latin America), and a lot of us work in transnational companies such as Intel, Boston Scientific, HP, etc.

The main point I wanted to express is that many of the projects you work on in these companies is absolutely meaningless, boring, repetitive, bullshit, etc., idk how to call it. These jobs don’t need an electrical engineer to be done. Pretty much anyone who knows how to use a computer can do it with some basic training.

I started working in one of those companies recently, and even though I am an electrical engineer, I am just a beta tester. I run tests on an iPad app, and report if there are any bugs. No need to know anything about engineering. And I get paid fairly well (for my country standards) for doing something anyone with only a high-school degree could do. Even Intel has these kind of jobs.

Now, as we are “3rd world engineers” we do these bullshit jobs. In more developed countries the “real engineers” do the “real work”, which would be design, development, etc.

Idk how it is in other countries, but it seems to be being an engineering nowadays it’s just like a specialized technician, maybe not even that. Most Engineers no longer create, invent or design. Everything is already automized on a PC. You just follow instructions. Had I known this I wouldn’t have studied engineering.

How is the engineering experience in your country?
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#2
RE: The current state of engineering
You can find alot of the same here in the us, not just with engineers but with every degreed and accredited pro. Alot of us are not doing the jobs we were educated for, and the jobs we do have more to do with the experience economy and our willingness to do the boring stuff, and alot of different boring stuff, so that a given firm doesn't have to hire extra people for that.

I've given up putting any window dressing on it. People ask me what I do, I tell them I dig holes for a living. A specialized plumber and pump technician.
I am the Infantry. I am my country’s strength in war, her deterrent in peace. I am the heart of the fight… wherever, whenever. I carry America’s faith and honor against her enemies. I am the Queen of Battle. I am what my country expects me to be, the best trained Soldier in the world. In the race for victory, I am swift, determined, and courageous, armed with a fierce will to win. Never will I fail my country’s trust. Always I fight on…through the foe, to the objective, to triumph overall. If necessary, I will fight to my death. By my steadfast courage, I have won more than 200 years of freedom. I yield not to weakness, to hunger, to cowardice, to fatigue, to superior odds, For I am mentally tough, physically strong, and morally straight. I forsake not, my country, my mission, my comrades, my sacred duty. I am relentless. I am always there, now and forever. I AM THE INFANTRY! FOLLOW ME!
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#3
RE: The current state of engineering
Generally, the guys with PhD degrees got the plum assignments, but I wrote my fair share of code for number crunching. I designed and built spacecraft antennas, but most of that software was long ago written by some senior guys. I did a fair amount of mechanical design, as well. That was all on me. If you are working for a US company, they are potentially limited in the tasks assigned to you, due to ITAR restrictions- "international trafficking in arms". That is a pretty far-reaching law, as it covers more than just "shooting" arms.
If you get to thinking you’re a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else’s dog around.
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#4
RE: The current state of engineering
(November 20, 2021 at 12:04 pm)Fireball Wrote: Generally, the guys with PhD degrees got the plum assignments, but I wrote my fair share of code for number crunching. I designed and built spacecraft antennas, but most of that software was long ago written by some senior guys. I did a fair amount of mechanical design, as well. That was all on me. If you are working for a US company, they are potentially limited in the tasks assigned to you, due to ITAR restrictions- "international trafficking in arms". That is a pretty far-reaching law, as it covers more than just "shooting" arms.

Antennas in space?

A trailing long wire? You could have one multiple wavelengths long - making it directional as hell.....  Wonder how that would work in the MF band.......

...

I talked to the space shuttle once... They had a 2m uplink 10m downlink and the ham astronaut simply picked out call signs guys called out on 2 meter and repeated the call back on 10...... He got my call.


Smile
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#5
RE: The current state of engineering
When you say engineer in my neck of the woods typically you get this:

[Image: railwaycar.jpg]
I don't have an anger problem, I have an idiot problem




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#6
RE: The current state of engineering
After graduating English with Secondary ED, I taught hoodlums in alternative school for 5 years.  Deemed a punk whisperer, I couldn't get the boss to move me to the high-school.  I took a summer job as an HVAC controls technician.  It payed more and advanced quickly.  After 5 years, I was designing systems and programming PLCs.  That brings us to 1994.  So, I get what you're saying.  People doing the same job had engineering degrees.  You don't need to be an engineer to do industrial controls systems.

The increased income allowed my wife at the time to go to law school.  Once she was out and working, I began engineering studies.  Since graduating, I've worked on CNC machining centers, military camera systems, and food packaging equipment with established companies.  In the last 15 years, I've worked with startups developing water treatment machines, bio-detection instruments, nano-particle deposition systems, and so on.  There is plenty of engineering work that tap and challenge the skill set.

TLDR:  For the most part, I design and program microcontrollers boards and associated instrumentation.  Unlike punk kids, they do what you tell them, which is quite satisfying. 

Many fellow Americans consider where I live a 3rd world state, relatively speaking.  We like it that way.  I think you should keep learning, gaining skills, and try to find a place to use your education.
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#7
RE: The current state of engineering
(November 20, 2021 at 7:24 am)The Grand Nudger Wrote: You can find alot of the same here in the us, not just with engineers but with every degreed and accredited pro.  Alot of us are not doing the jobs we were educated for, and the jobs we do have more to do with the experience economy and our willingness to do the boring stuff, and alot of different boring stuff, so that a given firm doesn't have to hire extra people for that.  

I've given up putting any window dressing on it.  People ask me what I do, I tell them I dig holes for a living.  A specialized plumber and pump technician.

I sometimes wonder about the percentage of people not working in the field in which they were educated. For example, I have BSc in European history, and I’ve worked as a musician, luthier, and blacksmith.

Boru
‘Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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#8
RE: The current state of engineering
(November 20, 2021 at 2:54 pm)brewer Wrote: When you say engineer in my neck of the woods typically you get this:

[Image: railwaycar.jpg]

TRAIN WRECK!
If you get to thinking you’re a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else’s dog around.
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#9
RE: The current state of engineering
(November 20, 2021 at 2:43 am)Macoleco Wrote: Now, as we are “3rd world engineers” we do these bullshit jobs. In more developed countries the “real engineers” do the “real work”, which would be design, development, etc.

Idk how it is in other countries, but it seems to be being an engineering nowadays it’s just like a specialized technician, maybe not even that. Most Engineers no longer create, invent or design. Everything is already automized on a PC. You just follow instructions. Had I known this I wouldn’t have studied engineering.

How is the engineering experience in your country?

I live in the U.S., and before I retired I was a drafter/designer working under engineers for my whole career. At my first company, we created control cabinets for electric motors that ran steel mills, paper mills, and so on. At my second company, we created digital switching equipment for various telephone companies. At my third company, where I worked for 20 years, we created satellites for commercial and military applications.

In the first company the work was rather routine, but in the second and third companies we were creating stuff that had never been created before. Design and packaging were therefore highly challenging. It was fun work in itself, but the schedules were so unreasonable that it made most everyone miserable.

However, I worked at big companies all three times. I understand smaller companies may not be the same because engineers must wear more hats. They don't always have designers to do a lot of the simpler work for them.
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#10
RE: The current state of engineering
(November 20, 2021 at 2:43 am)Macoleco Wrote: The main point I wanted to express is that many of the projects you work on in these companies is absolutely meaningless, boring, repetitive, bullshit, etc., idk how to call it.

Isn't that like with almost every job? That's why they usually tell you when you are a kid in school to find something you like and do that because what is tedious for one person is interesting to another.

I mean, I know you say that you work in your profession, but maybe you chose a wrong profession or maybe you can look for another job or start a (small) company. There are many stories about those that started in their garages.
teachings of the Bible are so muddled and self-contradictory that it was possible for Christians to happily burn heretics alive for five long centuries. It was even possible for the most venerated patriarchs of the Church, like St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, to conclude that heretics should be tortured (Augustine) or killed outright (Aquinas). Martin Luther and John Calvin advocated the wholesale murder of heretics, apostates, Jews, and witches. - Sam Harris, "Letter To A Christian Nation"
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