Author Topic: Are all engineers like this?  (Read 14138 times)

m_m

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Re: Are all engineers like this?
« Reply #50 on: March 11, 2015, 08:04:55 AM »
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So being 'technically' correct is good because you know that the system works as expected, but sometimes those soft skills are just as important when you want to have people actually use your system.  In the above case, walking users through why entering 4 and 4 = 8 would be a better exercise than making people feel stupid.  I would equate the above story to someone going to up an overweight person and saying: "If you lost 50 pounds you would be more attractive and healthy".  You are not technically wrong, but you sound like a dick.

I get what you're saying but you're making an assumption about the way it was presented.  I've tried many times to get technical info through as softly as possible.  Oftentimes the only real way out without getting them angry would be "You know what?  You're right, 4 and 4 IS 7" and keep collecting a paycheck.

Using your analogy it's more like a fat person coming to you and asking "why am I fat?" and you responding "Maybe it's because you take in more calories than you burn."  Then they would call you an ass because they wanted you to tell them it's genetic.

FastStache

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Re: Are all engineers like this?
« Reply #51 on: March 11, 2015, 09:30:07 AM »
Writing software is not engineering, I don't care what the job title says lol

You could not be more wrong.  Software is more engineering than anything else.  What is not controlled by software nowadays? Look at a jet fighter. The algorithms for terrain comparison are extremely complex.  How about artificial intelligence?

As for OP's question, I am an extremely personable SE...

If I tell a software developer what the mathematics are he needs to program to be able to create a functional analysis tool, in my opinion there's not much engineering on his part. It's more of an art creating a functional program with no hiccups.

In my opinion, unless a software engineer is a registered PE, creating programs for a nuclear power plant, writing software for NASAs next mission, or anything along that scientific approach with specs and procedures, then it's not real engineering. I agree with what you said about that being a part of engineering. However, someone who writes patches for Microsoft words picture insert function shouldn't consider themselves as a software engineer.

Typical arrogant engineer.

Really though, I get what you are saying. However, I wouldn't be so quick to belittle another person's occupation. I'm also curious, how much software engineering have you done? I am constantly amazed by the number of technical types who actually have a hard time writing software. I had a best friend in college would was a brilliant math major. Only C they ever got was in Computer Science, and that was even with me helping them with their homework. They had a 4.0 before that class.

That's absolutely true.  I'm not belittling or saying it's easy. If I can write my own software we wouldn't have to pay a programmer to work directly with the engineers. I apologize that I came off that way. Surprisingly the Internet is filled with articles arguing about this very thing, and it seems to endlessly go back and forth.  My field has a set of requirements, specs, and standards, and the more I work in the field the more rigid it becomes; like most engineering fields.  I don't see much of the engineering principles engraved in software development.  But I do see more creativity in creating something functional.

The engineering part is in solving the problem, not just knowing the syntax of a particular language. Just knowing software does not make you an engineer, it makes you a programmer. I get the argument that just implementing someone's algorithm, etc. is just programming. I work as an engineer and write code.

Annamal

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Re: Are all engineers like this?
« Reply #52 on: March 11, 2015, 03:15:35 PM »
Quote
So being 'technically' correct is good because you know that the system works as expected, but sometimes those soft skills are just as important when you want to have people actually use your system.  In the above case, walking users through why entering 4 and 4 = 8 would be a better exercise than making people feel stupid.  I would equate the above story to someone going to up an overweight person and saying: "If you lost 50 pounds you would be more attractive and healthy".  You are not technically wrong, but you sound like a dick.

I get what you're saying but you're making an assumption about the way it was presented.  I've tried many times to get technical info through as softly as possible.  Oftentimes the only real way out without getting them angry would be "You know what?  You're right, 4 and 4 IS 7" and keep collecting a paycheck.

Using your analogy it's more like a fat person coming to you and asking "why am I fat?" and you responding "Maybe it's because you take in more calories than you burn."  Then they would call you an ass because they wanted you to tell them it's genetic.


I think there is a great deal of value in working with users to figure out whether the thing they are asking for is actually the thing that would be best for them to solve their particular problem (which in turn relies on carefully identifying the actual problem they are trying to solve).

So for example what they are initially asking for might be 4 and 4 =7 which is of course not possible and a developer's first instinct would be to start trying to build a system where 4+4=8, but what they actually need might be a system that works in base 8 so that 4 + 4 = 10 (convoluted enough for you?).

Or alternatively  calories in vs calories out might be technically true but not the root of the problem for someone who hates themselves enough to try and punish themselves via food and inactivity.

Basically what I'm saying is that you should cherish really good BAs above rubies...

johnny847

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Re: Are all engineers like this?
« Reply #53 on: March 11, 2015, 03:36:27 PM »
Quote
So being 'technically' correct is good because you know that the system works as expected, but sometimes those soft skills are just as important when you want to have people actually use your system.  In the above case, walking users through why entering 4 and 4 = 8 would be a better exercise than making people feel stupid.  I would equate the above story to someone going to up an overweight person and saying: "If you lost 50 pounds you would be more attractive and healthy".  You are not technically wrong, but you sound like a dick.

I get what you're saying but you're making an assumption about the way it was presented.  I've tried many times to get technical info through as softly as possible.  Oftentimes the only real way out without getting them angry would be "You know what?  You're right, 4 and 4 IS 7" and keep collecting a paycheck.

Using your analogy it's more like a fat person coming to you and asking "why am I fat?" and you responding "Maybe it's because you take in more calories than you burn."  Then they would call you an ass because they wanted you to tell them it's genetic.


I think there is a great deal of value in working with users to figure out whether the thing they are asking for is actually the thing that would be best for them to solve their particular problem (which in turn relies on carefully identifying the actual problem they are trying to solve).

So for example what they are initially asking for might be 4 and 4 =7 which is of course not possible and a developer's first instinct would be to start trying to build a system where 4+4=8, but what they actually need might be a system that works in base 8 so that 4 + 4 = 10 (convoluted enough for you?).

Or alternatively  calories in vs calories out might be technically true but not the root of the problem for someone who hates themselves enough to try and punish themselves via food and inactivity.

Basically what I'm saying is that you should cherish really good BAs above rubies...