6 responses to “The Swiss Army Knife Engineer”

  1. Michael Carroll

    I would argue that this is the BEST habit for any engineer to have.

    Being fluent in Mech, Chem, Aero, Software, and all the rest is how you do your job the best that you can.

    Also, turns out that all the other guys (and gals) do some pretty cool stuff that you’ve never even heard of. A lot of times, something that seems like an insurmountable task in one field is actually already a “solved problem” elsewhere. I always find it very cool when you get to make connections “across the line” like that.

  2. Chris Gammell

    Paul’s a double agent! Part sparky, part sprocket, we need a new phrase to define what he is! :-)

  3. jrspruitt

    Not sure how well this applies, but from my hobbyist perspective, it really helps to learn the lingo, or the other hand be able to explain things in terms the other person understands. It is really hard for me to find programming books/tutorials that aren’t either mind numbing in their over simplified or repetitive explanations of the basics, or mind numbing in their use of gigantic words that encompass complex topics. Finding that sweet spot is the difference between frustration and great communication. I enjoy learning new things, I’m not afraid of the big words and complexities, but under pressure, when you just need/want to get it working, it can be a real pain. Not to mention I’m pretty sure good communication skills involve a little voodoo.

  4. Chris Shepherd

    I guess there are two points I would like to make, both not unrelated.

    Firstly, when I was starting out in engineering a few decades ago a hoary old engineer told me there were only two ways to go in engineering:
    1 Learn more and more about less and less until you know everything, or
    2 Leran less and less about more and more until you know nothing about everything

    Secondly, I think engineering is like those Mandelbrot diagrams that were around in the 1980′s and engineering lies in the pretty coloured regions. When you zoom in on those areas things remain equally complicated but at a finer and finer scale. Fundamentally it is all held up by quantum mechanics, and I bet that is more complicated than it seems!

    1. Chris Shepherd

      1 Learn more and more about less and less until you know everything about nothing, or
      2 Leran less and less about more and more until you know nothing about everything

  5. Cmc

    I do have to agree. Learning to be computer engineer with knowledge of pneumatics, mechanics, programming etc gives me huge edge on the other students in my course. Actually, it gives me huge edge on whole bachelor’s degree.
    Thou I am just first year student I get a lot of job and project offers since I have previous education in Mechatronics from vocational school.

    Nobody wants a pure engineer just like nobody wants mobile for just making calls.