Tag Archives: project management

I went to lunch with a former boss last week and we were talking about the ins and outs of learning from your mistakes and certifying a design. He works on electronics boxes and does a decent amount of thermal, torque and vibration analysis on every single box before it goes into the field. When one of his boxes was on a piece of equipment that catastrophically failed recently, they took it off and ran it on a shake table. Then they tested it again and it still worked. He told me he was criticized for having typically overdesigned boxes. What does honey have to do with this? Well honey is one of the few foods (maybe only food) that if it’s sealed,¬†unfiltered and without additives it can last a very long time.¬† It never really goes bad, though it can ferment if not properly sealed. Engineers are always looking…

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One of the certainties in the working world is the expectation of your work getting criticized. In engineering I think this plays a crucial role. You actually want criticism to make a better product and a better design. People asking questions and suggesting alternatives or pointing in problems in your test plan is what makes the best end result. One engineer who I respect tremendously told me a story about bringing on a new employee who’d had prior experience at another shop. When the new employee was told about our products he had nothing but positive things to say. He looked forward to working there and seemed incredibly optimistic about the whole thing. And this put my engineer friend off. He was concerned that an engineer who didn’t question his surroundings or wasn’t ready to bring in his own alternate point of view was not a good engineer. So I…

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