Tag Archives: recession

As we continue on our theme week, I thought I had a slightly different perspective on the business spectrum. While I won’t be writing about my current situation, I have in the past worked for companies that have been on the downward trend. But more to the point, I have worked for companies as a sustaining engineer (keeping old product alive) and through a recession. I think both of these put me in the red area of the spectrum, though the business I worked for did not ultimately shut down. Regardless, I think this situation causes some interesting changes in how I and my colleagues acted as engineers. I’ll cover the the sustaining engineering and the recession separately, though there will be similarities between the two. Sustaining Engineering Sustaining engineering is not always fun. For those who have never heard of it, it’s the engineering based around keeping a product…

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Engineering has changed a lot and continues to change. I think a lot of the technological aspects of this are pretty obvious. But something that might be more appropriate to this economy is what engineering means as a profession. I remember earlier this year when we asked on here whether engineering was a respected profession. But now I think there’s a new question being asked: whether engineering is a stable job. According to the census bureau there are something like 1.6 million engineers employed in the US. A whopping 12% of those are direct employees of state, local or the federal government. It doesn’t list how many engineers are indirectly funded by the government by working on government grants in science or engineering, working for companies that receive direct payment for goods and services from the government for infrastructure programs or even direct commercial goods, or how many are employed…

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As an engineer, it’s common to hear moaning about the way that a manager or supervisor is making decisions. Hell, there are entire cartoons dedicated to the constant struggle between management and engineering (and many other departments and engineering). But oftentimes the complaints heard are generic and can be attributed more to human nature and the struggle against any┬átype of management or direction, as opposed to poor engineering direction. While I still contribute my fair share of griping and moaning, there is only one type of behavior that truly upsets me: The MBA Playbook. I have referred to the MBA Playbook in many different contexts before. On my radio show, in my long dormant blog and I believe even on Engineer Blogs before. The basic idea is that there is a book handed out to all the students on the first day of class at most business schools. They study…

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