Where are all the Machinists - Page 16
Close
Login to Your Account
Page 16 of 22 FirstFirst ... 61415161718 ... LastLast
Results 301 to 320 of 427
  1. #301
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Virginia
    Posts
    27,657
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7561
    Likes (Received)
    8609

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tdmidget View Post
    Thermite, surely one with your grasp of language can understand that "Molding, coremaking and casting machine setters, operators and tenders (metal and plastic)" almost exclusively means the "tenders" of injection molding machines producing endless streams of parts for Hyundais and Kias at $8/hr or less. Nowhere does it remotely imply that a single mold was sourced in the U. S..
    T
    ISTR that MoldMAKERS were in some of those listings as well?

    But Kia's, Hyundai's aside - it is not just automotive but "hard goods" in general - simply aren't MADE the same way they were with so little change for so many years. Many jobs are not EVER "coming back" and probably should not.

    Subtractive machining as a segment, for example, has been progressively more marginalized for long years.. and why would it NOT be ?

    Where's the point of turning ten pounds of metal into nine pounds of chip to get one pound of finished part... when a re-think has been finding ways, year after year, to make it another way with ten percent loss to recycling instead of 90 percent having to be cut away into chip?

    "Learn and GROW" has to keep on happening for each industry just as much as for each individual participant WORKING IN any given industry.

    Button-pushing is too boring? Move up to design and programming. then to invention of the replacement tech.

    3-D printing came from developers and experimenters. It won't be the last frontier.

    Hate to think it.. but.. are we not beginning to resemble grizzled old sea captains trying to compete in the age of containerships by bemoaning how very damned hard it is to find reliable and experienced galley slaves to man the oars on our Triremes.


  2. Likes LockNut liked this post
  3. #302
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Australia (Hobart)
    Posts
    3,579
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    569
    Likes (Received)
    2714

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by thermite View Post
    Hate to think it.. but.. are we not beginning to resemble grizzled old sea captains trying to compete in the age of containerships by bemoaning how very damned hard it is to find reliable and experienced galley slaves to man the oars on our Triremes.

    The last of the big wind ships died commercially in the years leading up to WW2 and were gone pretty much forever after that. Prior to the final death those ships were manned with very small crews and mainly engaged in trade where the timeliness of delivery wasn't important. Grain from Australia to Europe was one of the last niche markets.

    Those ships were magnificent examples of their technology and utterly obsolete. A lot of current and recent past machining practices the same.

    PDW

  4. #303
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Virginia
    Posts
    27,657
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7561
    Likes (Received)
    8609

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PDW View Post
    The last of the big wind ships died commercially in the years leading up to WW2 and were gone pretty much forever after that. Prior to the final death those ships were manned with very small crews and mainly engaged in trade where the timeliness of delivery wasn't important. Grain from Australia to Europe was one of the last niche markets.

    Those ships were magnificent examples of their technology and utterly obsolete. A lot of current and recent past machining practices the same.

    PDW
    Wind? WIND? Ask the poor sods of the Veneti how badly that can let you down even when yah have the pesky Roman invaders outnumbered and have better ships.

    Nossir, Ceaser's gang whupped-up on 'em with classical "all-manual" machinery, not sea and sea!
    Oar-driven galleys as din't NEED no steenkin' "wind".

    Battle of Morbihan Gulf / Quiberon Bay, late summer 56 B.C.

    QED

    Hell of it is... over two thousand years on, you can probably still GET oarsman to run a replica rowing-galley easier than you can find machinists!

    Not as if they had to know anything much about sail plans nor all that running cordage-ey stuff.


  5. #304
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Webster Groves, MO
    Posts
    7,329
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1850
    Likes (Received)
    3397

    Default

    Jim Rozen's bikes are not even in the Antique Motorcycle Club of America post antique class. My 1940 Indian in my avatar is, but even my 1930 Indian and 1930 Henderson miss the antique class by one year. Jim's bikes are only ageing a bit.

    Re the comment that people with the mentality to be good machinists can be engineers, The best machinist I have worked with couldn't handle engineering school. He could work from a pencil sketch and often verbal instructions, but he needed the design. He was strictly of the "Engineers design it and the machinist makes it school." Many of the very good machinists (not all) I have known lacked the sort of imagination to dream up new designs. It's a completely different skill set, just as understanding electronics requires enough intelligence to run the mental mechanism but from there it is an ability that doesn't show up on an IQ test. One of the best electronics guys I know is contemptuous of mechanical design. "You can see that." I asked him how he worked in electronics and the answer was what I expected. "You have to lift the circuit off the page or circuit board and run it in your mind." Mechanical design requires a similar ability but it is easier because you have visual aids.

    Re additive machining, it has been around forever. In the ancient city of Ur, in what now is called Iraq, there is pottery made on a potter's wheel. Casting goes back almost that far as does hammering into shapes. Stamping and forging have been around for a long time. Electroforming goes back at least to WWI. 3D printing is the another step, certainly not the last. Subtractive machining will be around for a long time, although 3D printing will replace some operations.

    Bill

  6. #305
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Country
    SPAIN
    Posts
    3,550
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1996
    Likes (Received)
    1292

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 9100 View Post
    ... Mechanical design requires a similar ability but it is easier because you have visual aids.

    Bill
    I remember reading Ben Richs' Skunk Works book, where the old boss of Kelly Johnson said "the dam Swede can see air"

    Good post

  7. #306
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    peekskill, NY
    Posts
    24,457
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    4569

    Default

    [QUOTE=9100;3382184 Jim's bikes are only ageing a bit.

    Right but they are owner maintained and operated. None are hanger queens, they have to work
    for a living. We hired one engineer here (non-degreed) simply because he could do just that - maintain
    and operate equipment, manufacture repair parts from scratch. Over the years he's learned to
    draft and machine, I knew he could do that because I'd seen him do shade tree mechanic stuff. His
    work ethic runs *rings* around mine.

    Work ethic, and the ability to learn skills are the gold standards here. IQ tests are widely acknowledged
    to be so much worthless crap. Most of the folks I work with graduated from classy places, that's
    basically the entry fee. Again what sets them aside is the work ethic and hunger for new ideas.

  8. #307
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Country
    SWITZERLAND
    Posts
    1,006
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    122
    Likes (Received)
    413

    Default

    By the way, where are all the Engineers? I mean, not them FEM-CAD-CAM dabblers but really ingenious minds

  9. Likes TheOldCar, camscan liked this post
  10. #308
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    New Jersey
    Posts
    226
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    73
    Likes (Received)
    100

    Default

    Writing software, working from home, and getting paid way better than they can in manufacturing.

  11. #309
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Virginia
    Posts
    27,657
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7561
    Likes (Received)
    8609

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechanola View Post
    By the way, where are all the Engineers? I mean, not them FEM-CAD-CAM dabblers but really ingenious minds
    Similar mindset... one niece, long a Registered Professional Architect arredy, just promoted to a seniour position in her firm. A nephew and Godson interning and chasing his Masters in Architecture. Two other nieces Masters in Linguistics, another nephew a Lawster & civil government guru.

    The one who will probably make the most coin in lifetime earnings though is in sales, account management, and Logistics. His Dad trained as a Physicist, wrote HKG's HS textbook on it, but was absolute tops at sales & c. for - in turn - Wang, DEC, Compaq, HP before retiring.

    "Self starters" and driven to excel, every one of them. And their blanket-sharers.

    Par for the "curse", Hong Kong's ethnic Chinese. Daren't stand still. Get run-over in a Hong Kong Minute. Those are shorter than a "New York Minute".

    Competition breeds the improved. The competitive get improved options to breed.

    Or some old trite quote of similar vein...

    Your generation cannot easily find qualified folk - ANY field - because MY generation grew fat, lazy, complacent, and took it all for granted as last-forever stuff, aimed OUR kids at cushier and lazier roles than actually existed at decent returns.

    Sorry 'bout that, but all I can do NOW is try to half-arsed mentor - or tease and goad - on PM so the rest of you lot do NOT go all entitlement'ish lazy underemployed or UNemployed.

    I NEED to see y'all win, not lose. Rational self-interest, not altruism.

    Social Security is an important part of my retirement. It is a "transfer payment", no trust fund. What I put in, over 30 years and at "maximum", went out to MY parent's generation arredy all along the way. 'mericans in present-day labour force do not succeed and pay-in, the money simply ain't there for this one.

    Not the ONLY thing as runs well only off the back of success. All of life, human or otherwise, is like that.

    But you lot prolly already got the understanding with greater accuracy than "Democratic Socialists" or any other lot as think all they have to do is write a Law and publish it and we shall all be rich forever-after, ever' thing, after all being "free" 'coz the GOVERNMENT has now sworn it so!

    What a f*****g crock!

    Try lecturing a length of raw stock that you need not be compelled to take any effort to machine it.

    The specification SAYS it is meant to be a certain size, and it risks arrest and imprisonment if it doesn't comply of its own volition!


    I DID say y'all would understand it better than the politicians?

  12. #310
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Australia (Hobart)
    Posts
    3,579
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    569
    Likes (Received)
    2714

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jim rozen View Post
    Work ethic, and the ability to learn skills are the gold standards here. IQ tests are widely acknowledged
    to be so much worthless crap. Most of the folks I work with graduated from classy places, that's
    basically the entry fee. Again what sets them aside is the work ethic and hunger for new ideas.
    Had a manager come to me in a bit of a panic once. Software I'd had a hand in designing/coding had just manifested a bug and the client was not amused.

    Nor was the manager when my reaction was 'Hmmm - isn't that *interesting*' instead of some form of horror. But it was - anyone can do the easy stuff, it's the tricky bits that provide the challenges.

    I once failed an aptitude test for software development when applying for a job that I knew I could do with my eyes closed. One of my system designs is now in its 26th year of continuous use and enhancement. In fact I'm installing the latest upgrade in a couple hours.

    One of the (many) reasons I'd never have lasted as a machinist or similar is my very, very low boredom threshold. You want me to design/make one of something? No problem. Make 10, all the same? Pass. Thank God computers were invented, I say.

    PDW

  13. #311
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    NW Illlinois USA
    Posts
    427
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    102
    Likes (Received)
    134

    Default

    I recall an aptitude test I took. "Would you like to sort library books?". No. Results came back "weak in math". If the question was: "would you like to build a machine to sort library books?" then my answer would have been yes.

  14. Likes Yan Wo liked this post
  15. #312
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Flushing/Flint, Michigan
    Posts
    7,957
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    402
    Likes (Received)
    6588

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PDW View Post
    ...
    I once failed an aptitude test for software development when applying for a job t......
    PDW
    Perhaps you where not "born" to be a software guy and would not do well.
    That is not the path or true running is it?
    Many address entry or advanced level hires on the same. We want then to be like us, know what we have stored and make all the same moves we would.
    They will not.
    They will be a problem and make mistakes that you would not have. They also will not make mistakes that you may have.

    I do not like IQ tests, I do not like machinists skill tests.
    I think both are worthless and will not give you good employees.
    Bob

  16. #313
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Vermont
    Posts
    172
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    84
    Likes (Received)
    50

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pariel View Post
    Writing software, working from home, and getting paid way better than they can in manufacturing.
    Iíll say.

    One particular design engineer I know tried his hand with the manufacturing side. It was terrible. Gear grinding in the worst way. Not to say he wasnít 3.9 GPA smart, as he went back to the design world and is doing great, but man that was rough. Didnít know an endmill from a parting tool. Not to say thatís every instance, but Iíll probably stick with that prejudice until someone proves me wrong.

    I enjoy manufacturing too much to pursue anything... Iím not sure what to call it. More engineer like? Not that Iím book smart enough for much else, but even if I was Iíd hope to still be doing what I do now. Regardless of how design engineers make massive amounts of money... oh well.

    A friend who most closely matches your description of a mechanical engineer was a tool maker for 10 years, then went to college, then went back to manufacturing. He probably could have designed a jet that didnít need wings, but he likes what he does and wouldnít have it any other way. I think thatís the case with most of them, and I can only dream of reaching his level of mechanical aptitude.

  17. #314
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Australia (Hobart)
    Posts
    3,579
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    569
    Likes (Received)
    2714

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    Perhaps you where not "born" to be a software guy and would not do well.
    That is not the path or true running is it?
    Many address entry or advanced level hires on the same. We want then to be like us, know what we have stored and make all the same moves we would.
    They will not.
    They will be a problem and make mistakes that you would not have. They also will not make mistakes that you may have.

    I do not like IQ tests, I do not like machinists skill tests.
    I think both are worthless and will not give you good employees.
    Bob
    Agree, Bob. I don't really think much of intelligence or aptitude tests either. Maybe some guidance for a 16 year old, even then life opportunities and exposure to stuff others haven't had will play a big part.

    I used to tell my staff that I expected them to make mistakes and they were allowed to try new stuff as long as they ran it past me first.

    I never thought I knew everything (and the older I get the less I know) but I did know quite a few of the ways to fuck something up, generally from personal experience. Those were the mistakes I wanted them to avoid.

    Bit different from working on a very large & expensive casting and screwing the pooch on it though. Most software mistakes can be recovered from with more embarrassment than monetary damage. Most. Aircraft control systems maybe not.

    I'll likely hang it up in another year or 2; I still do consulting/programming because I enjoy it not because I need the money but I'd like more time to go sailing on my now-finished sailboat. But I need someone to take over responsibility for what's a very well-paying part time gig first. Got one of my ex-staff I trust in mind.

    PDW

  18. #315
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Webster Groves, MO
    Posts
    7,329
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1850
    Likes (Received)
    3397

    Default

    Lewis Terman, who had a lot to do with the development of IQ tests, followed a group of young people who scored over 140. Many of them did well but none did anything earth shaking. Meanwhile, he rejected two for not scoring high enough- William Shockley and Luis Alvarez. Interestingly, Lewis' son Frederick wrote the book on electrical engineering and encouraged William Hewlett and David Packard to start a business.

    A high score on an IQ test can be a curse. I spent my school years listening to old maid teachers saying "I'm so disappointed with you. You should be doing sooo much better." This to a kid who started reading high school physics books at 8 and made my first crystal set and amplifier at 9. School was a place where I had to do my time in a wasteland of teachers who knew nothing about subjects I cared about and instead had to sit through boring accounts of the doings of long dead European nobility until I could go home and really do something. The biggest break I got was having five neighbors who were technically knowledgeable. I got far more education from them than I got in school. If the criteria had been radio, diffusion cloud chamber and firearm construction, I would have been valedictorian instead of a mediocre student.

    I think a fundamental limitation of tests is that they usually have to cover too much territory. The result is that someone who might get 99 of 100 questions on hydraulic systems will only have two questions on the subject and then can't answer ones on stress analysis and aerodynamics.

    Bill

  19. #316
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Utah
    Posts
    559
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1392
    Likes (Received)
    218

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 9100 View Post
    Lewis Terman, who had a lot to do with the development of IQ tests, followed a group of young people who scored over 140. Many of them did well but none did anything earth shaking. Meanwhile, he rejected two for not scoring high enough- William Shockley and Luis Alvarez. Interestingly, Lewis' son Frederick wrote the book on electrical engineering and encouraged William Hewlett and David Packard to start a business.

    A high score on an IQ test can be a curse. I spent my school years listening to old maid teachers saying "I'm so disappointed with you. You should be doing sooo much better." This to a kid who started reading high school physics books at 8 and made my first crystal set and amplifier at 9. School was a place where I had to do my time in a wasteland of teachers who knew nothing about subjects I cared about and instead had to sit through boring accounts of the doings of long dead European nobility until I could go home and really do something. The biggest break I got was having five neighbors who were technically knowledgeable. I got far more education from them than I got in school. If the criteria had been radio, diffusion cloud chamber and firearm construction, I would have been valedictorian instead of a mediocre student.

    I think a fundamental limitation of tests is that they usually have to cover too much territory. The result is that someone who might get 99 of 100 questions on hydraulic systems will only have two questions on the subject and then can't answer ones on stress analysis and aerodynamics.

    Bill
    Bill, are you sure you're not me?

    Jan (Yan)

  20. #317
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Webster Groves, MO
    Posts
    7,329
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1850
    Likes (Received)
    3397

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Yan Wo View Post
    Bill, are you sure you're not me?

    Jan (Yan)
    Judging by your name, I'll bet you aren't a blue eyed blond low country German and Saxon English man.

    Bill

  21. #318
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    New York
    Posts
    34
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    23
    Likes (Received)
    32

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 9100 View Post
    Lewis Terman, who had a lot to do with the development of IQ tests, followed a group of young people who scored over 140. Many of them did well but none did anything earth shaking. Meanwhile, he rejected two for not scoring high enough- William Shockley and Luis Alvarez. Interestingly, Lewis' son Frederick wrote the book on electrical engineering and encouraged William Hewlett and David Packard to start a business.

    A high score on an IQ test can be a curse. I spent my school years listening to old maid teachers saying "I'm so disappointed with you. You should be doing sooo much better." This to a kid who started reading high school physics books at 8 and made my first crystal set and amplifier at 9. School was a place where I had to do my time in a wasteland of teachers who knew nothing about subjects I cared about and instead had to sit through boring accounts of the doings of long dead European nobility until I could go home and really do something. The biggest break I got was having five neighbors who were technically knowledgeable. I got far more education from them than I got in school. If the criteria had been radio, diffusion cloud chamber and firearm construction, I would have been valedictorian instead of a mediocre student.

    I think a fundamental limitation of tests is that they usually have to cover too much territory. The result is that someone who might get 99 of 100 questions on hydraulic systems will only have two questions on the subject and then can't answer ones on stress analysis and aerodynamics.

    Bill
    I was in a similar boat, but I did well enough in school that I was never billed a mediocre student, I just didn't really have to try that hard until I hit college. I built all kinds of stuff growing up and had some cool mentors who thought it was awesome that this 12 year old wanted to learn about science and engineering, while none of my schoolteachers could talk about my interests with me and I thought most of what they taught was boring as hell. So I was pushed towards engineering naturally, wound up in college for it, and learned that ABET had a very different idea of what an engineer should be doing than I did. Almost failed out a few times, switched to industrial design, and liked that a lot more as a creative outlet where I could actually make things instead of doing problem sets.

    I didn't give a rat's ass about long-dead European nobility UNTIL college. After I got disillusioned with engineering, I realized that the humanities and arts and all the shit we claim leads to jobs flipping burgers is actually pretty interesting, and not only that, it makes you a more well-rounded person with the ability to see from more perspectives. I think that is what's lacking in a lot of engineers these days. If you walk into an engineering classroom, a vast majority of students in there will tell you that they think creative writing, communications, and the like are all bullshit filler classes, but they're also going to be the ones who, surprise, have trouble writing clearly and communicating with people. I learned that those classes aren't necessarily just about the subject in the course name, they're also about teaching different ways of critical thinking and analysis, often very differently from engineering problem solving methods. Open-ended questions are hard and scary to people who just want to solve problems from a book because there's no answer key and you're graded based on your thought process. Open-ended questions are also the ones that you get paid the most for solving in the real world, and you have to learn to be okay with partial solutions and imperfect answers.

    My favorite professor liked to teach his classes without formal rubrics or particularly strict grading because he evaluated students on their growth. These were mostly sociology-related discussion-based electives, so that grading scheme worked fairly well. You couldn't phone it in and skip class, there wasn't much homework aside from the occasional term paper or longer-term project, and I learned SO MUCH from him after 5 semesters. He was (naturally) heavily involved in politics and was pretty far to the left, but he didn't care if you weren't. He wanted to know why you thought a certain way about something and would only ask questions, never tell you that your views were invalid or what to think. If you ran into a wall with your thinking, he wanted you to reason it out yourself and get back to him. I became a much better expository writer as a result because I know how to present my point and defend it in a formal academic setting. That skill translates to all areas of business and life. I can present on things in front of strangers with minimal preparation and no notecards because we had to give both formal and informal presentations constantly, easily 10-15 times in a semester. The engineering curriculum tries to address these things through "professional development" courses that nobody, including the professors, takes seriously. You have to go out of your way to build and maintain these skills for yourself if you want them.

    Much of what a cubicle engineer does can and is handled by computers, and more and more tasks will be automated as technology progresses. The only way to stand out as an engineer is to have those "soft skills" that allow you to connect with people on a personal level on top of the technical stuff. You can teach just about anyone to do math and CAD and run FEA given enough time, but it's much harder to teach someone how to be a person. The same goes for machinists and anyone in a technical field at this point. You stand out in your field when you can do more than just your job description, especially when that means you can translate tech-speak into something your managers can understand without feeling dumb.

  22. Likes mountie liked this post
  23. #319
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    New Jersey
    Posts
    2,284
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    202
    Likes (Received)
    1252

    Default

    When I was unemployed in the beginning of 2018 I interviewed at a shop. The owner gave me an aptitude test consisting of shop math and a situational test. After he scored everything he asked if I took these tests before as I had the highest score in the 20 years he gave it. That being said I had asked (before the test) for 30/hour...he was very eager to hire me on the spot but he would only go to 23. I respectfully declined.

  24. Likes SND, solidworkscadman, Fancuku liked this post
  25. #320
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Virginia
    Posts
    27,657
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7561
    Likes (Received)
    8609

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Roboman01 View Post
    I was in a similar boat, but I did well enough in school that I was never billed a mediocre student, I just didn't really have to try that hard until I hit college. I built all kinds of stuff growing up and had some cool mentors who thought it was awesome that this 12 year old wanted to learn about science and engineering, while none of my schoolteachers could talk about my interests with me and I thought most of what they taught was boring as hell. So I was pushed towards engineering naturally, wound up in college for it, and learned that ABET had a very different idea of what an engineer should be doing than I did. Almost failed out a few times, switched to industrial design, and liked that a lot more as a creative outlet where I could actually make things instead of doing problem sets.

    I didn't give a rat's ass about long-dead European nobility UNTIL college. After I got disillusioned with engineering, I realized that the humanities and arts and all the shit we claim leads to jobs flipping burgers is actually pretty interesting, and not only that, it makes you a more well-rounded person with the ability to see from more perspectives. I think that is what's lacking in a lot of engineers these days. If you walk into an engineering classroom, a vast majority of students in there will tell you that they think creative writing, communications, and the like are all bullshit filler classes, but they're also going to be the ones who, surprise, have trouble writing clearly and communicating with people. I learned that those classes aren't necessarily just about the subject in the course name, they're also about teaching different ways of critical thinking and analysis, often very differently from engineering problem solving methods. Open-ended questions are hard and scary to people who just want to solve problems from a book because there's no answer key and you're graded based on your thought process. Open-ended questions are also the ones that you get paid the most for solving in the real world, and you have to learn to be okay with partial solutions and imperfect answers.

    My favorite professor liked to teach his classes without formal rubrics or particularly strict grading because he evaluated students on their growth. These were mostly sociology-related discussion-based electives, so that grading scheme worked fairly well. You couldn't phone it in and skip class, there wasn't much homework aside from the occasional term paper or longer-term project, and I learned SO MUCH from him after 5 semesters. He was (naturally) heavily involved in politics and was pretty far to the left, but he didn't care if you weren't. He wanted to know why you thought a certain way about something and would only ask questions, never tell you that your views were invalid or what to think. If you ran into a wall with your thinking, he wanted you to reason it out yourself and get back to him. I became a much better expository writer as a result because I know how to present my point and defend it in a formal academic setting. That skill translates to all areas of business and life. I can present on things in front of strangers with minimal preparation and no notecards because we had to give both formal and informal presentations constantly, easily 10-15 times in a semester. The engineering curriculum tries to address these things through "professional development" courses that nobody, including the professors, takes seriously. You have to go out of your way to build and maintain these skills for yourself if you want them.

    Much of what a cubicle engineer does can and is handled by computers, and more and more tasks will be automated as technology progresses. The only way to stand out as an engineer is to have those "soft skills" that allow you to connect with people on a personal level on top of the technical stuff. You can teach just about anyone to do math and CAD and run FEA given enough time, but it's much harder to teach someone how to be a person. The same goes for machinists and anyone in a technical field at this point. You stand out in your field when you can do more than just your job description, especially when that means you can translate tech-speak into something your managers can understand without feeling dumb.
    Great post! Yours as well, Bill P.

    PM has a higher than average concentration of VERY bright minds. Even those with the most impressive of "test scores" are here to learn from those many others who may not themselves realize that test scores or no, they, too, are among the better "problem solvers" on the entire planet.

    Problems solved will feed you well, always, where test-scores will never.

    Fuck the paperwork. Just keep on succeeding folks.

    If only because it confuses the s**t out of those who have far more limited ability than THEY realize!

    ...and that is great FUN!


  26. Likes Roboman01, SND liked this post

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •