Tuesday, February 22, 2011

National Engineers Week

Here's a piece for the week from some of my colleagues...

My favorite thing about being an engineer is...
always thinking about how to make things better
improving people's lives
beautifully coded useful applications
The ability to build things that affect the lives of millions
being able to problem-solve all day long
creating useful things
the pay
Building things and the joy of seeing them work.
The 'aha!' moments of understanding when I discover how an elaborate software architecture works, its parts and their interactions. The opportunity to unbreak things, repurpose, tweak and construct new ones; especially when they are useful to *other* people too, and they make a difference in their lives.
Creating things but also breaking things in spectacular ways.
taking apart things, understanding how things work, fixing things, building machines that help people
Solving problems to make the world a better place
making things out of thought-stuff
the feeling when stuff actually works.
doing something I would be doing for free while being paid for it :-)
constant tinkering and discovery
They give me all of these wonder toys AND they pay me to play with them! (I work on mobile development)
I get to build things that help people
Taking stuff apart and making something new from the pieces.
Making things that other people can use
creating new things
working with other engineers
putting power in the hands of the people
using my problem solving skills in my everyday life.
Making things work.
discovering elegant solutions to difficult problems
being able to create beautiful things.
Building stuff!
Designing and making things that are useful to people
solving problems
building things that people will use.
I get to work with smart people.
Building things that did not exist before

I first knew I was an engineer when...
I stayed up all night playing video games
i enjoyed learning calculus
i made a game
I played with legos as a child
I fell in love with Capsela
I got my first computer at age 4
i figured out how to decode paper tape by hand, to learn how a computer game was written
I loved working on the computer and building computer games.
I started taking things apart to see what's inside. My father's alarm clock was the first 'convenient victim'.
My parents knew it when as a kid I took apart an expensive watch which did not belong to me...
When people started referring to me as one
I connected a battery to light up a bulb, must have been in 6th grade
I took apart my remote-controlled car as a kid
I realised I loved making software
I nearly killed myself with 230v
I decided to exchange my precious collection of Marvel Hero magazines by an electronic kit still at middle school.
I was 8 years old and got a TI-99 4A
I built a dollhouse out of legos
I made my first LED blink. It was red.
I started coding at age 10
I was able to solve problems others weren't
i spent a lot of time programming a calculator
I had to know how everything worked.
I realized I'd read the 18 volume "how it works" encyclopedia from cover to cover.
I took apart my first hard drive with my father
I saw a video game and wondered how they drew 3D like that.
I took apart a digital scale to see how it worked.
I decided I liked concrete coding more than abstract math
I realized I liked computer programming better than physics.
The first person who has never heard of me played around with something I built

You might be an engineer if...
you are constantly trying to fix things
you like math and you like building things
are engaged with computers
You have a strong, quantitative mind, attention to detail, and a knack for understanding how machines work and why
you love putting science and math into use in the real world
you think pi is more interesting than pie
you'd rather sit and do puzzles than play sports
Love tinkering with things and have an urge to automate things.
You feel the need to trace, document, understand 'stuff' and are driven by the imperative to talk to other engineers about it
If you look at a theatre or concert stage and a good fraction of the time you look where the lights are, and what patterns are used to light the set.
You can manage to follow instructions and follow some basic rules.
you like to build things
you are driven to take things apart or figure out how they work
you love mathematical/algorithmic problem solving
"how does it work" is more than a rap line.
you are passionate about turning ideas for gadget, devices or softwares into something that can transform peoples lives and you don't stop when you find a technical obstacle.
you're counting physical things and get to 'A'
you like to build things to help people
You are not satisfied with thinking of technology as magic.
You take things apart (and put them back together)!
computer code makes you smile
you enjoy taking things apart
if you like solving problems
The first thing you want to do with a new toy is rip off the cover and see what makes it go.
you enjoy figuring out the details of how things work
you like make things work by putting things together.
You like to understand how things work.
You're fascinated by how things work
you find puzzles fun
you enjoy puzzle solving.
You also have "engineer" in your job title? I'm not sure I understand the question.
You like seeing things tick together

This video/image shows what I like most about engineering (insert link)...

Images:
http://omega-onsite.com/plugs.jpg
http://i.annihil.us/u/prod/marvel/i/mg/3/b0/4c3657b81e770/detail.jpg
http://toki-woki.net/blog/p2242-hey-lego-table
https://picasaweb.google.com/boris.debic/Xmass2010#5555641303209867522
http://xkcd.com/303/
http://www.impactlab.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/google-switzerland-1.jpg
http://911research.wtc7.net/essays/thermite/docs/thermite_demo_s.jpg
http://www.gwb3.com/GWBIII/Blog/Entries/2009/5/24_Are_you_smarter_than_a_Freshman_files/2%3D1.jpg
http://scientificproofmagazine.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/picture-4.png
[the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows bridge]

Videos
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tL2Gf1qDfBs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOtoujYOWw0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fw8WRBq1Qxw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pM6uD8nePo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qs_5EVH8O0o

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