Re: Why do engineers do it? (Was: Reorganization Question)

Subject: Re: Why do engineers do it? (Was: Reorganization Question)
From: Jim Grey <jimgrey -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 1996 08:43:00 EST

I wrote:
>Many engineers work for the sake of the mental challenge, for the
>opportunity to expand their knowledge, for the chance to try new things.
>It's the behavior of the geek.

Then Colleen Dancer <DANCER -dot- COLLEEN -at- A2 -dot- ABC -dot- NET -dot- AU> wrote:
>Then I'm a geek :) I may not have a n engineering degree, but a Com Sci,
>but the reasons expressed are still some of my main reasons for working.
>The reasons do not preclude anyone from having a customer focus or
>anything else.

I omitted a crucial element of the engineering mind about which I wrote:
Such engineers work *solely* for the mental challenge and how it makes them
feel. I didn't mean to imply (but see that I implied it nonetheless) that
all engineers are such geeks*.

*I use the term geek with a smile on my face because I have been one, and
still exhibit geek-ridden tendencies from time to time.

I have a B.S. in Mathematics from an engineering school (Rose-Hulman
Institute of Technology). I studied alongside, worked with, and lived with
engineers-in-training. Many of them were this single-minded. One
Electrical Engineering roommate designed and built an amazing digital alarm
clock for a design class. This roommate was obviously in love with what he
had created. It had some really interesting, but on the whole useless,
features (that I don't remember this many years later). Its usage was
extremely cumbersome, I noted as he passionately explained it to me. He
even mentioned marketing this contraption. To him, its coolness factor was
about 99.8 -- and if he was this enthusiastic about it, it must be
marketable, right?

A friend of mine recently sent me a humorous message that decently explains
the engineer's mindset. It's longish, so I won't post it. If you'd like to
see it, e-mail me privately (jimgrey -at- iquest -dot- net) and I'll send you a copy!

jim grey |"Ain't nothin' better in the world, you know
jimgrey -at- iquest -dot- net|Than lyin' in the sun, listenin' to the radio!"

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