The Degree or the Certification: Learn to See

10 November 2014 | Comments Off on The Degree or the Certification: Learn to See

This week I was reading through various RSS feeds, and ran across a couple that fell within the scope of last week’s topic. So, rather than moving on to more practical concerns, as I had planned to do — well, I thought I should respond to some common lines of thinking. First of all, the…

The Degree or the Certification

3 November 2014 | 6 Comments

Having just come off doing a presentation on “being a great engineer,” I can tell you what the number one question people asked was: Should I get a degree, or a certification? In fact, several people were irritated that Denise and I were even talking about anything else, because it’s the only question that counts.…

The Inner Ring

27 October 2014 | 4 Comments

An avid reader of C.S. Lewis, I often find his thoughts and statements applicable far outside his original intent. For instance, in 1944 (at least a few years before I was born I feel safe to say), he gave an amazing lecture at the Memorial Lecture of King’s College, University of London. The entire speech…

Write Like You Mean It (Part 2)

13 October 2014 | 1 Comment

In the first part of this two part series, I talked about why it’s important to learn to write — and to learn to write effectively. But how do you become an effective writer? I started with the importance of reading, particularly difficult and regular reading across a broad array of topics. Is there anything…

Write Like You Mean It (Part 1)

6 October 2014 | 1 Comment

Engineers are supposed to be able to gather information, arrange it in a way that makes sense, and then propose a solution that actually solves the problem at hand — right? So why is it I’m almost constantly astounded at the lack of writing skills in the engineering community? Why don’t engineers know how to…

Get Out of the Way

29 September 2014 | 6 Comments

I have a lot of memories that have emerged from my years as a network engineer — from funny stories to profound moments to those times when I felt like a complete idiot (because we’re all idiots sometimes). One of those formative moments was when I was agonizing over the decision to leave the Global Escalation…

Jim — I’m an Engineer, not a…

22 September 2014 | 2 Comments

Doctor McCoy, on the original Star Trek series had a signature line — he was forever complaining about this or that with the exclamation that he was just a doctor, and not a… Well, whatever, from shuttle driver to politician. And how many times, in my career, have I wanted to stop in the middle…

What I Learned by Being Laid Off

8 September 2014 | 6 Comments

There’s nothing quite so unnerving as being laid off. I know, because I’ve been let go in a “limited restructuring” twice in my life. Through the process, I learned some “life lessons,” that apply to just about every engineering in the world. While I’m safely ensconced in a great place at Ericsson, I thought it…

Jack of All Trades

31 August 2014 | 4 Comments

“Jack of all trades, master of none…” How many times have you heard that in your life? In your career as an engineer? I’ve probably heard it hundreds of times, if not thousands, from working on RADAR and various sorts of radio and other electronics in the US Air Force to as recently as last…