Education and Career Insights

A Peek Inside Your CEO’s Head

Insight is valuable. Understanding how the executives in your organizations think is important to understanding if you’re aligned to their goals and objectives. And ultimately, that determines a lot in terms of your role and your engineering team’s role within the company.

The Biggest Loser of the STEM Shortfall?

It’s now been over a week since I got back from Arizona, and COFES is still on my mind. To get an idea of what it is and what it is all about, head on over to Monica Schnitger’s Hot Topics post on COFES 2011: Desert, Ideas and Horses to get a broad overview. But …

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Are You Losing the War for Engineering Talent?

I have to admit, I am ready to move on past all of the talk about the recession and recovery. But there’s some good news that deserves some attention. Most notably, some relatively recent research is showing that executives at manufacturers are planning on hiring again. An article in Industryweek titled Manufacturers Expecting to Hire …

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The Fading Prestige of Engineering

Thinking back, I distinctly remember my original impression of engineers. Mainly it came from TV shows about NASA engineers working on the space program. They were designing and developing amazing technology to let the astronauts survive the radiation, vacuum and coldness of space. I remember simply being in awe of their work. At that time, being an engineer was highly prestigious. Those that went into the profession were kind of put on a pedestal.

Macro and Micro Product Development

Can process really differentiate your company? I know. It’s an longtime debate. In fact, thinking back several years now, I remember it almost as an ongoing joke. And the story would always be the same. Folks from a software provider would sit down with a customer to talk about their processes. The people from the manufacturer would always declare with a laugh: “our process is totally unique. You will have never seen anything like what we do as a process because it’s what differentiates us in the market.”

People Skills in Engineering Education

A few weeks ago, I wrote about The Importance of People Skills for Engineers. The basic premise is that because engineers work with people from all sorts of roles from different functional departments to resolve product issues, they need people skills more than anyone else in the company. While writing those points, I have to admit that one major question kept running through my head.

Why didn’t I learn anything like this in engineering school?

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)

Where Lean Product Development Goes Wrong

Surprising how time flies by isn’t it. Here we are, now in March of 2011 and I’m thinking to myself “how did that happen?” Feeling the need to catch up, I called a friend of mine here in Austin and went to grab a drink. We spent a while catching up but soon enough, our conversation steered towards shop-talk. See, he’s an been deploying lean, six sigma and other similar initiatives for years. And what he said surprised me a bit.

People Classroom

Learning and the 10,000 Hour Threshold to Become an Expert Engineer?

Do you consider yourself an expert at your job? Well, maybe that’s not the best question. Let’s try this instead. All tags and titles aside, do you consider yourself a professional’s professional as an engineer? Why ask the question? Well, something in an interesting article written by Tony Schwartz over at the Harvard Business Review …

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Research on CEO’s Priorities: What it Means for Engineering

Ever wanted to know what exactly was running through your CEO’s head? Well, you’re not alone. Sometimes, it can be a little difficult to discern exactly what you can do best to help the company. And gaining insight into what your CEO is really concerned about sheds some light on that.