Education and Career Insights

Are Engineers and Their Employers Growing More Distant?

It seems that lately there has been a lot of talent management issues in engineering. With that in mind, I came across an interesting article written by Jeffrey Pfeffer over at the Harvard Business Review called Take Care of Yourself First.

An Evolving Analogy of Technology Adoption by Engineering Generations

If you’ve been reading posts here at engineering-matter.com, I’m sure by now you know I write a good bit about generational issues in engineering as well as the software applications and systems used in engineering organizations. As you might imagine, I started to think about these two issues in light of one another. Specifically, my mind started work on the question: how have different generations adopted technology in the engineering office?

An Introduction to Talent Management: A Means to Stem Chaos in Engineering?

So far on this blog, we’ve talked about a lot of issues when managing an engineering organization. We’ve looked at generational issues from several different Boomer, GenX and GenY perspectives. We’ve looked at the CEO’s directive to engineering and how engineering can’t operate as a black box anymore. A way to address a number of these issues lies in Talent Management initiatives.

Future Now: GenY Stepping into Boomer Engineering Roles

Back in September, in one of the very first posts on the generation gap in engineering, I wrote about how the age profile of an engineering organization resembles a saddle. There are lots of Boomer engineers, much fewer GenX engineers and quite a lot of GenY engineers. In that post, I included an excerpt from a discussion I had with Howard Schimmoller, who had this to say about the implications of such an age profile.

Who Builds 3D Models? Engineers? Designers? Drafters?

With that in mind, I started up a conversation over at the ASME professional group over at LinkedIn. Not to get a definitive answer, but at laest to test the waters two years after some direct modeling CAD technology had hit the market. Specifically, I asked “Who should ultimately be the user of CAD tools? Engineer? Designer? Drafter?” Naturally, the question got some strong and opinionated responses.

Honing in on the Source of Conflict on Multi-Generational Teams

In this series, we’ve talked a lot about the characteristics of generations and how different they can be. But as of yet, we really haven’t delved into why those differences can lead to conflict in the workplace. To start with a baseline, let’s take a look at Tammy Erickson’s post on the Four Biggest Reasons for Generation Conflict on Teams from the Harvard Business Review blog.

The Debate over Differences at Work across Generations

Back in July, Rawn Shah who is a consultant for social networking for business over at IBM, contributing an interesting post to Forbes.com called Why You Must Network With Your Younger Employees. Now I disagree with Rawn on several points in this post including his statements saying that Boomers hoard and control information and the fact that he grouped GenY’ers and Millenials together, but he posted a very interesting table that compares and contrasts some characteristics across generations.

What is ‘The Goal’ for Engineering? How Alex Rogo Came to Conclusions…

Sometimes, it’s the simplest questions that are exactly the hardest ones to answer. In a post last week, I wrote about a book I read some time ago called The Goal (wikipedia entry). In it, the main character struggles to identify both the goal, increased profitability, and constraints of that goal, production bottlenecks and sales limitations, in a manufacturing plant he oversees in an effort to save it from being shut down. Based on that premise, I asked what the analogue is to engineering. What exactly is the goal for engineering? What are the constraints keeping engineering from that goal?

The Challenge of GenY’s Expectations for Engineering

Do you remember what is was like when you were first hired as an engineer? Do you remember the type of work you did? Did you enjoy it? Was it fulfilling? I imagine some of you are laughing at that last question. But in all seriousness. Think about it. Now hold on to that thought while we start to talk about Gen Y engineers. These are the people just graduating from engineering school and getting their first job. They’re just starting off their professional career. Think they’re in the same mental state you were in? Actually, that’s very unlikely.