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Starting a new gig? Here’s how to make an immediate and lasting impact

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Starting a new job always brings up a wide range of emotions, running the gambit from anxiety to outright excitement.  Too often, those in technical professions do not think through the practical methods to make the transition as smooth and beneficial as possible.  What steps can a new employee take to make a positive and measurable impact with the new company?

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Best Handoff Practices for Design Teams

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One of the most difficult engineering processes to nail down is a complex design handoff from one team to another.  Awhile back, I discussed this briefly using a football analogy.  I want to expand on that a little today:

  • What makes a handoff so difficult?
  • Why does so much information get lost?
  • Why do teams inherently place blame on each other when it goes poorly?

Other than the basic communication issues between engineers (that we’ve discussed ad nauseum here, here, and here), there are specific issues with an engineering handoff that make it difficult.

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Engineers are bad communicators: 6 ways to fix this, part 2

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This is a continuation of the previous post about how to improve communication amongst engineers, their teams, and their managers. Read the rest of this entry »

Engineers are bad communicators: six ways to fix this (part 1)

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Awhile back, I posted about “Best Practices for Communicating between Engineers“.  This time around, I wanted to be a little more specific about how basic communication blunders can be avoided.  I’ve seen countless violations of these rules, and they always seem so easy to fix.

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Are Engineers Good at Fixing Things?

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Are engineers good at fixing things?  Or, more specifically, do the skills acquired from en engineering degree / engineering job lend themselves to the basic household issues that always seem to pop up?  The reason I pose the question is that I’m often asked, “Why don’t you know how to fix a leaky faucet, you’re an engineer?”  Or, since many of my acquaintances know the discipline in which I received my degree (Electrical Engineering), the question might be, “Why don’t you know how to install a new overhead light?”  My responses are always short and to the point: “I don’t know because I was never taught,” and the questioner always walks away decidedly unimpressed.

I draw two main conclusions from these mock conversations: Read the rest of this entry »

Sailboats that Fly?

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Hydrofoil Sailboats are one of the most impressive watersports out there!  There are not many sailboats that can go faster than the wind.  C-Class Catamarans are a very open class of Sailboat Racing with only a few limitations (same hull used on both sides, a width and length limitation).  Other than that, it is completely up to the designers.  Materials, weight, and sails are un-regulated.

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What happens after a engineering project is posted?

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The idea behind Industrial Interface is pretty simple.  Engineers need stuff and suppliers sell stuff.  We put the two groups together in a very efficient way.  An engineer describes what she is looking for in detail, and our system puts her project in front of relevant suppliers who might be able to help.  If they can help, they pay us a fee (to encourage high quality connections and keep the service running) and then they can contact her.  That sure was simple.  Now I’m going to give you the details. Read the rest of this entry »

Making our suppliers more accessible to engineers

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When industrial salespeople sign up for our site, they complete a detailed supplier profile including their products and services. Our system stores all this information in a database, and we use it to match engineering projects to the right suppliers. To show this we built some quick links to basic search pages that list this information in an easy to read way. We’re hoping by making this data accessible, our users will gain a deeper understanding of how our system works. Read the rest of this entry »