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Top Ten Things That Annoy Engineers

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10. The Phone (see our post “10 Reasons Engineers Hate the Phone“)

9. Multiple Office Sites – As if things weren’t complicated enough, I have to try to communicate and solve complex issues over the phone and through NetMeeting, WebEx, and VNC?  Maybe if I am especially lucky, I’ll get to travel back and forth for months at a time!

8. Executive speak – Nothing quite like a load of BS from the VP about how great everything is going.  Or worse… when it’s quiet, you know it’s REALLY bad.

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When Engineers Should Embrace Change

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Every CFO would answer the question with, “When it costs less.”  Period.  End of story.  Unfortunately, when dealing with high-tech design, this is blatantly untrue.  There is a plethora of bad technical decisions awaiting every company, from untested software to unproven IP, going cheap (and thus forcing change upon your engineers) isn’t always the best way to go.

As with any real design, balance is the key.  Change is necessary.  If semiconductor designers stayed with the same software they used in the 80′s, our laptops would still be as powerful as handheld calculators.  The goal of the company should be to balance the benefits of change (improved profit margins, more advanced technology), with the associated risks (my recent post: Why Engineers Resist Change & How To Change Their Minds).  Engineers need to embrace change under the following circumstances.

1) “Be a little selfish.”

Engineers should embrace change if it provides an immediate opportunity to increase their own personal skill sets.   This applies to learning new software, new programming languages, new management techniques, and of course new design methods.

It’s true that some companies will force this upon the engineer during times of high stress, causing the engineer to burn up a lot of personal time in the process.  I would argue that it’s probably still worth it.  Bottom line, if it’s something that can be put on your resume and the company is paying for the training, you should do it.

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