Episode 97 — Next Hundred

hundredAdam, Brian, and Jeff discuss where the podcast should venture during its second hundred episodes.

  • Adam claims to be better at long term than short-term planning.
  • Listener feedback is encouraged as we try to sort out what topics to cover in upcoming episodes.
  • Tutorial episodes (for example, Nuts and Bolts) seem well-received, but require substantial advance planning. Additionally, there are limits to how “deep” we can dive with an audio podcast.
  • Podcasts that regularly dive into technical subjects include Pragmatic and Security Now.
  • Brian notes Dan Carlin’s voice, which can be heard on the Hardcore History podcast.
  • Jeff would like to see a steady stream of working engineers appear on the podcast during coming years.
  • “War stories” have benefited Brian during the course of his career.
  • Brian suggests using LinkedIn to reach potential guests for future episodes.
  • A possible new feature for the podcast would be coverage of current engineering events; say, the recent landing of the Blue Origin rocket.
  • One of the classic television “debate” shows was CNN’s Crossfire, which premiered in 1982.
  • While there are only 8 engineers in the current US Congress, there are 202 lawyers among the 435 Representatives and 100 Senators that make up that legislative body.
  • Jeff acknowledges his home state once came close to passing a law that would redefine the irrational number pi as being 3.2.
  • Adam notes that the degree of curvature is frequently used in civil engineering.
  • Vanity publishing has been around for many years, although it is much easier to be self-published these days.
  • We discuss a recent episode of The Amp Hour podcast where Chris and Dave answered live questions.
  • Brian insists we should avoid participating in “Hangout-a-thons.”
  • In recent episodes there hasn’t been much discussion of the trend toward shorter employment periods for engineers; Jeff wonders if this could provide an area of focus in the future.
  • Most people lose interest in new music after the age of 33.
  • Jeff has never been fond of disco music, especially the 1979 hit by Anita Ward, “Ring My Bell.” (YouTube)

Thanks to Ervins Strauhmanis for the photo titled “Money.” Podcast theme music by Paul Stevenson.

2 thoughts on “Episode 97 — Next Hundred”

  1. Guys thank you for a great podcast!

    Some thoughts. I think The Engineering Commons is doing a good job of providing the kind of info that is hard to get anywhere else, i.e. experience based info. Going into more detailed topics will be interesting, but I think most people would just look it up on google/wikipedia. Experience based info is a lot harder to come by and really more valuable today.

    I like the idea on war stories. There is a lot to be learned from these. Either you experience the same thing and have the solution right away or it puts things into perspective when you find yourself as the main character in such a story – “a year from know you are going to laugh about this and it will be in your book of war stories – keep going…” is what other people’s stories tell you. Maybe a war story a week (contributed by listeners too) would be nice – here is the story and these are the lessons learned from it. (The book, The dog barks when the phone rings, is a good example…) This could be combined with something like – this is the problem we had and this is how we solved it. (Very valuable to newbies.)

    A recommended book insert would also be nice too, although a little hard to cover for all engineering disciplines it would still be nice. (For April Fool’s you can throw in some Romantic Novel…)

    Another thing I enjoy about the podcast is that although you sometimes wander off topic, it contributes to making the podcast easy to listen to. (I am sorry to say that some others tend to drift more towards the podcasters and the problems they have producing the podcast/their youtube channel – every week. I don’t listen to those anymore I have never found this with your podcast.)

    Covering different engineering disciplines is hard, often the disciplines other than your own you find boring (I do), but you have done a great job at pulling us different nerds together…
    Considering that you have full time jobs and families of your own, you have done a fantastic job! Thank you.

    Looking forward to the next 100 episodes!

  2. I love the interviews you do with working engineers, how about profiles on the great engineers/engineering feats of history? The hoover dam, the Dunlop process, printed organs, the mess with train track sizes etc. Other topics: Negotiating a salary, the importance of reputation, auto didacts, why cellphones are getting thinner when no one is asking for thinner phones, why small teams do certain things better than big teams. And the way technology is taking tasks that were hard for experts, and makes them available to non experts. (For example, the cars of today lack artistry, because it is easy for a manager or focus group to suggest changes, and because modeling on a PC is easy and cheap, the designer has less of a voice than when designs were carved out by hand). And get a brewmaster on, because brewing is definitely Chemical Engineering…

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