Tag Archives: culture

Episode 108 — Engineering Sensibilities

walkwayAdam, Brian, Carmen and Jeff discuss an engineer’s sense of right and wrong, and why that worldview may conflict with organizational priorities.

  • A recent article in Engineering & Technology Magazine addressed the issue of whether engineers are “made,” or “born.”
  • Brian references the classic spherical chicken joke.
  • A discussion ensues about how often engineers see non-engineers as those who wanted to enter the engineering field, but couldn’t “cut it” as an engineer.
  • Jeff describes taking a DISC personality test early in his career, and discovering that individuals with strengths different than his weren’t really “broken,” as he had once believed.
  • The Dreyfus Model of skill acquisition is mentioned by Carmen.
  • Adam and Carmen describe developing professional confidence after working two or three years in their respective fields.
  • Several logical fallacies are discussed, including the Dunning-Kruger effect.
  • Adam mentions dealing with “the public,” and Brian notes such an experience is unfamiliar to most engineers.
  • If there was only one way to do everything, says Jeff, there would be no room for individual preference, and hence no way to offend one’s engineering sensibilities.
  • A leading structural engineer of his time was Ove Arup, who founded Arup Group Limited.
  • According to an Arup Group video, Ove Arup once said that “An engineer who doesn’t care a damn what his design looks like as long as it works and is cheap, who doesn’t care for elegance, neatness, order and simplicity for its own sake, it not a good engineer.”
  • A March 2014 Gizmodo article about “fish skeleton architecture” is referenced by Brian.
  • Jeff introduces Edgar Schein’s organizational theory of Three Cultures.
  • We discover that Carmen is actively working to optimize his breakfast routine, an effort centered around perfecting his morning toast.
  • In Episode 76, Creative Diversity, we talked about Kirton’s Adaption-Innovation theory.
  • Jeff shares a balloon story involving an engineer and a marketer.
  • Marketers tend to see engineers as strange creatures who care nothing about closing business deals.
  • The TV show Silicon Valley is dealing with engineering vs. marketing tensions, says Brian.
  • A Dilbert cartoon about marketers is mentioned by Jeff.
  • Translations between marketing and engineering viewpoints are discussed.
  • We discuss how marketers and engineers are becoming more like one another.
  • Carmen relates his recent adventure escaping from a “breakout room” with his engineering buddies.

Thanks to Paul Bica for use of the photo titled “bridging knowledge to health.” Opening music by John Trimble, and concluding theme by Paul Stevenson.