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Engineers Explained

#1
Ok you techies and now the IS Ops are chest poking in the mess about being an Engineer.

Well it must be true becuase this little bit off info resembles the lot of you.

Engineers Explained
by Scott Adams (from his book: The Dilbert Principle)

People who work in the fields of science and technology are not like other people. This can be frustrating to the nontechnical people who have to deal with them. The secret to coping with technology-oriented people is to understand their motivations. This chapter will teach you everything you need to know. I learned their customs and mannerisms by observing them, much the way Jane Goodall learned about the great apes, but without the hassle of grooming.

Engineering is so trendy these days that everybody wants to be one. The word "engineer" is greatly overused. If there's somebody in your life who you think is trying to pass as an engineer, give him this test to discern the truth.


ENGINEER IDENTIFICATION TEST
You walk into a room and notice that a picture is hanging crooked. You...


A. Straighten it.

B. Ignore it.

C. Buy a CAD system and spend the next six months designing a solar-powered, self-adjusting picture frame while often stating aloud your belief that the inventor of the nail was a total moron.
The correct answer is "C" but partial credit can be given to anybody who writes "It depends" in the margin of the test or simply blames the whole stupid thing on "Marketing."


SOCIAL SKILLS
Engineers have different objectives when it comes to social interaction.

"Normal" people expect to accomplish several unrealistic things from social interaction:

Stimulating and thought-provoking conversation
Important social contacts
A feeling of connectedness with other humans
In contrast to "normal" people, engineers have rational objectives for social interactions:
Get it over with as soon as possible.
Avoid getting invited to something unpleasant.
Demonstrate mental superiority and mastery of all subjects.
FASCINATION WITH GADGETS
To the engineer, all matter in the universe can be placed into one of two categories: (1) things that need to be fixed, and (2) things that will need to be fixed after you've had a few minutes to play with them. Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems handily available, they will create their own problems. Normal people don't understand this concept; they believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.

No engineer looks at a television remote control without wondering what it would take to turn it into a stun gun. No engineer can take a shower without wondering if some sort of Teflon coating would make showering unnecessary. To the engineer, the world is a toy box full of sub-optimized and feature-poor toys.


FASHION AND APPEARANCE
Clothes are the lowest priority for an engineer, assuming the basic thresholds for temperature and decency have been satisfied. If no appendages are freezing or sticking together, and if no genitalia or mammary glands are swinging around in plain view, then the objective of clothing has been met. Anything else is a waste.


LOVE OF "STAR TREK"
Engineers love all of the "Star Trek" television shows and movies. It's a small wonder, since the engineers on the starship Enterprise are portrayed as heroes, occasionally even having sex with aliens. This is much more glamorous than the real life of an engineer, which consists of hiding from the universe and having sex without the participation of other life forms.


DATING AND SOCIAL LIFE
Dating is never easy for engineers. A normal person will employ various indirect and duplicitous methods to create a false impression of attractiveness. Engineers are incapable of placing appearance above function.

Fortunately, engineers have an ace in the hole. They are widely recognized as superior marriage material: intelligent, dependable, employed, honest, and handy around the house. While it's true that many normal people would prefer not to date an engineer, most normal people harbor an intense desire to mate with them, thus producing engineer-like children who will have high-paying jobs long before losing their virginity.

Male engineers reach their peak of sexual attractiveness later than normal men, becoming irresistible erotic dynamos in their mid thirties to late forties. Just look at these examples of sexually irresistible men in technical professions:

Bill Gates.
MacGyver.
Etcetera.
Female engineers become irresistible at the age of consent and remain that way until about thirty minutes after their clinical death. Longer if it's a warm day.

HONESTY
Engineers are always honest in matters of technology and human relationships. That's why it's a good idea to keep engineers away from customers, romantic interests, and other people who can't handle the truth.

Engineers sometimes bend the truth to avoid work. They say things that sound like lies but technically are not because nobody could be expected to believe them. The complete list of engineer lies is listed below.

"I won't change anything without asking you first."
"I will return your hard-to-find cable tomorrow."
"I have to have new equipment to do my job."
"I'm not jealous of your new computer."
FRUGALITY
Engineers are notoriously frugal. This is not because of cheapness or mean spirit; it is simply because every spending situation is simply a problem in optimization, that is, "How can I escape this situation while retaining the greatest amount of cash?"


POWERS OF CONCENTRATION
If there is one trait that best defines an engineer it is the ability to concentrate on one subject to the complete exclusion of everything else in the environment. This sometimes causes engineers to be pronounced dead prematurely. Some funeral homes in high-tech areas have started checking resumes before processing the bodies. Anybody with a degree in electrical engineering or experience in computer programming is propped up in the lounge for a few days just to see if he or she snaps out of it.


RISK
Engineers hate risk. They try to eliminate it whenever they can. This is understandable, given that when an engineer makes one little mistake, the media will treat it like it's a big deal or something.


EXAMPLES OF BAD PRESS FOR ENGINEERS
Hindenberg.
Space Shuttle Challenger.
SPANet(tm)
Hubble space telescope.
Apollo 13.
Titanic.
Ford Pinto.
Corvair.
The risk/reward calculation for engineers looks something like this:
RISK: Public humiliation and the death of thousands of innocent people.

REWARD: A certificate of appreciation in a handsome plastic frame.
Being practical people, engineers evaluate this balance of risks and rewards and decide that risk is not a good thing. The best way to avoid risk is by advising that any activity is technically impossible for reasons that are far too complicated to explain.
If that approach is not sufficient to halt a project, then the engineer will fall back to a second line of defense: "It's technically possible but it will cost too much."


EGO
Ego-wise, two things are important to engineers:

How smart they are.
How many cool devices they own.
The fastest way to get an engineer to solve a problem is to declare that the problem is unsolvable. No engineer can walk away from an unsolvable problem until it's solved. No illness or distraction is sufficient to get the engineer off the case. These types of challenges quickly become personal -- a battle between the engineer and the laws of nature.
Engineers will go without food and hygiene for days to solve a problem. (Other times just because they forgot.) And when they succeed in solving the problem they will experience an ego rush that is better than sex--and I'm including the kind of sex where other people are involved.

Nothing is more threatening to the engineer than the suggestion that somebody has more technical skill. Normal people sometimes use that knowledge as a lever to extract more work from the engineer. When an engineer says that something can't be done (a code phrase that means it's not fun to do), some clever normal people have learned to glance at the engineer with a look of compassion and pity and say something along these lines: "I will ask Bob to figure it out. He knows how to solve difficult technical problems."

At that point it is a good idea for the normal person to not stand between the engineer and the problem. The engineer will set upon the problem like a starved Chihuahua on a pork chop.
 
#3
They couldn't fool Scott Adams....


techies and IS Ops are NOT real Engineers, as much as they like to think they are. techies and IS Ops are Engineer wanna-bes, without actually putting out the effort to become a real Engineer.

wanna-be's have set themselves up on different levels too. At the lower end they have "technicians", and when that wasn't quite 'elite' enough they invented "Engineering technologists". Still not real engineers though.
They all run and hide in a corner if you raise your voice at them.




*edited for spellink, 'cause I'm not an engineer
 
#6
Point taken...but why are IS ops and Techs wannabies ?...after all, it was not them who decided on the name changes, but someone, somewhere in SOinC(A).
And...since when have the universally accepted definitions of trade groups and professions been dictated by a cartoon author?
Im sure (using the same parallel) that Reuters do not ask a cabbage farmer in Mansfield, If they are after information regarding the history of feudal Japan in the 12 century ad.
 
#7
bigbadjimmyp said:
Point taken...but why are IS ops and Techs wannabies?
As far as HMG is concerned to be a recognised Engineer to sign off things like passport applications (http://www.ukpa.gov.uk/faqs/faqstxt.asp?strAreaNo=321_1&intelement=454) you need to be awarded the designation CEng by the Engineering Council. This is normally achieved by becoming a member of one of the 'Engineering Institutions' such as the Institution of Electrical Engineers or the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and prooving technical knowledge (normally a 4 yr Engineering Degree) plus a number of years work experience that meets a set of criteria.

In the last few years I understand the British Computer Society has been allowed to issue the designation CEng as well, so in theory if IS Ops and Techs become Members of the British Computer Society then they can be called Engineers. If they cannot meet the requirements then they are wannabees.

For example I know one person whose job is to install and repair telephone systems and is described by his employer as an Engineer. He thought therefore he could sign sign off passport applications, at which point the UK Pasport Office told his mate that they didn't consider him an Engineer because he was not registered as a CEng.
 
#8
The individual isnt a wannabe, we have been designated engineers by the Corps- we havent grabbed the moniker from thin air and assigned it to ourselves. Why's everyone got the arrsehole about it anyway? Its only a name, and if any ceng's out there have a problem with it, i'm more than happy to chat about it. Although i'm usually busy having a life.

Boney
 
#9
bigbadjimmyp said:
...............................
And...since when have the universally accepted definitions of trade groups and professions been dictated by a cartoon author?
Obviously not dictated, or even influenced, but you must admit, that particular cartoon author is on the mark
 
#14
Surely Disco its just a name to give us all a warm feeling.

Just like the Telecommunication Mechanic becoming a Installation Technician !!!! :wink:

And if it makes all our CV's look that little beter whats the harm,

I know an Enginneer normally has Ceng etc but if large corporations can give the title Engineer to somone for completeing a suite of exams, and those good looking IS guys do the same subjects why can they not be called Engineers as well just like their 10,000 civi counterparts (MCSE, CCIE etc)

I am registered with the BCS and the IEEE and both orgainisations refer to me as an Engineer and that was purely qualifying with my X-mech quals and a couple of my new trade.

IEEE Quote:
Admission
Upon application for membership, an individual’s education or experience is reviewed for admission as a Member. An applicant must be either

an individual who shall have received a baccalaureate (or equivalent) or higher degree from an institution on the REP List in an IEEE designated field; or

an individual who holds a baccalaureate (or equivalent) or higher degree and who has at least three years of professional work experience (engaged in teaching, creating, developing, practicing, or managing) in one or more of the IEEE designated fields; or

an individual who through at least six years of professional work experience (demonstrating competence in teaching, creating, developing, practicing, or managing) in one or more of the IEEE designated fields; or

an executive who for at least six years has had under his/her direction important professional work in one or more of the IEEE designated fields.

How many of us in signals with a reasonable amount of service do not qulaify for this Civi title ?
 
#15
RCSignals said:
techies and IS Ops are NOT real Engineers, as much as they like to think they are. techies and IS Ops are Engineer wanna-bes, without actually putting out the effort to become a real Engineer.

wanna-be's have set themselves up on different levels too. At the lower end they have "technicians", and when that wasn't quite 'elite' enough they invented "Engineering technologists". Still not real engineers though.
They all run and hide in a corner if you raise your voice at them.
Everyone's either an engineer, a supervisor or manager these days i.e. the photocopying engineer (remf teaboy), hygiene manager (janitor/cleaner) and admin manager (the clerk). But never mind - I qualify for all three of the (nice sounding) titles and that means there must be hope for everyone! :wink:

PD
 
#16
engineer (noun): 1.a person trained in any branch of engineering. 2. the originator or manager of a system. 3. a member of the armed forces trained in engineering - Oxford Concise Dictionary 1979.

lighthearted as this string is it does ask a serious question: are IS Engineers real engineers or is it a bastardisation of english. See above!

The issue of CEng is a little bit of red herring. Engineers can join a professional body and work towards acknowledgement by that body. CEng or Chartered status is normally confered to senior engineers who have a proven portfolio of experience. Therefor you must be an engineer before you can become CEng just as a medical doctor is a doctor before he becomes a consultant or member of any other professional body such as FMGP.

As IS Engineers meet all of the criterion above, and it is unknown by us whether they are applying to the IEE or any other body for recognition I suggest we leave them alone - unless of course this is the overture to jealousy - in which case visit your RCMO and enquire about a change of CEG
 
#18
Scotchsilk said:
engineer (noun): 1.a person trained in any branch of engineering. 2. the originator or manager of a system. 3. a member of the armed forces trained in engineering - Oxford Concise Dictionary 1979.

lighthearted as this string is it does ask a serious question: are IS Engineers real engineers or is it a bastardisation of english. See above!

The issue of CEng is a little bit of red herring. Engineers can join a professional body and work towards acknowledgement by that body. CEng or Chartered status is normally confered to senior engineers who have a proven portfolio of experience. Therefor you must be an engineer before you can become CEng just as a medical doctor is a doctor before he becomes a consultant or member of any other professional body such as FMGP.

As IS Engineers meet all of the criterion above, and it is unknown by us whether they are applying to the IEE or any other body for recognition I suggest we leave them alone - unless of course this is the overture to jealousy - in which case visit your RCMO and enquire about a change of CEG
I suspect Disco is not jealous at all.

I agree with you, an ISEngineer is an engineer. That isn't what disco posted about though, he refers to "techies and IS Ops"

a true "engineer" is one who holds a baccalaureate (or equivalent) or higher degree in Engineering.

However, as has been pointed out, today Engineer is over used to describe technicians, technologists, and even ISops, most of which do not hold a baccalaureate (or equivalent) or higher degree in Engineering.

Hell, even the janitor is a custodial engineer

There is jealousy over being described as an engineer, but it's from those techies who do not hold a baccalaureate (or equivalent) or higher degree in Engineering, yet insist on being called "Engineer" (wannabes)

If it works for a higher pay cheque, great.
 
#20
RC you have missed the point! IS Engineers were called IS Ops but the named was changed for good reason, they do not operate anything but they do engineer networks and services.

I see you are hung up withthe idea of a baccalureate as being the measure of an engineer. A very rare qualification in UK and the international Baccalaureate is an A level qualification covering a wide spectrum of subjects. I reiterate engineers do not need a higher degree level qualification to be called engineers, but those who do, can, with a portfolio of experience, join and gain higher accreditiation with professional bodies.

As for techs some of them do perform engineering but technician is probably the correct name.
 

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