Oh yes, I know I’ve stepped into it here, but I’d really like to know what engineers are valued for at ID and related companies.
I’m an engineer by formal education and profession, but I’ve always found myself thoroughly enjoying the design side of things - considering interaction and user experience, performance, efficiency of production, aesthetic appeal, and being articulate and artful in describing such-and-such product/service/feature. I absolutely love when science and art dance together; I really get energized speaking with artists that are trying to figure out how to monetize their works and/or talent. All that is probably a clear indication of my artist genes from my Mom and engineer genes from my Dad screaming at me to go and play!
And I did frame the question this way on purpose - instead of asking for what a typical set of requirements/qualifications an engineer in ID must have, what are they valued for, what are they a “savior” for, what blanket statements may generally apply about their skills/wisdom?
My engineer is valuable for… making sure some of the larger things I design will actually survive in the wild!
My engineer is a structural engineer…
The things I design and my company manufactures need to stay put, i.e. not fall off of a building 30 stories high, not blow over in a tornado, etc. So to me, my engineer is invaluable to me.
The engineers I work with are essential to my process, I rope them in as early as possible as I’m trying to solve for what something should do, I find it helps if they are working in close parallel on how it should do it. When we travel to China together, we are always pointing out various aspects of the prototypes that need to improve, invariably teaching each other about what the other is missing. You could say we complete each other…
Its a marriage of sorts, not always easy, but worth it because the results can be awesome… in the end, you could stay home by yourself, but you won’t be making any babies!
Simple, my engineers are valuable for making it happen!
They tell me what’s possible, and what tradeoffs we might consider.
They build me prototypes and drawings that incorporate real-world constraints.
They make things reliable and safe, even when I don’t bother specifying those things.
They make sure the manufacturers have everything they need to appropriately implement the designs.
Good comments and insights!
I should probably state here that I had no intention of this becoming some “let’s celebrate our engineers!” thread - it was really something of curiosity/exploration of the ID-Engineer relationship. So…a complimentary thread to this one:
How is your relationship with your mech. engineer?