HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Comments
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Careful jumping to conclusions
jmiller   7/21/2011 9:53:16 PM
NO RATINGS
I know I've been guilty of thinking I "knew" what the root cause was.  And rather than fully investigate we communicate to the test team that we "know" what the problem is and we have it solved with the new design.  However, this often communicates to the test team that they can ignore that failure.  We, as engineers, need to make sure we take every failure instance as a seriouse issue until we can prove otherwise.  Not just until we feel pretty good about it.  Shrugging off a failure as something we have already solved can tell the rest of the team to ignore what could be another serious issue.

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Sitting down and testing it yourself
Dave Palmer   7/15/2011 6:42:04 PM
NO RATINGS
This is a very important point.  Another important point is that just because you see (what appears to be) the same problem twice, don't assume the root cause is the same.  In both the gyro example and the blood pressure monitor example, the symptoms were similar, but one was a hardware issue and the other was a software issue.  It's human nature to generalize from one experience to the next, but sometimes  this can be a trap.  Many times I've heard engineers say, "We know what this is; we've seen it before!" before doing any real investigation.  In fact, I've been guilty of this myself.  There is no substitute for sitting down and investigating the problem for yourself. (I'd recommend against the cigarettes, though).

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Sitting down and testing it yourself
jmiller   7/14/2011 10:20:35 PM
NO RATINGS
Also note the engineer's dedication to sit down in front of the machine and test it yourself.  To often young engineers are told how to create test requests that have others do the testing rather than sitting down in front of the machine and testing it yourself.  There is a lot that can be learned by sitting down and understanding the unit and the testing yourself before having the test lab verify the results you expect.  Young engineers can learn a lot from a senior engineer sitting down in front of a machine to try and discren what is really going on.

Alexander Wolfe
User Rank
Blogger
Changing engineering mores
Alexander Wolfe   7/14/2011 3:44:05 PM
NO RATINGS
The careful Sherlock Ohms reader will also note another difference between engineering design in 1979 and the way things are done today (though probably in 1991, the work environment was closer to the former than the later). Namely, that pack of cigarettes. (The stack of magazines, too, come to think of it.)



Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Factory floor engineers may soon be able to operate machinery and monitor equipment status simply by tapping their eyeglasses.
GE Aviation not only plans to use 3D printing to mass-produce metal parts for its LEAP jet engine, but it's also developing a separate technology for 3D-printing metal parts used in its other engines.
In this TED presentation, Wayne Cotter, a computer engineer turned standup comic, explains why engineers are natural comedians.
IBM's new SyNAPSE chip makes it possible for computers to both memorize and compute simultaneously.
The “Space Kid,” 11, will be one of the first civilians to have his design manufactured in space by NASA, thanks to the City X Project, which inspires kids to think about new 3D-printed inventions that could be useful for humans living in space.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
9/10/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Sep 22 - 26, MCU Software Development – A Step-by-Step Guide (Using a Real Eval Board)
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: September 30 - October 2
Sponsored by Altera
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service