I think part of that depends on your discipline, Ann. As a test engineer it is critical to have a high awareness of both hardware and software operation...if you only think about one or the other you won't get very far. However, most folks do seem to be a bit better at one than the other - I guess that might be a function of how our brain works...while my husband and I do both hardware and software - he has more hardware expertise and I have more software expertise so when we do projects together he typically does the HW and I do the SW. So of course whenever there is a problem - it must be the HW :)
I find it mind-boggling that the engineers couldn't make the connection, and so many times. But sad to say, I have known many software people who don't seem, uh, connected to the physical world and how it works.
It's unbelievable that for 3 months the Computer Programming guys never noticed that the computers crashed only during thunderstorms. Surely, they should have. It's funny how technology makes us forget about nature. This proves how much the two are largely related.
Nancy, even beyond actual errors, there are exceptions, which may be perfectly OK, but beyond the realm of what the system was prepared for. All windows OS's are perfect examples of not being prepared or able to handle anything except what the program writers thought it should handle. And anybody who thinks differently than them is in for things not working "right".
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