HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Comments
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
bobjengr
User Rank
Platinum
SYSTEM LOCKUP
bobjengr   8/11/2014 5:36:30 PM
NO RATINGS
Very interesting post Alastair.  Like you, after the first day of my first job, I felt as though I was being thrown to the wolves. Fortunately, I later was assigned a mentor who had been with the company for 28 years.  He was (gratefully) a kind sole who understood the dilemma I was in.  He did his best to remove the "magic" from the first few assignments I had.  During the early 70s, this type of introduction for "newbie's" was common and actually provided humor to the old guard.  I think situations are more benign now days.  I hope so at least.  Excellent post.

Mr. Wirtel
User Rank
Gold
New to the Job
Mr. Wirtel   8/5/2014 3:41:01 PM
NO RATINGS
  I enjoyed your opening when you mention knowledge of theory, but not any practical real world experience. I think each of us get slapped upside the head with the reality that most of what we learned from books only touches on what you will learn in "Hands On" reality. I remember a long time ago, pre-calculator; pre-CAD; almost pre-historic, trying to find an intersection point where a line intercepted a radius. I talked to my calculus teacher and he told me how it could be done by solving two equations simultaneously. So I brought him the drawing and his first question was, "Where did you get all of those wierd number?" I laughed and welcomed him to the real world where the answers were seldom whole numbers and not every angle was a multiple of 15.

  I do not remember how I did it, but it worked and the two surfaces blended with a minimum of polishing. Once I started drawing everything in AutoCad, those problems disappeared, and while I was more productive, I did miss the challenge of math problems that covered several pages of longhand scribbles and numbers.

Larry M
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Bicycle
Larry M   8/4/2014 3:59:29 PM
NO RATINGS
Battar wrote: "When I was a 20 year old computer technician (working on PDP-11s' and VAX 750s), there was no such thing as a "company Mercedes". My boss (actually, my commanding officer) had a Peugeot 104."

It was a quirk of the British tax system. It's similar to the US scheme where if they give you money you have to pay taxes on it, but if they pay your health insurance, you don't have to pay taxes. In the Britain of that era, there were no taxes (or significantly lower ones) on company cars so every professional employee got a car. It was a standard program administered by Personnel (the old name for HR). For each job level there was a set of available cars--you got to pick one from the list.

I was working for IBM in the US during that era (I started in 1968 and retired at the end of 2013) and we were envious of our British counterparts until we learned the terms of their program.

99guspuppet
User Rank
Iron
Pursuing Education
99guspuppet   7/23/2014 11:28:28 AM
NO RATINGS
Alastair

 

Nice to hear you are pursuing the advancement of education.

Battar
User Rank
Platinum
Bicycle
Battar   7/23/2014 10:29:14 AM
NO RATINGS
Quote - " I went out for lunch with the only sympathetic character around -- a junior computer technician about my age. Over lunch I admired his company Mercedes".

When I was a 20 year old computer technician (working on PDP-11s' and VAX 750s), there was no such thing as a "company Mercedes". My boss (actually, my commanding officer) had a Peugeot 104. 

I had a bicycle.

Must have been fun working for IBM in those days.



Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Hacking has a long history in the movies, beginning with Tron and War Games and continuing through The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
In a move that strengthens its 3D design business, Stratasys continued a 15-month buying spree this week by announcing its plan to acquire GrabCAD, a provider of a cloud-based collaboration environment for engineers.
Feature-advantage-benefit could help engineers in how we approach design problems, how we sell our ideas to management, and how we market ourselves when it comes to jobs.
Many diverse markets take advantage of semiconductor IP; so many that no one can recite the entire list without leaving off several. So why do we track all the vertical markets? They all have a unique set of requirements and value attributes differently. One major vertical market segment is automotive.
Adam Berger hacked a computer keyboard into a mini key-tar to play with his band.
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