Life of an engineer


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Career notes I've shared with various student groups

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Life of an engineer

  1. 1. An engineer’s career notebook David Chandler BSEE 92
  2. 2. why engineering? fun to create things pays better than a truck driver bad engr job > accounting or HR lim engr major = ?GPA->0
  3. 3. highly improbable path 2 yrs GPS engineer RUnning a Perfect Web Site, quit job 1 yr consulting (aka losing money) 10 yrs contract (sysadmin, Web dev) 5 yrs Intuit, took 6 mos. off Google
  4. 4. the rules have changed 29 yrs at one company is gone Google didn’t exist when I graduated or the WWW engr degree gives you the tools to adapt contracting has its advantages
  5. 5. find a job right for you research is awesome (get a PhD) so is teaching (prepare to travel) and even tech sales (if you like people) software companies may treat you better than IT CA companies are great to work for (2870b)
  6. 6. how to find a job ask people you know the best jobs find you post your resume on dice et al go to user groups (Java, Ruby, etc.) talk to recruiters (staffing firms) Finding a Job You Can Love (Mattson)
  7. 7. career fairs bring me a LONG resume! that shows you love to code
  8. 8. how to keep your job you can haz (badSkills || badAttitude) but not (badSkills && badAttitude)
  9. 9. what will set you apart? learn to dig (on the space shuttle) never mind the docs, read the src if you want to be the answer guy, BE THE ANSWER GUY write a blog, speak at a conf hardest part is overcoming pride
  10. 10. professional maturity leading edge: search, find solution posted 3 days ago bleeding edge: search, no solution, ask, answered in 3 real programmer: search, no solution, solve it yourself
  11. 11. professional maturity expert: search, no solution, you solve and post consultant: other people ask, you solve and post aging consultant: search, find solution ... that you wrote
  12. 12. personal maturity a soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger -- Pr 15:1ESV the one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him -- Pr 18:17ESV do you see a man skillful in his work? he will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men -- Pr 22:29ESV
  13. 13. keys for success LISTEN -- experience trumps theory DIG -- ‘nuff said LABORatory, not labORATORY