Saturday, March 6, 2010


Ah engineering, how sweet are thee. "Problem solving," it's on my resume, it's probably on yours. Companies and corporations will say they value it in its employees. From the mundane blue collar jobs to the upper crust of academia.

In engineering, it would seem paramount. Problem solving, that's what we do, right? Wrong! Okay, mostly wrong. Very rarely do you approach a given problem, and solve it. There is little brainstorming, little critical thinking. You cannot often ask yourself, 'how do I go about solving this?' No, more likely you're asking the following questions in no particular order:
• What previous work can I copy?
• What forms do I need to fill out?
• Who needs to review this?
• What is the process we take again for completing a project?

Problem solving, and critical thinking are largely myths in the engineering world. Plagiarism is a skill, a refined art form. For you see, it has all been done before. Your project, unique? Hah! Ninety percent will be copying the work from this old project. Don't think, just put yourself on auto-pilot. Unless of course there's some minute difference, aha! Problem solving. Oh wait, I need spec 02232 not 02224. Hmm. And I forgot the DOH form and I need to do an FNOI, or does the SWPPP come first? Well shit, I didn't even do a SEQR EAF yet. Wait is it the long or the short? Can I start drawing this now? Oh, we're going five feet off the right-of-way the entire stretch. That was easy.

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