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WanderingEng




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I enjoy root cause analyses like this. Problems are rarely "someone just screwed up." If I were to look for a new career, I think I'd look for something in root cause studies.

WanderingEng  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: July 19, 2017

If it were me, it's a story I'd remember for the interview.

You're right that it might not fit for a programmer, but it might. It shows problem solving skills and a personal interest in learning new things.

Sorry about bringing up a difficult topic.

WanderingEng  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: July 19, 2017

Your backyard furnace would be the kind of thing that would get you hired over another candidate.

WanderingEng  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: July 19, 2017

Oh wow. One of my "maybe within reach" goals is to buy a pretty piece of land and build a small (not tinyhouse) home on it. Something more modern than the standard cookie cutter houses I see. Big windows and big open spaces inside. Your teaser looks a lot like the type of thing I envision.

WanderingEng  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: July 19, 2017

And I think success in engineering school is about learning how to solve a problem where the method is given and the result is unknown. In my experience, in practice engineering is knowing the answer and then figuring out how various methods prove (or just as often disprove) that answer.

    Sometimes you can get the unimaginative to grasp the issues of the boundless story problem by getting them to find the bounds.

I've tried this, and "unimaginative" is a good description. I had one success on Monday with "(blank) didn't have any effect" (which was the correct observation). Then today when trying to coax him into an observation he went back to "I could try (blank)."

I'll have to think about why that didn't work.

WanderingEng  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: July 19, 2017

I've tried this a bit without stopping to think about it. Maybe I could ask him to write down instructions on doing this analysis under the guise of "documenting for future interns." It might help him think more about the why of his work. Thanks, I'll give this a try.

WanderingEng  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: July 19, 2017

I had to look up the Socratic method, but I don't think it would make much progress. It isn't that he's doing things wrong or has wrong ideas, he's just trying to do without trying to understand.

WanderingEng  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: July 19, 2017

You're right, and I've known other engineers who struggle to apply concepts and are much more comfortable just taking direction. I really wanted him to succeed, and he just isn't. While I've worked with others like this, maybe it's my first time training someone who doesn't pick up the concepts.

WanderingEng  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: July 19, 2017

We have an intern I'm struggling with. He grasps process well enough. "Do this and then that and then record the output." What he doesn't get is the feedback loop of understanding the output and using it to change the input. Engineering isn't process, it's more trial and error.

I find it frustrating not for him but for myself. I can't figure out where I'm failing as a mentor. I can't really believe he can't get it, and since he isn't getting it, there must be something I'm not explaining. Communication failures work both ways. What am I not doing right?

It's also exhausting, trying to find new ways to explain the same concepts again.

Does that cause a problem for vegetarians or vegans?

I've had The Watchmen (of course) sitting at home for like two years. I need to just commit to it some time.

WanderingEng  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Mountaineering in Alaska, 2009

I'm up to day 4. When you crossed the river, what was going on with your feet? I assume your feet got wet, and you dried them out?

I've never done anything like what you did, just based on your first four days, but I'm working on the Adirondack High Peaks. Mostly day hikes, but I have some overnights planned this fall. Depending on what kind of suggestions you want, I'm happy to describe my hikes. The High Peaks are 4000-5000' from trailheads around 1200-1800'.

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