A comment or two will be greeted with warm hands.

29 August 2007

Engineer Idenfication Kit

My 7min Short Talk script

Good afternoon, my name is Chong and my speech is on Engineer Identification Kit.
An engineer is someone who is trained or professionally engaged in a branch of engineering. Engineering is the design, analysis, or construction of works for practical problems. A problem is an obstacle which makes it difficult to achieve a desired objective. It refers to an issue that is yet unresolved. Every problem asks for a solution. This is where engineers come in. Engineers use technology, mathematics, and scientific knowledge to solve practical problems.

Ladies and Gentlemen:
People who work in the fields of engineering are not like any other normal people. Engineers are just different.
Question is: How do you differentiate the both of them?
Let me show you how, with the Engineer Identification Kit

Technology is so trendy these days that everyone wants to be a part of it; the best way to do that is to be an engineer. If there is a friend who you think is trying to pass as an engineer, ask this person this question:
You walk into a room and notice that a picture is hanging crooked. You...
A. Ignore it.
B. Straighten it.
C. Buy a CAD system and spend the next six months designing a solar-powered, self-adjusting picture frame.
Depending on the answer, you’ll have a slight idea on whether they have the potential to be an engineer.

To an engineer, all matter in the universe can be placed into one of two categories:
(1) Things that need to be fixed, and
(2) Things that will need to be fixed after you've had a few minutes to play with them.
Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems available, they will create their own. "Normal" people don't understand this concept, they believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet. That is why there are over hundred thesis topics released every year for undergrad students here in UNSW. Things just don’t have enough features on them.

Engineers are familiar with languages that are not common to a normal person.
When you ask how many languages do you know to a normal person, they'll probably answer something like:
[I know English]
[Gue ngerti indo]
[Watashiwa nihongo ga shiteru]
[ya ze-na-yu russki yazik]
And subconsciously if they answer something like:
I know C... I know java, HC6811, binary codes, or even greek.
Bingo! You are talking to an Engineer!
Even with numbers. There are certain numbers which have meaning behind it. I’m sure that Engineers would understand the number 42 more than the number 69.

Frugality, frugality… Engineers are notoriously frugal. This is not because of cheapness or mean spirit; it is simply because every spending situation is simply a problem in optimization.
They always have this in mind:
"How can I solve this problem while retaining the greatest amount of cash in my pocket?"
If multiple options exist, engineers weigh different design choices on their merits and choose the solution that best matches the requirements.

Engineers hate risk. They try to eliminate it whenever they can. This is understandable, given that when an engineer makes a mistake, the media will treat it like it's a big deal or something.
Examples of Bad Press for Engineer include the event of [Hindenburg] [Challenger] [Apollo13] [Titanic]
The risk/reward calculation for an engineer looks something like this:
RISK: Public humiliation and the death of thousands of innocent people.
REWARD: A certificate of appreciation in a handsome plastic frame.
Being practical people, engineers evaluate this balance of risks and rewards and decide that risk is not a good thing.

Ladies and Gentlemen:
There you go, guys. 5 great ways to differentiate an engineer from a normal crowd.
Technology [Are they technology savvy]
FASCINATION WITH GADGETS [Do things have enough features on them]
LANGUAGE [do they know maths and computer language]
FRUGALITY [are they concern about the issue of optimization]
RISK [Do they like risk]
Next time you attend a social event and you think that its rude to ask inquire about someone’s job, use this 5 steps to identify if they are your kind