Engineering, the voice of reason

This pretty much sums up the day I had today.  (Kudos to my friend Deb for sharing) Sometimes my team gets a little over zealous in their commitments and doesn’t think through the technical details and dependencies in putting a system level product together.

My Day Today

A few years ago when I left my individual contributor engineering role and became a project manager I was scared of losing my engineering.  I felt like I had worked so hard to get that engineering degree that I had better use it to do true engineering design and test work.

What I found out is when you are a good engineering, those good engineering skills shine through.  I’m a good project manager because I’m not afraid to get into the technical details of problems or brainstorm creative work arounds to pull in schedules.  My first year as a project manager I wanted to tell people “hey I’m an engineer”.  I just somehow felt so much less technical.

As that year went on, I gravitated towards technical discussions and wasn’t afraid to share my technical opinions.  Now, a few years into it, and even with a whole new team, people by default think of me as an engineer first and project manager second.

I’m happy to know that when it comes down to making products, engineers are the voices of reason.  We look at the data, we have open discussions, we’re objective, and we often can recommend alternatives.


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