Engineering is like high school

November 8, 2021

In school we’re taught that technical excellence is what matters. Correct answers win the day, and are rewarded with better grades, and possibly better schollarships.

After graduation we find a job and quickly learn that the correct answers often aren’t actually that important. Often technically inferior solutions, answers, or proposals win the day. Why?

Becuase life is much more like the social aspects of high school than academia.

The most popular person, not the most correct person, often wins.

Writing the best code rarely gets you promoted. Applying your mediocre code to the right situation, and talking about it to the right people often does.

Of course this is not an excuse to be lax in your quality standards. But it is a call to channel your inner high school socialite, and apply (and also possibly create and improve) your people skills in your enginerring job.


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