Friday, 13 August 2021

"Engineering is understanding things all the way to the bottom..."

"Engineering isn’t something you study and learn, and memorise, and know where to look up. Engineering is understanding things all the way to the bottom, no matter what field they are called, and being able use that to build stuff and make it work."
          ~ Carver Mead, on 'the thing that’s going to be the most important 100 years from now'

[Hat tip John D. Cook]

It reminded me of the distinction between a tradesman and a professional: in that a tradesman knows how to do a thing; whereas a professional also knows why.

1 comment:

  1. Thought you might be interested in this, from the perspective of someone in software:

    Also, re. "all the way down" ... I've struggled to inculcate that
    mindset in younger software developers. They often seem comfortable
    with a much higher "magic" level than I'd prefer.

    Some years ago I gave a presentation to the Melbourne Ruby meetup,
    encouraging the idea of looking a level deeper than one might otherwise
    be comfortable with:


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