Confessions of a researchaholic

September 25, 2013

Bureaucratic engineering

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 6:12 pm
Tags: ,

Doug Burger, my last MSR manager and a former UT professor, shared with me some very valuable personal experiences when I was heading the opposite way.

One of these, as quoted from him, is: there are pockets of inefficiencies in a school that are rarely seen in a company.

After witnessing some of such pockets myself (you are absolutely right, Doug), I realized that the right approach, as any good engineer would do, is to accommodate these inefficiencies into the design of my products and processes, so that I would not be negatively impacted under any circumstances. It is basically the same as, say, designing hardware processors which can tolerate a range of temperatures, and software interfaces which can deal with different user inputs.

Self: Good engineers never assume optimal conditions. Rather, they build things that can function under a wide range of possible scenarios.

I guess this could be a fundamentally different mentality from people with pure academic background.

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