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Laura Thomson posed a question on Twitter, asking what do you like most about being an engineer? I spent a good part of the morning thinking about it, and it’s an interesting question to answer. My answer is simple: it’s the fact that engineering is a creative enterprise, one that requires intense imagination and sometimes lots of sweat, blood and tears.
The greatest inventors of the past were creative, intelligent thinkers who imagined solutions. This to me embodies engineering today. As a software engineer, I’m called upon to answer difficult technical problems that involve creating solutions that require innovation and invention. Engineers are modern-day inventors.
Engineers simply think differently than many other professions. This ostensibly creates differences in mindset and opinion between engineers and managers who do not think similarly; it’s that difference in thought process at work that creates strife. Successful managers, or managers who were or are developers, learn to understand the whimsical (in the playful and imaginative sense) and creative nature of engineering and empower engineers to imagine, innovate and invent.
What is it about engineering that you love? Why are you an engineer? Feel free to tweet an answer, or comment here, or even write your own blog post!
Brandon Savage is the author of Mastering Object Oriented PHP and Practical Design Patterns in PHPPosted on 4/7/2011 at 4:21 pm
Em wrote at 4/11/2011 4:38 pm:
I love solving complex problems with hammer, duck-tape and creativity.
I’m construction worker (reinforced concrete builder, carpenter, bricklayer) and web-developer.
And I love how easy is to use creative thinking from building in developing applications. Creativity is skill – everyone can learn how to be creative, and learning it never stops.
I love, how my brain rebels when someone say: “It’s Impossible”, “It Can’t be Done”. This statements are PROHIBITED!
Downside is, I need weed to feel music and generally art on deeper level.
Sorry for poor English, but you know – If I’d wait until I learn the language perfectly, I would probably never use it.
John Weldy wrote at 8/27/2011 1:09 am:
I am not an engineer yet, but i am in the chemical engineering program at the University of Mississippi. I also enjoy the problem solving process. Overcoming an obstacle or solving a difficult problem is, in my opinion, one of the best feelings. The feeling of self accomplishment is amazing.
Chris Skorge wrote at 8/27/2011 4:17 pm:
Ever since I was a little kid, my favorite things to play with were legos, k’nexs, and lincoln logs. I had such a creative mind enjoying building anything that came up into my head, I knew anything was possible to build.
However, me not being an engineer but am at Ole Miss studying to become a mechanical engineer have always seen this field perfect for me. I love solving problems and designing ideas. As well, i have always enjoyed taking things apart and trying to see if i can put them back together. Creativity is a big part about being an engineer and I believe engineering will be perfect for me.
Brittany wrote at 8/27/2011 6:13 pm:
Being that I’m not quite an engineer yet, I only know why I wish to become one. Simply stated, I want to be able to create and improve products that help society. What is living truly all about if we are not trying to make the world the best place it can be. Being an engineer will give me the opportunity to develop ways to help improve the life of others from a more intellual level. I will be able to get self satifaction by the wonderful feeling of accomplishing a task on the job or even by finishing engineering schooling, but I will be able to help people at the same time. Engineering is a great career for the betterment of mankind, and that is why I wish to become one.
Chealsea Williams Simpson wrote at 8/28/2011 5:21 am:
I’m more of a tactile person. Sitting in a room all day confined to a computer or doing any other task that is required of a normal office job is not how I want to spend the rest of my life. Although I am not an engineer yet, I am currently a student at the Unversity of Mississippi studying Chemical Engineering. The hands on work that engineers do is what really motivates me to want to become one and what pushes me to work harder to reach that goal. I also admire the fact that you get to use your imagination. You aren’t confined to any man-made rules: if there is a problem then engineers can come up with a solution. I would love to someday become an engineer and I hope that one day my dream becomes a reality.
Susan wrote at 8/28/2011 10:51 am:
I am Pre-Med, and I am majoring in Chemical Engineering. I love to learn new things about Chemistry and how things are made. The curricullum includes skills to solve complex problems which will prove vital when I encounter difficult situations as a physician one day.
Like John, I like the feeling of self accomplishment. Knowing that I solved a really hard problem that some people can’t even imagine working out is very rewarding. It lets me know that I am intelligent just like everybody else in the engineering field.
Tyler Potepan wrote at 8/28/2011 1:53 pm:
I am not yet an engineer, but I am studying to be one. The reason why I love engineering is because I get design and build new inventions. Also, I love to build things with my hands, which is why I choose to study engineering.
Luke Lyren wrote at 8/28/2011 2:27 pm:
Although I am not an engineer yet, it has been something I’ve wanted to become my whole life. As of now, I am in the Electrical Engineering program and the University of Mississippi.
From cars to electrical devices, I have always been curious how they work. I love how the engineering field has a demand for perfection, structure, and an appreciation for intelligence. These are a few of the main reasons why I know being an engineer is the right profession for me.
mpm wrote at 8/28/2011 2:45 pm:
for me im a guy that always working on something new and i need to have constantly be challenged or ill just get bored and leave. i heard thats what engineering is all about so thats why i choose mechanical engineering as my major. i love to think outside the box and seeing my imagination coming to life!
SK wrote at 8/28/2011 3:17 pm:
What sets engineers apart from the general public? There is no denying that without past engineers we would have no ancient architecture to marvel at, or without modern engineers we would have no constructs that signify the modern age.
This is precisely why I want to be an engineer, to be the guy that works with other people that trancend the general scope of imagination to create things that improve all of humanity!
I know that is a very grand design and some what fanciful desire, but in the back of your mind you can always think that what you have created or thought of will benefit all in years to come.
Thats why I want to be an engineer.
CJones wrote at 8/28/2011 3:35 pm:
I am studying to become a Chemical Engineer at Ole Miss. Since I was a child my favorite subject in school was math. I sometimes find myself doing simple and complex math problems in my head whenever I am bored. I have always be fixated with the way things work. I ended up choosing Chemical Engineering because it is the best paid engineering job offered at Ole Miss, and I do like Chemistry. I hope to get my BS in Chemical and then go on to get my Masters in Chemical Engineering or Petroleum Engineering.
Derrick Martin wrote at 8/28/2011 6:09 pm:
I have always been interested in building things since I was eight years old. Engineering has always been a passion of mine. I would love to eventually open up my own amusement park. I am currently studying to become an engineer at ole miss.I think it will suit me well.
Daniel Blount wrote at 8/28/2011 6:32 pm:
I am an engineering student at the University of Mississippi as well. I am a mechanical engineering student and a part of the Center for Manufacturing Excellence (CME). I decided to persue engineering for many reasons, but the biggest factor in my decision was my family. My grandfather is a civil engineer and works for the department of transportation. My father is the Project Electrical Engineer I at Transocean. They have both pushed me since my childhood to think about and discover how things work and why.
My parents always laughed when I took apart things and of course could not put them back together. I feel like today I am doing the same thing just with much more complicated things. (PS3, firearms, pneumatic and hydrolic systems)
This has led me to want to persue either a design engineer position or to work in the R&D department of a large engineering or manufacturing company.
Daniel Blount wrote at 8/28/2011 6:34 pm:
Chelsea Worley wrote at 8/28/2011 7:22 pm:
I’m not an engineer either, but I am studying Chemical Engineering at Ole Miss. I love how many opportunities there are for people in this field, and I like being able to go in many different directions with an engineering degree. Because I have always enjoyed problem solving, and my favorite classes were always math and science, I feel confident that this is the right career path for me.
Tom Kendricks wrote at 8/28/2011 8:23 pm:
I may not be an engineer yet, but I honestly can think of no other profession to study here at Ole Miss. Math and Science has always been an easy thing for me to excel at, and the fact that my mother is an engineer has been a big drawing point also.
Tom Kendricks wrote at 8/28/2011 8:25 pm:
I love the fact that through an engineering profession I can be very hands on, but also have large input into the design and refining process of whatever it is that I’ll be working on.
(I didn’t mean to leave two comments)
Barrimore McCaskill wrote at 8/28/2011 9:37 pm:
Growing up I always questioned why certain products didnt have certain features or qualities added. I always was very creative and loved everything about technolgy, from the materials encasing the product to the software and supporting elements of it so, immediately I decided to jump into the field. It wasnt until recently that I sided with electrical engineering though. I saw a documentary on Nikola Tesla and his Tesla Coil,as a kid, and saw the potential that a creative mind holds. And with a lot of hard work, hopefully I can be the one to help bring society to the next gen.
Olivia Walt (@olivia_walt) wrote at 8/28/2011 9:45 pm:
Although I am not yet an engineer, I am studying at the University of Mississippi to become one. I can recall many afternoons just sitting on my grandmother’s living room floor designing roller coasters, ferris wheels, cars, and even entire cities made of k,nexs. An engineer is defined as “a person trained and skilled in the design, construction, and use of engines or machines, or in any of various branches of engineering”. I feel that being an engineer is so much more than that. Without engineers, our communities would not be blessed with any of the amenities that we have today. Engineers are responsible for almost everything we use. Helping people and making their lives more enjoyable has always been such a pleasure to me. I am looking forward to getting my degree and beginning a new life as a provider to the community.
william Stafford (@tuckers2011) wrote at 8/28/2011 9:49 pm:
what do you like most about being an engineer?
This is one statement that i have always been asked when i would talk about my my future plans, and almost always it would lead to me gaining important connections in the field of Enginnering. So i will start out telling about my first interest and then what i learned to love about it science i actually started working in the field.
When i was young, my favorite thing to play with was lego’s K’nexs and blocks. Basically if you could build with it, i had some of those awesome kid toys. My favoritee part about it was just building from the picture. This was what kept my creative interest up. When ever you would see me i would be drawing, and later that day i would have a lego/K’nex modle of that image. Escincially that is what an engineer does, Design stuff.
Another thing that has “designed my interest in engineering” was all sorts of logic, and math problems. This skill is really important for engineers because it helps determines if the object is possible. which in most cases it is. when i grew older i still enjoyed this type of activity. And somehow i would learn how to do it in some amazing way that would blow my friends and occasionally my teachers mind out of the water. This is the stuff i did for fun. Read Popular Science, and math books so i could expand my Knowledge in the field of engineering.
Finally my next door neighbor, who is a geotechnical engineer, wanted to take me to his work. My next door neighbor knew i was a bright student who had a passion for engineering. Luckly for me he wanted to invest in someone like me. You see a few months earlier his company was hired to build a bridge across the Mississippi river. This is when i final made the decision to be an engineer. Just so i can impact the world through building that would last. I hope that in the future months and even years of collage, teaches me more about the entire field of engineering. I also hope that i will fall in love with this new modern language of engineering
mike terlaga wrote at 8/28/2011 9:55 pm:
I hope to become an industrial engineer because i want to make things in society better for people to use, and simply figure out ways to make objects that we use today better in the future. It amazes me how far technology has come in the last 20 years or so but i want to become part of the reason why things get develop better in the future.
MD SHAHEED NAZRUL wrote at 8/28/2011 11:09 pm:
There are different types of engineering in present times, some people wants to be chemical engineers, some wants to be aeronautical engineers and many more. But the field of engineering that fascinates me is computer engineering, my curiosity developed when my dad bought me a computer to use and the first time I turned it on I was completely mesmerized by the way it presented everything in such a simple yet artistic manner.
Days passed and my curiosity increased more and more and the defining point was when I started playing graphic intensive games and it literally blew my mind as I was in awe after seeing such realistic simulations and visuals and that is when I fell in love with computers and decided to be a software engineering and design high end games and even someday make my own animation movie. And its my dream to work for Electronic Arts someday….
Kathy Nguyen wrote at 8/28/2011 11:35 pm:
My older sister is a chemical engineer. She recently just graduated from the University of Mississippi and landed this amazing, high paying job with one of the world’s top oil servicing companies where she will be working in different countries all of over the world in the next ten years. She has money, she has her dream job, she has a brand new white lexus– She basically has complete happiness.
My sister is best friend, and my role model. And she inspired me to major in engineering. We share the same interests and and she explained to me the excitement of engineering. Its not monotonous, boring work everyday. She doesn’t sit in a small cubicle eight hours a day staring at a computer screen, wishing that it was already the weekend. Susie, my sister, gets to work with a blow torch every once in a while with her job. She also has a nice office if she even just wants to sit at a desk and do paper work if she wanted. She has so many opportunities.
And that’s why I want to be an engineer. Along with the typical “I am good and math and science and I like to see how different things works,” I want the good opportunities and the good rewards for all the hard-work that’s been given. Face it, there’s rarely anyone that just “loves math and science,” because honestly, it’s the pain in the ass to everyone. Engineering is all about hardwork, and some intense studying and that’s what I am: a hard worker and quite a studious person.
Grace Jackson wrote at 8/28/2011 11:55 pm:
I think the thing that really interests me about engineering is the whole problem solving process. People have always told me that a person is either a math and science person or an English and history person. I have always considered myself to be amoung the math and science population. Being able to work through obsticles to either create or modify items to work to benefit society is a constant, on-going challenge that will always be needed. Engineering can open so many doors with all the many different paths you can take with it.
Xi Peng wrote at 8/28/2011 11:56 pm:
Choosing this major is just like a kind of challenge for me, becoming an engineer, in my childhood’s imagination, was just like working on huge constructions or designing the roads, in their rooms you can see dozens of draft paper, rolling pencils, and books with the cover of “city design” or something like that. It was a symbol of “cool people” in my mind. With my growing up, however, I started to realize that it is not like what I thought it would be. Materials, energy sources, and lots of different fields that need the skill from Mathematics, physics, Chemistry and many other subjects, engineering is actually a kind of practical job in my view now. Then I realized that I do have the passion for “practical things”, learning by doing is always my basic criterion. Maybe the real reason that I love to become an engineer is not because I thought they are “cool”, is from the deep inside my mind, I told myself that I want to use my hands, with my knowledge and inspiration, to figure out the way things work, and apply to the different cases to solve the real world problems.
Kristini wrote at 8/29/2011 12:14 am:
At the moment I’m studying to become an engineer at the University of Mississippi. Growing up i’ve always loved working with computers and trying to figure out everything about them. Since then i knew i had to do something involving technology. I’m currently majoring in computer science. I personally think it’s the perfect choice for me because i love being creative and figuring out complex things and Engineering is the right path for that.
PJ Virostek wrote at 8/29/2011 1:41 am:
I am and undergraduate in the engineering department at Ole Miss and people always ask me why did I choose to path in engineering. I usually tell them because I get to express my creativeness. I can think back to when I all I wanted to do was play sit in my basement, where I would create an entire city out of Lego’s and Lincoln Logs. I have always loved to problem solve and to be able to be hands on to solve the problem is a plus. Not to mention that I love the idea that I get to solve a problem and help people out.
Emily England wrote at 8/29/2011 2:45 am:
I love being an engineer because I find it very diverse and exciting. I learn new and interesting things everyday. I enjoy working hands on and inventing and modifying new products. Engineering is the one feild that offers an array of positions and jobs. I feel engineering is a good base for any career you decide to pursue.
Allen Sickels wrote at 8/29/2011 7:32 am:
I want to be a geological engineer in the future because I love being outside and looking at rocks also i love the feeling of accomplishment after you build something with your own skills there is nothing else like it.
Josh Cooper wrote at 8/29/2011 8:28 am:
I am a freshman studying engineeering at Ole Miss, and the thing I admire most about engineering is the ability to be creative. It’s a discipline to where you are actually encouraged to think outside the box, rather than to be close-minded. I am a huge fan of trying to find new and more efficient ways of solving problems. Without the creativity of engineers, the world would simply be boring. No new gadgets such as smartphones would be here. The role engineers play in society is one of upmost importance.
Iris wrote at 8/29/2011 8:43 am:
I love being an engineer because this way I can express what and how I think. I think every engineer has his own way of solving a problem and that’s what I like. Sometimes there can be more than one solution and you have to find the one that is the best, and fits you the best.
Emerson Gray wrote at 8/29/2011 9:47 am:
I will become and engineer at the Universirty of Mississippi. I have never though of a different major and i feel like and engineer is my calling. My whole life i have been inventive in the ways that i problem solve and i love being able to step back and view something as a whole and be able to recognize that there are infinitely many solutions. Then the ultimate goal becomes finding which solution is the best solution, not simply finding a solution. In the world we live in today its not about how much you already know or have learned, it about how well you can obtain information that you don’t know. This society changes to fast to tell yourself that you are complacently smart. Because once you are “smart” the world changes. And knowing that and understanding that this is the way engineers work and become innovative, this is why i want to become and engineer.
taylor corley wrote at 8/29/2011 9:57 am:
i love being an engineer because as i kid i played with the kinnect pieces and i loved to build complex looking structures. it wasnt till i was 15 when i realized i could do just that through engineer. my father is a civil engineer and he has taught me the basics of it. which ties into the main reason of why i love engineer. it is because when you are an engineer you are not subject to just one type. there are so many different ways to branch off of your selected major and find a different type of engineering you can use your skills in
chris guidry wrote at 8/29/2011 10:15 am:
Ever since I was little I loved to build stuff. My parents would buy me all these blocks and puzzles and I would set them together. I like to solve problems. When I was little I would always try to figure out how the insides of my toys work. I just love to think.
engineering is gonna be hard but the money your gonna make and the skills you will learn will make it totally worth it.
Kyle wrote at 8/29/2011 10:22 am:
I love being an engineer because I enjoy creating things with my hands. I am a good problem solver and and excellent mathematician. There will always be a need for engineers in all sorts of fields. Things that I create or modify could become widely used all around the world. I could tell people, “I am the one that built that.”
Cody Berrey wrote at 8/29/2011 2:01 pm:
I want to be an engineer because I think engineers have had the single biggest impact on the infrastructure of the world since the beginning of cognitive thinking. One thing that is appealing to being an engineer is that there will always be a need for them. Humans will continue to build and design, so an engineer will be there the whole way through.
Damon Snow wrote at 8/30/2011 11:02 am:
Although I am only in my first year in earning a degree in engineering, I love the thought of being one. My parents had always influenced me to become one since I always thought math and science were so simple, but I knew that engineering was something I really wanted to do after I have seen the things engineers created. It amazes me how they make something out of basically nothing!
Andrew Hastings wrote at 8/30/2011 1:52 pm:
ever since i was a little kid, i’ve always had a passion i guess for drawing and building things. Being able to come to Ole Miss and being able to study to become a mechanical engineer will definitely introduce me to to areas that i would have never been introduced to.
Hudson Woomer (@hwoomer) wrote at 8/31/2011 10:23 am:
I am studying Mechanical engineering with a focus in manufacturing at the University of Mississippi. The engineering field appeals to me because i enjoy the satisfaction that comes with solving problems. The money involved with being a professional engineer is also another attractive feature.
Austin Dixon wrote at 8/31/2011 5:47 pm:
I am a computer science engineering major at Ole Miss. I have wanted to be a computer programmer ever since I started getting into computers in high school. I have also always liked math and how both math and computers challenge you to solve problems using your mind. Being able to use my mind and really challenge myself is one of my favorite things to do. Having the ability to create anything I want to using words and numbers on a computer is just awesome!
William (@williamault) wrote at 9/2/2011 3:43 pm:
My love of being an engineer dates back to when I was a mischievous little boy. I always loved to solve any problems around the house with solutions my parents would have never imagined. Wether it was building a gutter water diversion system or booby trapping the the house for my younger siblings, engineering was the only field I could study at the University of Mississippi.
m wrote at 9/14/2011 4:30 pm:
I actually hate being an engineer and here’s why:
I don’t feel that engineering can satisfy my creative side or my technical side. The business of engineering is dominated but what other people want you to build, whether it is what the general public wants or what the government mandates. Not to mention there are endless codes and regulations. How many engineers can actually be innovative? The individual tasks of engineers are mostly paper work. This is a boring job, filled with boring people who play by the rules. The business of engineering will pigeon hole you, and you will be restricted to the same sort of calculations and procedures for the rest of your life.
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