Coming up, I’m starting a new, six-part series about what I wish people knew about engineers. This is inspired by assumptions I’ve encountered at conventions, committees, church, and anywhere else I’ve spent time interacting with non-engineers; there are a plethora of times I’d love to sit people down to a nice half-hour conversation on why I can’t just pull a solution or assessment out of thin air or meet the newest expectations.
I want to start off by saying that everyone’s experiences are different–and I’d love to hear your comparison and thoughts in comments. This is my list of slowly-accruing pet peeves, and while it’s imperfect, I’m hope it will help non-engineers understand us a little better.
What I wish people knew about engineers:
- We can be distinct from scientists.
- We are not omniscient.
- We are invisibly vital to society.
- We have social skills, and we party, too! (Most of us.)
- We are not necessarily math whizzes.
- Math is a language–and it has dialects we don’t all speak.
Coming up first (soon after my lab coat arrives): the difference between engineers and scientists.