The Improvised Engineering Career

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What does it mean to plan your career. You have a degree in some technical field. Plenty of experience and lots of well-meaning advice from friends, family, colleague and strangers who have nothing but good will and strong opinions.

Yet we’re improvising. We’re inventing steps as we move along, just as an improvising musician invents melodies and harmonies and they play.

There are reasons for this improvisatory world. We’ve changed the practice of engineering by the very tools that we have invented.

Why technical careers have become an artistic pursuit. A special episode for the Eta Kappa Nu Engineering Honors Society.

Cast:

  • Sulley from the Policy Office – Josh LaForce
  • Evelyne the Business Manager – Margaux Amie
  • Penelope Othmar – Debbon Ayer
  • Bix the Master Scrum Master- Ron Bianchi
  • The Engineer – Noah Masur

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How Smart Is Your Phone?

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It’s not a question of smarts. It’s a question of how it got that way. A lot of the smart apps are fairly straight forward – classic computing ideas repackaged in a clever case. You start taking the p hone apart and you a lot of ideas that aren’t that clever experience t for the effort that it took to get them into that little case.

So we ask the question “How?” And of course, Anna has her ideas. Maybe she’s right. Maybe she’s not. But someone had to decide why the map app was important and why it was smart.

Anna and her crew take apart the smartphone as part of her series on Artificial Intelligence.

Cast:

  • Rohit from IT – Noah Masur
  • Zack the Database Guy – Jake Minevich
  • Anna the Intern – Sarah Corbyn Woolf

[18525]

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Machines that Learn Our Jobs?

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A metal lathe. A 40 year old clasp. A playlist of unfortunate songs. Most unfortunate. A suspicious relationship between Henry Ford and Thomas Alva Edison. All of these point to questions about what we know about our jobs and know that knowledge can be captured by machines. Deep learning. Big Data.

Capturing what we know. A new thing, right? Is it only the new generation, the millennial who squint into the future with the gloaming dread that there will be nothing for them in the future? Nothing at all?

The answer is “Not quite.” Those with the greatest fear of automation and smart machines are those at the end end of their careers, not at the start. Those that realize that their skills will not survive them. Furthermore, one quality of work makes it possible to capture knowledge, the fact that we tend to do jobs in sequence, that we have a set of steps that we follow to get things done.

To protect yourself, do you need to be good at things that are done out of order? That wander from task to task? So we ask in our story about captured knowledge.

Cast:

  • Bix the Master Scrum Master – Ron Bianchi
  • Molly the Podcast Consultant – Caraid O’Brien
  • Anna the Intern – Sarah Corbyn Woolf

[18520]

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