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Monday, December 1, 2008

How to be an engineer …

I got to work today and took a look at my puzzle of the day calendar. Puzzle of the day:

You have been presented with a tray bearing five bags that should each contain 100 gold coins, except you have been told that one of them contains only 99. You quickly arrange the bags to reveal the one that’s short. How?

My first instinct was to arrange the bags on the plate and balance the plate on a point, see which way the plate tips and you know which one is slightly lighter than the rest, thus containing one less coin. Perfect!

In my mind I was thinking that this is what engineering is all about. Problem solving. This seemed like an easy one to me, but to others I’m sure the answer was not quite as obvious. This got me thinking. Have I always been like this or was I taught to be a problem solver?? I’m sure in engineering school they taught us to look at problems in many different ways and that you won’t always be able to solve the problem the same way every time, but to some extent did I know that before I got there? Is that why I became an engineer, because I was good at problem solving? Chicken or egg??

It made me start to wonder about other professions. How do you decide what skill it is that you have that pushes you toward one profession or the other? Or do you decide you want to have a certain kind of job and you learn the skills necessary to be successful?

I guess it’s the same with crafting too. I can go into a fabric store and see a group of fabrics together and get an image in my head of what I could make out of it. Or I can see a pattern and know in my head what colors and types of fabrics I want to use. Have I always been good at that or did someone teach me how to be creative?

It gives you something to ponder for the day doesn’t it. How did you get to where you are?
Until next time ...
The girl behind the lama
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