Saturday, April 18, 2009

Who wants to be an engineer?

Being an engineer in Estonia, I have gotten used to working together with Estonians in IT, most of which are college dropouts of some variety, if they even had the time to go to school before aggressively starting building their work experience or running their own companies. So - who wants to be an engineer, when there are so many other opportunities to spend your time on?

Obviously an engineer doesn't work twice as fast just from spending twice the time on educating themselves, which may be cause for sarcastic remarks, but there are two things I would argue which are equally forgotten when people think of higher education:
  • With higher education, you can acquire the knowledge, perspective and skills to achieve completely disruptive things. You can learn about patterns, learn from the mistakes others have already made throughout the years, and you can push forward to things in a smarter way
  • Engineers get to do immensely cool things. My favourite example is my old friend David, now lead engineer at Illuminate Labs. He started out as some very nerdy but skilled graphics coder, and now their company are presenting at the San Francisco Game Developer's Conference and are the ones to thank for beautiful graphics of major movies and games like Mirror's Edge. There are many more examples, such as my friends at Spotify, MoYuMe and Bloggy, he role of an engineer may be intangible, but with an education from Universities such as Chalmers or KTH, the world can be truly by your feet and you can achieve whatever you dream of

Engineers blogging from a nuclear reactor in central Stockholm

The Websmurf blogging Saturday strikes again, this time from the KTH R1 nuclear test reactor in Stockholm. It's an amazing site of cultural heritage and science history. The topic of the day is engineers, technology and education, so stay tuned for great posts about that during the day!

Watch Björn's live video of the presentation we got (in Swedish, he's also got walk-arounds and other stuff in his bambuser channel):

Other bloggers during the day:

Friday, April 3, 2009

Nerd tip 1 - Put your video conference window by the camera!

Many of you have probably tried for example Skype video conferencing only to be frustrated by that it doesn't feel like very natural or good communication. I discovered a very simple and possibly obvious remedy to improve the situation - put your video window close to the camera!

Of course you need to look into the camera in order not to feel absent, but I hadn't thought of that where you position the video window matters to connect when you pay attention and look at the window with when you look into the camera. In all of the three windows above I am looking at the video window, but only in the middle one would it seem like I'm paying attention to the person I'm talking to.

Of course this works also when you want to record something on camera like I did above. Please excuse that I'm otherwise so inexperienced in front of the camera and speaking according to a script :-) .