Engineering Excellence

The purpose of this page is to record thoughts about my productivity as an individual and as a member of the engineering community. These thoughts are meant to inspire me and remind me of some of the things that I am apt to forget at times. These thoughts are online for everyone to see because -- well, because almost all of my interesting thoughts are -- and because someone else out there might benefit from these ruminations as well.


Always be prepared. It seems to very frequently be the case that it is the one thing that you failed to plan for that is actually the thing that you should have planned for. In the interest of optimization, efficiency, and just not wasting your life, always try to plan for every possibility you can think of.

Mar 10, 2003

It is surprising to me how easy it is to miss one key term and find that that one key term was the one that made all the difference. Never underestimate the power of a seemingly insignificant item to wreak havoc on an otherwise-well-thought-out project.

Mar 10, 2003

It is surprising to me how hindsight really is 20/20. Before you are made aware of some certain fact, it just seems unknown. But when it is made clear, it seems crazily obvious, and in some strange way, it seems like you almost knew the fact before you were made aware of it, and it was only by some twist of mental inability that you didn't pay attention to it in time.

Mar 10, 2003

Don't procrastinate! I say this to myself a lot, and yet I still do it. How stupid is that? Nike had it right: "just do it."

Mar 10, 2003

Pick your hobbies wisely. Computers are addictive. Duh. Linux, games, email, IM, etc. etc. They are powerful tools. But they can be overused too. I am highly adept at the art of wasting time on the computer. It doesn't *feel* like wasted time, but it often ends up being 12:30am and I haven't REALLY accomplished anything on the computer for the evening. This is just stupid. Either do something useful on the computer, or find something else to do. Go ride a bike. Go read a book. Go (gasp) socialize with people. Just about anything to get out of the stupid rut of work, compute, sleep, work, compute sleep.

Mar 10, 2003

Defer your inventions. Don't run off and implement the Next Big Thing every other day. If you are doing it for yourself, it will be a fad and you will often only be wasting your own time. If you are doing it for someone else, make sure it's REALLY what they want before you spend time on it. If you have a great invention that no one uses, then, again, it's just a waste of time. Instead of wasting time on things that sound "cool", spend your valuable time on things that are "valuable."

Mar 10, 2003

Clean up your messes!

Mar 10, 2003