Thread: 10 Reasons Why Self-Taught Engineers are the Best in the World

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nominal Animal View Post
    Unfortunately, I for one am at a loss as to how to effectively counter the pressure.
    It requires help. You need support from more senior, more respected, more irreplaceable team members to stand up with you. Each of us has been treated like garbage at some point during the beginning of our careers. As we age and become leaders, it's our job to prevent the abuse of the inexperienced. I try to do my part, but obviously my influence is limited.

    There is no way to "stand up to the man" on your own, apart from starting your own journey as an entrepreneur.
    Code:
    //try
    //{
    	if (a) do { f( b); } while(1);
    	else   do { f(!b); } while(1);
    //}

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nominal Animal View Post
    Perhaps someone here has been successful in countering such pressure, and could give us hints?
    I've been in this situation but not as a programmer--as a CAD drafter. The only way to win really is to never ever show off how fast or good you are, which pretty much means starting fresh at a new company. You pretty much have to deliberately be lazy, which is retarded. If you try to shine, you will do just that and look like a wildfire in the middle of the night and people will ask more and more of you until there's no way out. It's so sad that things are this way.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MutantJohn View Post
    Wow. This is super relevant to me. I literally just got my first MEAN stacks job like 2 months ago and they already want me to work a 56 hour week... This thread has been good for me lol
    Leave now

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epy View Post
    Leave now
    It seems attractive...

    Apparently, management wanted us to continue working overtime until Christmas...

    I finally stood up and said that I don't want to work any overtime anymore. I'm at the point where they can honestly just fire me.

    The worst part is though, I'm good at my job. Like, my code works. Most of the time. I think.

    Okay, I don't know if I'm good at my job but my skills have like quadrupled from when I started. Today, I was using Mongoose and I finally learned how to use promises like a freaking boss! I love the work I'm doing but I don't love these hours...

    Edit: I should mention, I just finished my 4th day of overtime. So that makes for 2 11.5-hour days and 2 11-hour days. Tomorrow is my final 11 hour day. Ugh. I wish I would care more about getting my stuff done... But at this point, I'm just so exhausted.

    I will say this though, our manager/my boss did tell management that making us work overtime until Christmas was unacceptable. But at the same time, I can see that this place is clearly trying to institute wage slavery. Not good, man. Not good.

    But MEAN stuff is so cool though!

    Our lead programmer likes to tease me for liking PHP. I haven't told him to his face yet but I did tell some of my other co-workers, "Hey guys, you wanna know what's cool about PHP? A script can fail and it doesn't bring down your entire server !" XD
    Last edited by MutantJohn; 12-03-2015 at 11:49 PM.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MutantJohn View Post
    "Hey guys, you wanna know what's cool about PHP? A script can fail and it doesn't bring down your entire server !"
    No, it just hands the server on a platter to the first shady character that finds the script.

    But yeah, back to the original topic: The way I see the self-learned/formal education divide is similar to becoming professional at something. You can do it yourself, but it requires more self-control than most have; doing it via formal education, where you're guided towards it, is much easier.

    Let's say you do concrete for a living. If you're professional -- regardless of whether you have formal education in concrete or not --, you'll make it your business to know what kind of concrete is required for what purpose, and how to produce concrete that matches the client requirements.

    Most concrete workers are not that; to most, it's just manual labor. Some might get really good and fast at some specific task (like pouring the exact right amount, estimating the amounts needed for typical jobs, vibrating the poured concrete, or flattening it fast but nice) -- at least enough so to be paid more than a regular concrete-Joe does.

    That's how many self-learned "engineers" are, too: they know how to do the one or few things they are really interested in, and often have lots of practical experience doing it, too, but they usually lack even the basics outside that narrow area.

    Our technology and sciences have grown so complicated, that one human being is not able to master an entire field anymore. (You could say one form of the singularity is here.) Formal education forces the learner to grasp the basics of the entire field, especially the uninteresting bits, with real-world applicable parts being frankly a very small part only.

    The self-learning aspects are necessary, as they make it possible for the person to master some aspect of the field (or become a generalist -- very valuable for team leader and management types). However, typically, self-learners do not take the time to learn the uninteresting but eventually important parts of the general field they are in, but center on the part they find most interesting.

    Nowadays, even a very specialized expert needs the sort of basic knowledge and skills even a second-rate formal education gives outside their focus area, to be able to maximize their effectiveness and utility in a team, and to adapt to the field itself changing. Having some overlap with others is that necessary, and useful.

    In natural sciences (for researchers instead of engineers), this overlap is even more important. Even though fields are specializing at an amazing pace, there are lots of overlap. For example, someone specializing in space physics, say Earth's magnetosphere and solar wind, might very well be able to make a jump to fusion research, because the two have interesting parallels and relate to each other.

    As an another example, there is very little difference between quantum chemistry, quantum biology, and materials physics (using ab initio-, or quantum, methods). But, having someone switch between physics and biology departments after their master's degree does sound pretty weird. Today, it's not weird at all, its just how our fields of research diverge and merge at different levels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MutantJohn View Post
    I just finished my 4th day of overtime. So that makes for 2 11.5-hour days and 2 11-hour days.
    I really hope you're paid hourly, and not on a fixed salary.
    What can this strange device be?
    When I touch it, it gives forth a sound
    It's got wires that vibrate and give music
    What can this thing be that I found?

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkvis View Post
    I really hope you're paid hourly, and not on a fixed salary.
    I am salaried but I do get some overtime pay. Still not worth it.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MutantJohn View Post
    I'm at the point where they can honestly just fire me.
    There you go. So yeah, put in notice, try to be nice to everyone, and leave.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by MutantJohn View Post
    I am salaried but I do get some overtime pay. Still not worth it.
    That's the thing though. It's up to you to decide whether you're getting paid a fair amount for your services. You're working more than the standard 40 hour week, but is it worth it? Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. The beauty of the free market is, you can always look for something else.

    I'm not trying to put you down for complaining about 56 hour weeks. I wouldn't like it either. But honestly, it could be much worse. If you decide to move on, be careful about it. Have something solid lined up in writing before you jump, and never, ever badmouth the place you came from.
    Code:
    //try
    //{
    	if (a) do { f( b); } while(1);
    	else   do { f(!b); } while(1);
    //}

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