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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

oh, the occupational hazards of being an engineer...

alright, i am truly embarrassed. what i discovered today from students is that their college advisors are advising them not to participate in SUSTAIN because
  • they don't understand it;
  • it's new;
  • the application process is cumbersome;
  • they are not seeing how courses can be rearranged.
but what i see is that i totally acted like a classic engineer.  i went off in a corner by myself, designed the perfect application process, spent a 4-day holiday weekend teaching myself javascript, programmed and debugged the perfect, interactive set of on-line surveys. well, i didn't initially go off by myself, i went off with another engineer!  (oh, what could be a worse recipe for disaster?)

i engineered the perfectly complex system that met all my functional requirements. it was elegant, it was powerful, it was unusable by the average freshman and staff member. 

i can't believe i did that! i invited feedback but got none. why?  

boy, do i feel dumb. this has been the source of us not having students apply.  the advisors encounter it and say "oh, looks too complicated to me...don't do it."

the lesson learned: Never, never, never, let an engineer work on something alone when the something must be used by humans.

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