10 Things you Need to Know as a Starting Engineer

As a graduate engineer of 5 years as of this writing, I find it necessary to share some things I’ve learnt on my journey as well as things that I wish I knew when I just started. If you are not an engineer, don’t worry, some of these may still be applicable to you. So without further ado, here are the 10 things you need to know as a starting engineer.

1.People will want you to fix everything
dog giphy
One thing I have noticed time and time again is that whenever someone knows you’re an engineer at some point in time they WILL ask you to fix their fan, fridge, TV, you name it! With family in particular, you won’t be a ‘real’ engineer in their eyes until you fix something around the house for them. And although in most cases we can fix it, it is a little degrading to think that after years of studying the most advanced sciences and mathematics, people only see you as a ‘handyman’. What I try to do however is look on it as compliment and in some cases use it to my advantage to make some side money.

 

2. Your profession will be looked at in awe

reasons-why-i-want-to-become-an-engineer

Like medicine, law, and accounting, engineering is one of the traditional professions parents typical want for their children, because those jobs are usually in demand and most times pay well. In social settings, where you are asked what you study in school or where you work, and you tell them that you are an engineer, the “wows” and nods you get in response is truly a gratifying experience.

 

3. Google is your best friend

google

We live in an era where the world’s knowledge is just a click away; use it to your advantage! Whether if it’s for things you know already or don’t know, don’t waste the opportunity to verify with other sources online. In addition, traditional books, though credible, are outdated at times, compared to its contemporary online counterpart. There will be times where you are required to do things you haven’t the slightest clue about, but as the ‘expert’ you can’t look like you don’t know what to do. So it’s always best to pay for data service on your phone each month as knowledge protection for yourself.

 

4. You actually know less than you think

coolest-electrical-engineer-meme-electrical-engineer-meme-memes-electrical-engineer-meme-35bhf9ap9sb0j7hnk3h6ve

Just because you have your degree in engineering now doesn’t mean you’ll know what to do in the working world. Often times what you learn in the textbook is not how it goes in reality. Some things just come with experience. So don’t be discouraged if what you learn at school isn’t applied at your job, and be sure to stay close to your peers and learn from them.

 

5. Be open to learning

open-mindedness

Learning is your most important virtue as a starting engineer. As stated before you will not know everything you need to know even if it’s in your field. It might be tempting to try to impress the boss by taking on tasks solo, but the worst thing you can do is trying to be a ‘know-it-all’ and to not accept guidance from others more experienced. All that will happen is that you will make many unnecessary mistakes and waste a lot of time. This is why HR put a great emphasis on teamwork when hiring.

 

6. Don’t sweat the small details

small details

As engineers we pride ourselves on accuracy. So much so to our detriment sometimes. It stems from the fact that in school we were taught all these mathematical techniques to solve engineering problems to great degrees of accuracy. In other words, to solve by first principles. The problem with this is that it usually takes a considerable amount of time. Conversely, an estimate most times can get you ‘accurate-enough’ results. In the ‘real world’ wasted time is wasted money, so unless you work in research & development (R&D) with time at your disposal, its best you learn techniques to estimate accurately.

 

7. There is not much math at work

math

Unfortunately (or fortunately) in many engineering jobs there is not much math, and when there is math involved, it’s usually arithmetic or simple algebraic mathematics. Calculus is practically non-existent. This goes back to the previous point that doing those types of calculations are simply just too time consuming. So instead estimation techniques are used or in some cases software is incorporated to help generate engineering models. So if you’re a math enthusiast you may be in for a surprise if you choose an engineering job. At the end of the day math is just a tool engineers use to solve real world problems. If we can utilise computers to handle those tools for us it will make the engineering process quicker and flow smoother.

 

 

 

8. Keep up with the latest technology

tech improvement

Technology is advancing at its fastest rate ever and is accelerating at an exponential rate. Many of the baby boomers, and the generation X peers you have at work will not be able to keep up because they have gotten used to a static way of working. As a starting engineer you can use this to your advantage by using technology to make business much more efficient. Learn from your peers yes, but if you see where you could improve through technology speak up and you will rank up in your career. Just remember the only constant in life is change, and those who can’t keep up in this age will perish, however the ones who embrace change will prosper.

 

 

9. Salaries vary

wage-diff-cover

Like most other jobs, a starting engineer’s salary isn’t all that relatively speaking. But of course the salary will vary on a myriad of reasons, e.g. the branch of engineering, which company, which country, etc. That said, engineering jobs do generally pay better that the average job even at a starting salary.

 

10. Hone your skills and market your skills early

Artificial intelligence with human brain shape and gears

Lastly, if you have a passion for your engineering field, use this opportunity to continuously learn as much as possible quickly, so that eventually you can become a master of your trade. Education is something no-one can ever take from you. It will make you more marketable in the long run, and you can eventually branch off to start your own private practice. The end goal shouldn’t be ‘good enough’ to make a salary at some job, but to be the best at what you do so companies need you more than you need them.

 

 

 

-Dave 2018

 

Continue reading “10 Things you Need to Know as a Starting Engineer”

Advertisements

How to Make Your Own Carnival Costume

So it’s that time of year again for soca, trucks on the road and revellers ‘wining’ and getting on bad on the streets. In the spirit of the season Dave’s Projects got a special carnival edition post for you.

For those who plan on going to road march this year but haven’t gotten your carnival costume packages as yet may be because most are sold out

xamayva sold out

Or that the outrageous prices vendors are asking for costumes is a hurdle for you.

bacchanal prices

xamayca scarlet prices

But fret not thyself, we will guide you step by step on how to make your own carnival costume (female), on a budget less than $60 USD. This post will be a general guide, and not specific to one particular design as people will have their own types of swim suits and style they may want for themselves.

 

Tools and material needed:

 

Step 1. Create your design

Grab a pencil and paper and create your own design based on existing costumes for the current year or come up with something completely different. The sky’s limit and designs are only limited by your creativity. If you need inspiration see Xodus, Bacchanal, Xamayca costumes, or do a google image search for ‘carnival costumes.’

 

Step 2. Attach Crystals to Swimwear

Grab your 1-piece/2-piece along with hot glue gun and start pasting on your crystal stones according to your design. Be Careful and take your time to avoid mistakes.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For the bottom it might be easier to see how it will look if you put it on while attaching the crystals.

bikini botom

 

Step 3. Attach Headpiece Feathers

Go back to your design again for the headpiece. Take your visor and turn the bill upright and hot glue the feathers along the edge of the bill to create a semi-circle pattern. Add layers on both the upper and underside of the bill to make it look fuller.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For extra flair add some crystals/gems with hot glue to the headpiece as well.

headpiece 6.JPG
Step 4. Create Arm-piece

The arm-piece can be created with an old cotton armband or by cutting out a cardboard rectangle to fit around your arm.

The same principle applies as before. Mark the arm-piece with an X to know where to glue feathers, then glue feathers onto it. Besure to keep the feathers pointed outwards when you wear it.

arm piece feathers

 

 

Step 5. Try on the Outfit

Marsha

Deneisha

 

If you like this post remember to like, share and follow for more posts in the future.

 

 

 

See the video that inspired this post below. Give Marsha a like, rate and subscribe!

 

-Dave 2018

Continue reading “How to Make Your Own Carnival Costume”

10 Ways to Maximize your Living Space

Many of us who live in small confined rooms know the struggles of finding space to put our stuff. For the people looking to tidy up their house, the students in dorms, the studio apartment owners, and persons who are forced to keep everything in one room, Dave’s Projects is here to help. In no particular order, here are 10 ways to maximize your living space (with amazon links).

1. Wall Mount Shelves

Wall mountable shelves are a great cost-effective way to maximize your living space. Particularly because it frees up floor space for other things. One re-occurring theme you will notice in this post is increasing floor real estate by mounting. Wall mountable shelves come in a wide variety of designs and can be as cheap or expensive as you want. But for the added real estate you’re getting in return it is more than worth it.

Amazon:

2. Surface Mounting Cables

cable clutter before and after

Cable clutter from all your electronics is not only unsighly but wastes precious floor space. Overtime this mess is generated by running various internet cables, chargers, phone lines, etc. along the floor. A great way this can be remedied is by surface mounting these cables along the wall. See my first blog post to learn how to do this yourself.

3. Door Hanging Hooks

excellent-hanging-wall-hooks-perfect-ideas

The design simplicity and effectiveness of the door hanging hooks are second only to a bicycle. All it requires is a door to support it and it can significantly increase your wardrobe space without a actually getting a wardrobe.

Amazon:

4. Storage Crates

amazing-of-plastic-storage-crates-storage-containers-plastic-storage-containers-storage-bins

If you’re the type of person with a whole ton of junk but you can’t throw them out because they hold some sentimental value or otherwise, storage crates may be the solution for you. They typically have a fair amount of storage space and best of all they are stackable, meaning more floor real estate again.

Amazon:

5. Sofa bed

sofa bed

Here’s a timeless classic in the efficient furniture world. The name speaks for itself. A couch for guests in the day and a bed by night. The definition of killing two birds with one stone.

Amazon:

6. Bed/Dresser

bed dresser2

Continuing the bed designs, here we have another hybrid type bed that does as the name suggests. This one you probably won’t see at your nearest furniture store however, if you know a skilled carpenter you might have a shot at building one.

7. Inflatable Mattress

air bed

Imagine you have a two bed room apartment. One room dedicated for your bedroom, but then the next room you want as a storage room but you also need a room when family or friends decide to stay the night. Why not do both then! The inflatable mattress is the perfect solution for obvious reasons. When not in use it can be stored in a corner somewhere, then when your guest is over just air that sucker up and boom you’re good to go!

Amazon:

8. Hanging Shoes Bag

shoes hanger

This is similar to the aforementioned door hanging hooks (#3); except instead of hanging up clothes this is for hanging up shoes. The same theory applies to this.

Amazon:

9. Vacuum Storage Bags

vacuum storage 2

This is the traveller’s best friend. With this you can pack your suitcase as efficiently as a Jamaican parent coming back from ‘farin’ bringing back goodies. Just know the increase space afforded means more weight when when you finish packing.

 

Amazon:

 

 

10. Under Staircase Storage

hqdefault

Think back to where Harry Potter used to reside before going to Hogwarts. His awful foster parents locked him up in a little room below their staircase. As in-humane as this was to lock up a human in such a confined space, its an excellent space saving design for a house.

-Dave 2018

Continue reading “10 Ways to Maximize your Living Space”