My first boss out of college always said “There comes a point in every project where you have to shoot the engineer.” A bit harsh, perhaps. And just to be clear, he never actually did that to my knowledge. The point was well taken and I have made an effort during my career to focus on the business case for the project, not just the engineering perspective.
Rather than shooting them, I have a better suggestion: distract them with the next shiny engineering challenge. Buy them a dev kit from SparkFun so they can play around with something new. Or ask them if they know anything about ______ (literally any piece of technology). That should keep them busy long enough for you to ship your product.
One of the biggest challenges is that sometimes we need access to hardware. Having direct access to an ATE system, or other device used to be as easy as walking into a lab. Working remotely has made us come up with other methods.
At S5, we embraced the shift to remote work. We upgraded our VPN system to improve remote connection to hardware at the office. I turns out that a lot of times walking to the lab wasn't necessarily required, it was just convenient.
We have done plenty of work remotely for many years. However, customers often seemed to regard that as second best and still wanted us on site frequently. We have been pleased to see once reluctant customers embracing remote work. We are no longer the "outside team" to employees working on-site; we are just all part of "the team." In an odd way, being distant has brought some of the teams closer.
How have you coped with the challenges during this time? Has it changed your view of work?
Here is a great blog post from NI with some tips for working remotely.
Once you have that prize-winning book written and edited, just follow the wizard. You’ll need an
Amazon account (very easy to accomplish) and your banking information (so you can get paid). Watch
this video and get started. Now, you’re on the way to joining Stephen King and Stephen Hawking (even if
your name isn’t Stephen) as an author.
Go forth and write...
There is a learning curve, of course. But it is well worth it.
This video is on the Seattle LabVIEW Youtube channel that is dedicated to the presentations from the 2019 event. Let's hope next year we are back face to face.