Andrei Freeman (lordandrei) wrote,
Andrei Freeman
lordandrei

From engineering training today... No kidding

I have been in Software Engineering Training this week.

This is not teaching me how to code. It teaches me the tools I need to be effective to get to the point where I code.

Working with requirements, proper planning, interacting with test and project managers.

One of the main responsibilities of an engineer is making an estimate. In the ST:TNG episode "Relics" we learn the truth about Scotty and how every estimate he made was always overly padded to always come off like he was a miracle worker.

As an example exercise we were shown a photo of a jelly-bean jar. We were asked to estimate how many were in the jar. The jar front was shaped like a hexagon. The side view was rectangular.

I looked at the screen. I counted the number of beans across and down the front rectangle (discounting the side triangles) I counted the beans along the depth of the jar. I also counted the beans across the with of the side triangle.

I multiplied out and got an estimate of just shy of 3000. People started yelling answers. A couple yelled 3000, some yelled 4,000. I knew it was short of 3000 and I also knew this was just a pointless exercise. But my general character kicked in and I had a smart-ass moment. On the "Price is Right" you always try to undercut the guesses.

I said, "2850"... The room laughed at the detail I put into such a trivial exercise. I was asked to explain. Someone shouted out, "Price is Right" and I agreed that went into it. We discussed the different methods people used to get their numbers.

Afterward the teacher looked up and said... By the way. the correct answer was, "2845"

There was much laughter and applause.

During the break, I asked if I won the Prize winning pig.
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