The skills of a good engineer

The skills and value an engineer can bring aren’t limited to his technical knowledge. The majority of skills and value that make up engineering in my mind are:

  • Management (Project, Time, Resource) Skills
  • Customer Service
  • Mentoring Ability
  • Marketing Skill
  • Sales Skill
  • Presentation Creation Ability
  • Network of Clients, Vendors, Engineers, etc.
  • Mathematical and Physics Prowess
  • Construction and Manufacturing Knowledge
  • Drafting Skills
  • Brainstorming Skills
  • Troubleshooting
  • Email Writing
  • Phone Skills (Definitely a real skill)
  • Technological Savvy (Usually assumed for Engineers, though that can be a fallacy)

For most engineers I know, the focus is skewed almost entirely on technical ability like math, physics, drafting. Those abilities grow automatically with time spent in an engineering role. The rest of the list, management, customer service, marketing, brainstorming, emails, and phone calls often require outside effort to learn, which is why it’s scarce to find for those with a technical focus. However, it’s possible those items are what is most important to the customer, so it’s ultimately what will be most important to the company.

One of the reasons I started writing, was to clarify my own communication skills with external practice outside of work. Reading your own communications, it becomes obvious where your own patterns of conversation often becomes too vague. Too many, “this”, “that”, “things”, “etc.” uses and everything starts to blend together. The thoughts become harder to follow. With deliberate practice it gets better.