College Drop-Out Hall of Fame
In his column, "Become Your Own Brand, March 07, Dan Hebert wrote, When I was a hiring manager, I saw resumés that indicated the job seeker had started a technical degree program but not finished his or her education.
I considered this a major red flag and tossed out the resumé. If someone couldnt complete an important task like finishing school, it was hard for me to see him or her sticking with a tough project.
Now, allow me to add a few possible punch lines:
and that man was Bill Gates.
and that man was Michael Dell.
and that man was Steve Jobs. FEEDBACK
Jerry Reilly, software engineer (andyou guessed itcollege drop out), Data Translation
Let us know what you think: FEEDBACK
Jeremy Pollards column often is the most interesting feature. But I wonder if hes over-emphasizing PLC program portability. Im not as concerned with how portable a program is as I am with how well documented it is. As Pollard mentioned, even portable programs have some odds and ends to straighten out. Those loose ends can get really messy.
My experience is that succinct comments can make it an order of magnitude easier to maintain, modify, or rewrite a program. If I was in charge of a project involving the porting of some code, I would want to make sure that whatever comments the programmer created also were ported. If a program is uploaded out of a PLC and ported or converted, the comments that arent in the PLC might get lost in the shuffle.
I also think Pollard should explain why ladder is so pre-eminent. Having programmed in VBA a lot, I am a big-time fan of traditional computer language code. Some of my recent programs in ControlLogix have a third of the routines written in structured text. Its truly a godsend. But ladder is still the workhorse. For any kind of control, it provides unmatched tools for a programmer to write solid, stable, maintainable programs. Dont you agree?
Function block creates programs more like an electrical circuit than a traditional program. As function block programs get more complex, they become tough to understand and work on. Of course, for laying out a PID-based control strategy, function block is fantastic, as the process guys will strongly assert. Im sometimes one of them. Theyre correct, but I maintain that function block must be complimented by routines written in structured text and ladder that follow established, good-programming practices. Those routines contain all the rest of the code thats not best done in function block. Lets use the right tool at the right time. FEEDBACK
William Love, Kredit Automation & Controls, Phoenix.
Electives Would Be Piling On
Bob Martino, BSEE, PE, senior electrical engineer, Camp Dresser & McKee, Cambridge, Mass.
You Felt My Pain
I really liked your article on free electives for engineers. I was one of those 21-credit-hour-per-semester geeks. As such, there was no time for socialization like other students, much less an infrequent spectator at sporting events my school was well-known for.
However, an engineer always can, when given the chance, out figure the dominant Wall Street species. A little contrary to your premise, I would suggest continuing with additional schooling even with a full day-job to socially and professionally succeed.
Granted it is not immediate but not hopeless. A more rounded education I agree is much better. FEEDBACK
Leonard Walsh, Engineering Fellow, Pratt and Whitney, E. Hartford, Conn.