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Is catalogue engineering the future? (Part 2)

By Michael Young (Pr.Eng)

Much emphasis is put on computer programming in engineering but a program is only as good as the person using it.

The world of IT has advanced since the middle of the 1990s and the internet and the development of the smartphone have exploded to become the tools that we all use in our day-to-day lives.

The demand for IT designers and programmers began to decrease in the middle of the 2000s but it has begun to increase again over the past few years as applications for smartphoneve has become the new trend of business.

Many businesses are structured and built around these applications and are offered to clients at no charge. Facebook is one such application that is worth millions or even billions of dollars.

Each user can sign up for free and, once the user has been registered, they will become part of a database that allows one user to connect with another at no charge. Facebook has been so successful with its marketing that it now created a large database of users. Facebook can use this database to advertise products and services for other companies and then generate income for the expansion of the network.

Many computer software development companies use a similar marketing strategy by releasing demo models of their software to potential clients. They offer these demo versions as a test trial and then offer the full version at a premium.


The implementation of computer programs within a company has both advantages and disadvantages. 


Most major companies purchase complex computer software as it makes certain tasks easier and improves the operational efficiency of the company. The implementation of computer programs within a company has both advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that the operations of a business are more efficient. The disadvantage is that they can create misunderstanding and may also not promote logical thinking within the business.

Computer programs are like cars, while the user is the driver. The car is only able to perform as well as the driver. If the user does not understand what inputs are required and how those inputs affect a specific output, the incorrect result will always be produced.

How often do employees employ a new graduate engineer and provide them with some software to perform complex designs? There is nothing wrong with this as the graduate will complete the design in a very efficient time. The problem arises when the design is implemented and does not perform to a certain specification.

The main reason for this is that the user did not fully understand the desired inputs and associated output of using the computer program. They also did not question or ask if the outputs were realistic. Computer simulations are theoretical predictions of what will occur in the real world. If these simulations do not have realistic inputs, unrealistic outputs will be produced.

So have computers really made life easier? The truth is they have, provided that the user understands the workings behind the simulation and is able to produce realistic results.

So what do new engineers who complete their tertiary education require to become successful within this competitive engineering industry?

They first need to understand the basic principles behind mathematics and physics. Once they understand these principles, they must understand how these principles are applied to computer simulations and understand the final results that are produced by such a simulation.

Performing this will ultimately give any graduate an advantage in the organisation, but more is required for the candidate to become a leader within the industry. If you are anxious and can’t wait until next month to find out what else is required, email us on www.mike-young.com or call 0027 (0)73 171 2311 and we will be happy to share this secret with you.

We look forward to sharing this secret with you in next month’s publication and we would also love to hear your comments on this topic.

Wishing you a successful month ahead.

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