Thursday, October 19, 2017

Stop worrying that your expertise isn't worth much

Today I was talking with a chemist friend of mine who complained that he could rarely use his chemical expertise and was spending most of his time with jobs at the technician level. While I am in a slightly better situation, mine is not that much different.

My expertise is in dynamic flight simulations of 6DoF rigid bodies. Outside of my day job, its value is zero. However, while gaining that knowledge I have also learned a lot of tools and methodologies that could be used elsewhere. Here is a short list:
  • How to verify data/code prepared by others before using them in your own project.
  • How to write good reports
  • How to manage engineers
  • How to design complex software
  • Matlab/Simulink
  • C/C++
  • Java
  • C#
These skills and tools can easily be translated to other domains, which makes them very valuable. Concentrate on what skills you will acquire while pursuing your topics of interest and make sure that they have some use other than your own narrow field.

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