Archive for May 21st, 2012


rolling with change

Post from Jean Thilmany:

Jean Thilmany

I write about engineering technology, I use my computer and its attendant software every day. I write blog entries and keep up with social media. But I’ve become tired of keeping up with the pace of technological change. No doubt next month they’ll be a new type of web thingy we all must learn to stay at the top of our games, to stay relevant at work and within our fields.

And this month I’ll certainly get another message that this or that one of my accounts needs updating right now. Or I’ll once again forget my password to an account and the prompts won’t work and I’ll need to call customer service… and so it goes.

A friend gave me a two-hour lesson a few Sundays ago in how to use Pinterest and I kept up with it for a while, but who has the time?

Likewise, I don’t tweet but I do Facebook. And I certainly acknowledge that as an eBay buyer, I’m thankful for Paypal—and for eBay itself. Google is a great help to doing my job, as is email.

Then I think about how I do my job now as compared to how I did it before the rise of the Internet, the advent of email. I find the depth and breadth of my reporting, not to mention the time-savings brought about by the Internet, has been huge.

The current generation likely doesn’t have my gripe with the pace of change. Keeping up, for them, is a privilege, not a hassle.

For example, college students and recent graduates are used to 3-D CAD programs. Show a 3-D-generated CAD drawing to a 60- or 70-year-old engineer, however, and he or she may toss it for the much less reliable paper blueprint. I know from my own writing about engineering technology that today’s CAD programs and 3-D printers mean engineers can design more intricate products and more intricately shaped products than ever before.

So I guess I need to shelve my churlish reaction to the pace of technological change. But I’m still going to be a late Pinterest adopter.

The Editor

John G. Falcioni is Editor-in-Chief of Mechanical Engineering magazine, the flagship publication of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

May 2012

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