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Posted at 11:38am on 14 Aug 2008

The Great Divide

A brilliant article about the importance of integrating engineering considerations at the design phase of a project.

The idea of design divorced from engineering is laudable, but the way it so often plays out makes it implausible. Yes, in theory, the design team should come up with a perfect solution and the engineering team should be smart enough to figure out how to pull it off and neither should ever have to talk to each other. The resulting product would look exactly as designed and would work perfectly. Keep on trucking you radical dreamer. Here’s a quarter for the jukebox.

I particularly enjoyed this:

As an engineer, nothing infuriates me more than hearing a designer talk about something as “an engineering problem”. You absolute bastard. Why are you designing something that you aren’t even sure will work? Why bother opening Photoshop if what you’re producing is little more than a fantasy-world mockup? Do you have any idea how little talent it takes to envision perfect solutions?

And on the flip side...

Not to let engineers off the hook. Guilty as charged, the lot of them. Oh yes, that problem is very hard to code. I’m so sorry you can’t Google a solution for it. Amazon no help either, huh? Forced to come up with your own solution to the problem. Well, that must just suck. Actual creative thinking. Whiteboards and late nights. God forbid you work for your paycheck.