Food for thought, human engineer

Human Engineer

I was asked recently by one of my colleagues what is a human engineer as this is the title that I recommend myself with. I’ve replied simply that I build humans. Like Frankenstein she said?

Well not quite.

A bit of background. For the most of my professional life I was(still at core) a software engineer. Then I needed to lead a team of engineers. Of course I didn’t know how to do it so I was given a chance by the company to attend a management training. That turned out to be a game changer for me.

First session of the training required to fill a long questionnaire. It turned out to be a DISC assessment. Didn’t pay too much attention to the questions and filled it as quickly as I could, but then I saw the results.

Initial reaction was WTF is going on??? How can a machine see inside me? That was it for me. The turning point.

Since then I am investing a lot in the area of human understanding. That means psychology, human behaviour, how the brain works and much more. I find this combined with my software engineering skills goes long way. Whenever a colleague comes to me with a problem and if the problem is caused by a technical issue I can fully understand. I can give advices. If the problem is non-tech I can also help with the skills that I got during this period. We must understand that psychology of humans is a must have for every leader. Behind every engineer there is a human being. A team is formed by many engineers that interact with each other, that means we need to understand social interaction.

Another issue that I’m trying to solve is scaling. In software engineering scaling(horizontal not vertical) mean adding more resources of the same type in order to be able to tackle more work. Well with humans is not that easy. There were many times in which I was asked if I have a twin brother and I wished that I had. That’s why we have teams of people. But it’ of an immense importance the quality of the people in the team. That means a lot investment from us as leaders, but also from them as team members.

Engineering humans means helping them to grow in all areas, personal or professionally. I find it very satisfying and challenging. Computers do exactly what you tell them to do and don’t talk back. Not humans. We have feelings, personal problems and much more which sometimes hurt our efficiency as professionals. Maintaining work-life balance is essential and I am there for support. We work to live. I am a better human by helping others to become the best version of themselves.

This is human engineer for me. If you wanna become a better engineer and/or human check the section of recommended books.

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