This is a followup to the intern woes, but it is a pattern I've seen with a lot of engineers, though mostly younger ones.
After spending 90 minutes with our customer clarifying details that the intern insisted that we didn't need clarified, it turned out that he was 100% wrong. The reason why he was wrong was that he looked at the database and made an assumption about what a field meant, when it turned out it meant something completely different (work done on "product" vs work done by member of "product" team).
I knew what it meant because I actually investigated the data and was able to figure out what all of the elements meant without making assumptions.
He did what I've seen a handful of young engineers (many whom seem to be on the spectrum) do, which is he saw the field, made a quick assumption about what it meant, and then became dogmatic about that assumption. When I say dogmatic, its like assuming 2+2=5, and then defending it like zealot defends their religion, and completely shutting out any new information that contradicts what they believe.
So I have a couple of thoughts/questions about these kinds of people.
1) Have any of you noticed this pattern?
2) Do most of them survive past the beginning stages of their careers? ie do they ever grow out of this?
3) Is there a way that they can be managed, or a fit for them within an engineering company?
4) Clearly they can manage to study for test and calculate/regurgitate correct answers. Is there a way that they can be trained out of this behavior in school, or a way to screen them in school so that they don't get the degrees?
Additional thought.....I've actually noticed this problem, or a similar one, in the data science field. Its actually one of the reasons why I started programming on my own because 50% of the people who have been doing it for us have been so bad. Like really fucking bad. ("How does this report look?" "For the 4th time, I asked for a stacked graph. This graph is not stacked....STILL!")
-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here: