on being an engineer

It was my first day at the job site and they said, "There is the pile of 2x4's. Build a wall from here to there and another over there." I got my tools and started working. I masured twice, cut the wood square, nailed it right. I worked quickly, methodically. I checked it twice with a level before securing it to the floor. My boss came back from the store and yelled.

"What the #%Cd is taking you so long?!?"

"I don't know how I can work any faster."

"Is that a level? Son, we don't have time for any of that. Eyeball it. We'll square everything up when we set trusses."

I am sure there isn't a civil engineer out there who couldn't design a concrete span that would last forvever. I'm also pretty sure there isn't hardly a bridge bult today that will last more than 100 years. We are engineers. Our job is to build things that are good enough. we aren't paid to find the best solution. we're paid to quickly find one that is just good enough and saves time and money.

I am an engineer. My job is to build things that are 'good enough' while working within the constraint of cost. I'd like to believe I could build something beautiful given enough time and money. However, that is not my job. I need to get something that mostly works into production so I can go home. This, of course, doesn't mesh well with the need to build good code but again, i am an engineer. I'm sure there are civil engineers out there who are sad they can't build a bridge that will last forever. I'm sure there are mechanical engineers out there designing car fuel pumps who laugh that what they're building likely will