My Year of Magical Thinking

They tell me everyone grieves in her own way.  During my husband’s illness with pancreatic cancer I learned that a friend from graduate school had lost his son Sam to a car accident.  Though it had been many years since we had spoken, my heart sank. I knew that John dearly loved his children as…

Hardware to Bandwidth to Software Flipped Around

So here’s another occasion with a similar scenario where a small kludge solution turns a complicated design into something really easy but it requires a separate perspective on the problem. This is from my work on the CPU debug team at Intel, circa 2007. Engineers in my group were trying to resolve a problem. We…

First Week Impact

My approach to engineering craft has evolved to knowing when the easy solution exists and grabbing that instead of going with a complicated solution. Sometimes that’s a hack or sometimes it’s a different perspective.  A newbie’s perspective can often provide that different perspective. Within my first week at Intel I surprisingly contributed immediately to my…

Six Months to Satisfaction- Large Team Frustrations

Q: What’s your most frustrating experiences as an engineer? A: Basically not being listened to. Like most people as an engineer not being listened to ranks up at the top of my frustration. While it’s easy to manage this in a one on one working relationship it becomes much harder in a larger team. Let…

A Difference in Ovens

I first heard this story as part of Kwabena’s presentation on OpenMV, a camera board.  He spoke at the Oct 2016 Open Source Hardware Summit in Portland Oregon. As he described the path from idea to product I had an inkling this would be a good story for The Engineers’ Daughter. –Anne Meixner Ibrahim dreamed…

The Unexpected Summer of Three Interns

In my engineering career the number three comes up often. A good software engineer goes through loops at least 3 times to check their software.  You need to ask a manager three times to get the approval to do something new. One summer three interns came under my tutelage. That year our group could hire…

Never Too Late to Dance

Dad only began ski lessons when his children began lessons. He had learned on the slopes with friends in the 1950’s. As an athletic young man he managed well enough. Mom mentioned that she had taken lessons when she took up the sport. The long trips to mountains north of New York City may have…

Vacation Processes—Getting Ready

Growing up: My family regularly took a ski vacation in the Winter to the Adirondacks of New York. To balance the budget, we drove slightly shorter to the Berkshires of New York and camped at Taconic State Park right next to the small town of Copake Falls. When taking any extended trip my father had…

Review of 2017 Aspirational Quotes

Resolutions for the new year have long been abandoned by me. Instead, I find quotes that capture an attribute or life practice to which I aspire. Before choosing my 2018 quotes it seemed wise to reflect on last years’ quotes. It isn’t that they can’t see the solution. It is that they can’t see the…