The greatest engineering attribute

What is one of the greatest attributes / strengths that an engineer can posses?  Take a moment and think about what it is…

It’s not a specific programming language.  Languages come and go (cobalt anyone?) and each language is generally used for a specific set of purposes.

It’s not experience.  Successful engineers have learned time and time again that they need to retrain themselves and re-adapt to a changing environment.  What worked in a previous job might not work in their next job.

What is it then?  It’s confidence.  Confidence in my opinion is one of the greatest attributes that engineers can posses.  Think about this for a minute.  Why would confidence outweigh experience and technical chops in a specific language?

It has to do with scope and productivity.  Confident engineers know more about themself compared to any other engineers.  This engineer knows his or her own limits, strengths, weaknesses and shortcomings.  A confident engineer knows when to bet big on a proposed solution and when an algorithm needs more attention or needs to go through a dreaded re-factor.

This job skill allows this engineer to communicate better with both parallel and upper management teams.  Problems and concerns are more easily brought to the table and can be addressed when their cost is low.  In the end product and engineering teams are able to deliver more products, within specified timeframes and within outlined budgets.

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