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10 Rules for Engineers

While leading Engineering Teams I have been lucky enough to work with some amazingly talented people. Through their wisdom and mentorship I have collected a set of principles that help to focus both my efforts and the messaging and expectations that I share with my teammates. One of the primary goals of this blog is to not only create personal validation around these principles, but to attempt to explain the depth and logic behind each one and to grow this list as I grow and move forward in my career. Here they are in no particular order:

Rule#1 – Communicate. Over-communicate. Then go back and Communicate some more.

Rule#2 – Trust – but also verify

Rule#3 – Plan for disaster instead of perfection. The best plans cover worst-case scenarios, not best-cast.

Rule#4 – Under promise and over deliver. Or just promise and over deliver. Just don’t over promise. And no matter what, over deliver.

Rule #5 – It may not be our fault, but it is always our responsibility

Rule#6 – Engineers are born optimists. Engineers are also the last ones to know they are in trouble. Be mindful of this so as to not let things get out of control

Rule#7 – Initial planning is the most vital part of a project

Rule#8 – All problems are solvable in time – just make sure to schedule enough time to create the right solution

Rule#9 – Never present a problem without presenting at least one possible solution

Rule#10 – Engineers – we get the job done