10 signs that you’re an Old School engineer

10 signs that you’re an Old School engineer

Are you an old school engineer?  Has a work colleague told you you’re “old school”?

One of the great ironies with the construction industry is that it’s always at the cutting edge of innovation, and yet it can also be notoriously slow to embrace change. New products and methodologies come along, seemingly offering improvements and savings, and yet it can be many years until they get a toehold in the market and gain traction in the design office or on the job site. Some products – even good ones – fail to get off the ground and subsequently disappear due to builders, engineers, and architects displaying bias or a reluctance to try something new. (Witness the demise of Smorgon’s “Dogbone” HFS and subsequently their LSB product).

We know what we like and we like what we know. “Tried and true” goes a long way in the construction industry, but many long-established products, methods, and ways of thinking invariably drop off or fall by the wayside over time. Any time we return to such things, the term “old school” is brought out. So if someone says you’re old school, is it a compliment or an insult? Are you stuck in the past, or are you an advocate of doings things the tried and true way?  Here are 10 signs you might be an old school engineer…

  1. Your car has a reversing camera and bumper sensors. You still look backwards over your shoulder to reverse park.
  2. You do drawing mark-ups with red ink on paper rather than in Bluebeam or Adobe.
  3. You have an Excel spreadsheet for everything.  Everything.  
  4. You’re still using the same calculator you used in high school.
  5. You use your printed, hardcopies of the design codes, rather than scrolling through the PDF versions on your screen.
  6. There’s a roll of yellow butter paper on your desk.
  7. There’s a clutch pencil and a razor blade in your drawer.
  8. Your site inspection kit bag has a proper torch, because your phone just won’t cut it.
  9. Regardless of the actual problem, your benchmark and first step in approaching any analysis or design starts with wL2/8.
  10. (Not old school, but just old…) Your scale rule has inches on one side

Any others come to mind?  Add them in the comments section below…


PS…you might enjoy our other piece, 15 ways engineering tells you you’re getting older

PPS:  If you enjoyed this piece, you can subscribe to The Working Engineer for free and be notified each time a new article gets posted.

Did you like this article?  Why not subscribe for more?

Subscribe for free and receive an email notification when we publish new articles...

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. And you can unsubscribe at any time.

The Working Engineer logo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top