What it takes to be an engineer

Apart from a Hi viz jacket, hard boots and a white helmet not much else you need to become an egineer Ok Ok, Calm down of course I am joking, it takes a lot more than that! 

Let’s talk about your childhood a bit. Have you ever systemically disassembled your toy car and discovered this secret place where the motor is hidden?  Did you try to disconnect it wire by wire? What about that feeling that soon enough you’re going to invent something that will change the world FOREVER? Well that’s a good sign!

I still remember the day I made my sister cry when I stole her hairdryer. (It was just a toy with a DC motor for noise effect) I stole it for a mission to build a small hovering device. I obviously failed and my sister stoped talking to me for few hours after calling me all sorts of innocent but frightening words. Imagination and curiosity are early signs for a well-structured mind ready to delve in this field.

An Engineer's helmet
An Engineer’s helmet

To become an engineer is not easy! How are you with numbers? Because if you struggle with ratios and you’re studying engineering, I urge you to think again! Believe me some people will graduate with a degree in engineering and without being able to handle basic mathematics. That doesn’t mean they’re stupid, I beg your pardon, they could be the next Mozart! or Shakespeare! but please tell them to stay away from engineering, it is not SAFE!


NASA Engineers
NASA engineers. Reference

There are different types of people, some are good with numbers, have brilliant imagination but suck at communication.  Some are not Isaac Newton when it comes to theory! but they can break challenging deals and  build fascinating relationships with clients!  In my opinion, it is difficult to become an engineer while lacking good communication skills.

Unfortunately they don’t enjoy interacting with others specially at times of trouble! They receive a call from their manager asking them to finish a design report, another call from a client asking them about that model they agreed to finish in 2 weeks and then their director suddenly shows up and ask them a favour! During all this mess, they only manage to say ‘Yes, I will do it’ But how are you going to do it smart ass? Are you going to clone yourself? Or have you already invented a machine that slows down time?

Bad or lack of communication is trouble regardless of how much of a genius you are! Some engineers prefer their time to be managed, their questions to be asked, their negotiations to be done by OTHERS while they are solving problems on papers or on their screens. They will never get anywhere in their career UNLESS they make a change and they force themselves to learn how to communicate better!



The skills required to become an engineer are numerous and it is a never-ending journey. A successful engineer will always be a student and not just in engineering, but marketing, business and a bit of comedy would help as well.

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