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Learn what people really do at work

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Product Engineer

My title: Product Engineer

My department: Operations

My industry: Software & Hardware Computer Development

My location: Silicon Valley (San Francisco/San Jose area), CA


My responsibilities:

- Review new product design and determine its manufacturability

- Develop prototype schedule and production requirements

- Develop test process to mass produce new product and ensure consistent, good quality

- Lead team of Electrical, Mechanical, and Software Engineers across 2 countries and 3 Manufacturing sites

- Review test result of each prototype run and implement process improvement for future runs

- Travel overseas to teach manufacturing site on new product specifications, assembly, and test processes

- Travel locally to teach US manufacturing site on the new product, manufacturing processes

- Assist sites in troubleshooting hardware failures and debugging systemic failures

- Conduct readiness reviews with internal and external teams to launch new product

- After the product launch, regularly collect and analyze quality data

- Produce quality reports for upper management and drive improvements at manufacturing sites

- Qualify new components, 2nd sources, replacement components, production lines, test code bugfixes, and new firmware

- Chair quality meetings to drive process improvements, yield improvements, and coordinate product changes


My challenges:

- Motivate and influence teams outside of the company

- Language barrier with overseas companies

- Budget battles w/ management

- Work long hours at quarterend


My opportunities:

- Learn new cultures and languages

- Influence people half the world away with the power of idea, knowledge, communication, and rapport.


My recommendation for new engineers:

- School only teaches you technical skills.  Strive to learn the functional (soft) skills.  These skills include: Project Management, People Management, Financial Responsibility, Time Management, Professionalism, and Report/Presentation Writing.  Ask your company or boss about any classes that they offer or recommend.

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