Top 10 Traits Of A Successful Engineer

September 17, 2019
Exam Advice

Engineering is more than just getting a nine-point CGPA. It’s more than the internal exams and semester exams you write. It’s more than the lab records and projects and papers and contests.

Engineering is a mindset; an attitude. It is, of course, something every student must take pride in. Higher IQ alone doesn’t make you a great engineer. The ability to persevere, get up after each time you fall makes you an engineer.

A good engineer usually showcases excellent technical knowledge, but a great engineer will go beyond and exhibit both social and emotional intelligence. Engineers make products primarily meant for the common man, not for themselves or machines. Hence, the ability to express and communicate across the board is a necessary and crucial skill set to become a great engineer. 

Here are the personality traits you will find in every real engineer

Unquenchable Curiosity

There’s no situation where the question ‘why?’ Cannot be asked. There’s always more to learn as the saying goes, ‘What we know is a drop; what we don’t is an ocean.’ An engineer is born with curiosity and thirst for knowledge. And to quench that thirst he/she will try his/her hardest. Curiosity killed the cat, but it’s what makes engineers live.

A Logical Thinker

A good engineer must have a logical mindset to comprehend complex system. Meaning, when a problem arises he/she must be able to first understand what the issue is and then address the issue by arriving at a solution that is logical. He/she must be aware of the consequences of any mishap in a system.

Interpersonal Communication Skills

Apart from understanding the complex technical aspects of the job, a good engineer must also display the skill of interpreting the information and then communicating the same to clients and workers in layman’s language. Not just that, when expressing ideas, you need to know how to make the person see the view the way you see it. That way, your approach will be successful. This obviously includes both written and oral communication.

Attention to Detail

Attention to detail throughout a project is a vital skill set necessary to become a good engineer. The cost of making the slightest error is too huge. This calls for exceptional observation and processing of what you observe. You must also have excellent fore-sight.

A Bird’s Eye View 

Another important trait of a good engineer is the ability to view the project/work beyond its immediate requirement, and instead drive focus towards the larger picture. In this regard, a competent engineer will consider the impact of the project and how that will facilitate in the company’s overall progress. For eg, an ideal engineer will think along these lines; ‘Will this project that I’m currently working on contribute towards improving the revenue garnered by the company?’. 

Team Player or The Boss

As the saying goes, “You can go further when you work together.” Behind every successful project is a team that works well with each other who take up responsibilities and complete work promptly. Rarely is a unique project accomplished by one person. Hence leadership skills are an important skill that shapes a good engineer. Use the resources of the company effectively, spend the budgets wisely, keep people informed about budget reviews and milestones, communicate well with everyone in the organisation and support the people around you.

Setting Goals

Being a dreamer is imperative, but setting unrealistic goals is a big bold ‘no’. It is, of course, not out of the ordinary to aim high and set high goals, but developing plans that are too ambitious to achieve will not make it any better. Such plans would eventually end in imperfect or incomplete results. It will neither benefit you or the company. A project’s goals must be concise and challenging enough to make people work with enthusiasm. It must be measurable, achievable and most importantly, follow a time frame.

Problem Solving Skills

There are no escaping problems during any project. As the first step, an engineer must know to analyse the problem and identify the key issues. He/she must remember to address them methodically and effectively. Sometimes, follow up is also necessary. In fields of software design, web development, software development, follow-through of the product is needed. An engineer must have excellent troubleshooting skills.

Technical and Application Knowledge

Excellent technical knowledge to an engineer is a hammer and nail to a carpenter. If you do not have it, you do not fit into the field.. Although most engineers in a specific field have approximately the same knowledge, the difference lies in how it is applied. This is a massive advantage during the planning and execution process of a project.

Learning Process

Technology continues to grow at its rapid pace, and when experts are rushing to keep up, an engineer is naturally expected to, even if it turns out to be a struggle. For instance, programming languages become outdated almost as quickly as they are introduced. This might be scary, but it is the reality. Every engineer of the previous generation knew nothing of the engineering that exists today. You also must keep yourself open to opportunities and must grab them without hesitation. Every chance you get at a contest or workshop will help you get better in a skill you already have or acquire a new one.

Being an engineer has not been a matter of pride through generations for nothing. It constitutes a great deal of discipline and the above mention attributes and more. Despite seeming too tricky, being an engineer is rewarding. Trust me, I am one, and I know.


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