How does Compliance Engineering affect you?
In college, all electronic students hear about is the basics of circuit design and how components work. There is hardly (if any) mention of the variables in place such as cost and availability of components. Likewise, there is hardly any mention of government standards that one must abide by in order to sell or market a product. How has engineering for 'compliance' affected you in your career? What pros and cons do you see to the issue?
Well as a software developer this seldom affects me, but surely compliance is just an extra set of constraints. There are some constraints that affect any device, but cost and compliance requirements vary with time, if only slowly, so it is trickier to include them in a course.
However I think the approach I would make if I were teaching would be something like.
"It works, but that is only the start, now you have to meet constraints like cost and availability of components, safety, legal standards etc"
And in the second year when they can presumably build a circuit give them the same things to build they built in year one with a bunch of made up but plausible constraints, perhaps modelled on old compliance requirements.
This would hopefully get students to realise that they are basically getting paid to handle the constraints.
Specifications and standards are necessary so that people working in that particular industry can expect hardware and software to be built, and operate based on those standards, especially when componets are integrated and interfaced from various manufactures. Just about anything in aerospace is integrated into other contractors products. Just think what the space shuttle project would be like if there were not specifcations for each contractors components.
The internet would not work if it weren't for Interoperabilty Specifications that allowed disparate computer platforms to interoperate with each other. That's called the OSI Seven Layer Model. Each layer has it's own protocol and it's own set of standards.
Awhile back I worked in the polywog area of the internet. One of the hardest parts of that job was to get engineers to fully interface with non-engineers. Our policies always revolved around what must be done, and the engineers around what could be done. It was fairly clear that most polywogs were very good communicators and people persons. Equally it was clear that most engineers were neither. The communication and therfore the cooperation between the two areas of expertise was shaky. But here is the cool part:
Polywogs are still arguing over policy and policies on the net are a shambles.
Engineers are still arguing about what can be done, but over the last decade their ability to make components and operating systems compatible, through out the entire world has been a huge success and a great achievement.
Perhaps if we let engineers run our diplomacy and politics we would all communicate a lot better. So the engineering for compliance has completely made my world better -- Thank you
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