What makes you an engineer? Not the degree. Not the experience. And especially not the ability to fix things.
What makes you an engineer is exercising and understanding the concept of healthy technical laziness.
Healthy technical laziness is not general laziness. This does not describe one’s productivity and work ethics at all.
If an individual thinks about how to reduce the number of manual interventions in a process, the individual exercises healthy technical laziness. This is done for the sake of allowing more time for doing something useful.
Want an example? Remember that video when someone wrote a shell script to rock a cradle? The baby seemed to like it!
This is, in essence, healthy technical laziness.
With a little bit more thinking, using adaptive design, it is possible to automatise a number of tasks. What computers do best (apart from heating the room, thereby pleasing cats) is number crunching. In fact, this is the only thing they can do. We correspond numbers to luminance, colour, amplitude, keystrokes…
So, I figured I would rather spend some time on how to process the results adaptively instead of doing it myself one by one. Well, not entirely: okay, the pilot data was processed on a spreadsheet, but that was just to get a vague concept. Results were wrong, conclusions were wrong and I was utterly disgusted with this method after wasting hours of work, futile. That was my little impulse that pushed me along that way.
Today, I could acquire and process more results in just a few hours than I could do through the entire last week. And it seems to be correct. Or we haven’t found a fault in it yet.