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Hal Hart <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mon, 18 Dec 2000 17:33:29 -0800
text/plain (33 lines)
"Dale Jr, William" wrote:

> Ron's comments miss one very important point.  I would bet a month's pay
> there were no "Software Engineers" working on any of these system.
> Aerospace companies hire Aerospace Engineers, EE's and ME's but do not look
> for SE's of any kind.   Embedded flight S/W engineers are picked from these
> engineering areas.  No SE's need apply.  If you do not know advanced control
> law theory or astrodynamics you don't get to play in the sand box.
> Due to the "Old-Boy" networks deeply entrenched in Aerospace corporations,
> SE's, if involved at all, are relegated to low level coders, system
> administrators or S/W QA (an area commonly ignored).  ...

I hope (and believe) most of us SW Engineers employed by "aerospace" companies
do not find the situation as bleak as Bill's.  I can assure you that it ain't so
here at TRW  --  in general.  Most of the VPs of our system-building divisions
with significant software components are former s/w types nowadays.  (Note:  I
didn't say they had been "software engineers"; only that they were some kind of
"software type" meaning they did down-in-the-trenches software development once
upon a time, as opposed to EE, AE, or ME.  But, at least one of them (my VP) was
in fact a fine SW Engineer and an Ada champion too in his project days in the
late 80's/early 90's, and he's everyone's bet to get fast-tracked to CEO!  (He's
10 years younger than me.))

Of course we're a lot smaller than LMCO.  But, we are direct competitors on many
many jobs, so we're very similar in business/application domains.  I would not
be surprised to hear that at least some other LMCO divisions are more like TRW
than Bill's division.  (And I'm sure there are pockets at TRW as Bill describes.

     -Hal Hart (with all the usual disclaimers about opinions
         expressed here not necessarily being TRW's)