25 Jan 2009

How would you respond to a private message like this -

This is actual private message I received today -

hi, I'm studyin in second year ELECTRICAL engineering. I have to do one mini project this semister... I have not yet decided on the project topic. Basically I'm very confused. I would like to ask you to suggest me some topic. "thoda HATKE N FUNDOO" . I have 3 other members in my team. i have done basic electronics course and studied electronics as a subject in 12th std.. also done one project called TRAFFIC LIGHT CONTROL. so plzz.. suggest me some topic which will be totally different than others n which i can do wid my knowledge...
Thanking you...
BETTER IF U REPLY.. ME ON MY YAHOO ACCOUNT.... <snipped>
thanking u again...
<snipped>,
Do you think something is wrong with an engineering student writing such a message? If you were me, how would you respond to this private message (PM)?
Ashraf HZ

Ashraf HZ

Communications
25 Jan 2009
I think, for those struggling to decide on an idea, its better to ask their lecturers. Perhaps they would not give a direct answer, but at least they would help guide students to an idea 😀

Also, here is something I find amusing. I know we engineers always wants to do the most unique or innovative thing. But in your undergraduate years, there is absolutely nothing wrong in doing a similar project than one done already, only with different objectives. The main things are that you gain experience in pursuing it and you contribute more additional knowledge for others!
25 Jan 2009
I always respond positively (read: nicely) to students who ask for ideas but also tell me what they have done so far to get the ideas; what didn't work, what are their expectations.

Every engineer wants to do something innovative. But tell me, can you really ask for ideas and be innovative? I guess no. Come up with a basic idea and let's evolve it into something innovative! That's the way to go about projects, I think.
shalini_goel14

shalini_goel14

Branch Unspecified
25 Jan 2009
There is nothing wrong with this person. Some people have ideas and some have ability to make them true. In very rare cases people have both. May be this person has ability to make any idea real right?

1. I will advise him to join CE and have a look at lot of incomplete but ultimate projects & ideas if they can be of any help to him.😀

2. I will also suggest him any ideas that I feel he should work on though how stupid they are. Rest is his choice.

Thats all. 😀

[PS: I guess such people post their problems to wrong persons. No one even try to hear them .]
MaRo

MaRo

Branch Unspecified
25 Jan 2009
GFY!

I actually answered this before in the website I admin & it's completely legitimate.
25 Jan 2009
Both MaRo & Shalini are right. What you say is obvious. There are people who cannot come up with their own ideas & not everyone is creative enough to come up with original ideas - because then, we'd have world full of Edisons!

But before we make that statement, there's something we must notice.

The person who wrote the message is an engineering student. I believe every engineer need to be fairly reasonable in asking technical help. Because that is what we learn as engineering students. For that matter, its more of a common sense that you want to show some efforts that might help getting response from others.

Regarding the question I asked, I believe the answer is attitude. The person is a member of CE Forums and has not cared to look at the website [I think it does not take lot of efforts to go through the sections and see which one is relevant]. Moreover, we have a search feature which is easy to spot and use. The person could have mentioned that (s)he searched the forums but couldn't find what (s)he was looking for. (S)he could have mentioned the theme on which his team is trying to do a project.

What I'm trying to focus on is not the person - but the overall attitude towards engineering & obtaining everything without efforts - which doesn't work. I could have replied with a list of projects or pointed the person to right section; and I did. But you know what hurts me the most? - that I spoon fed an(other) engineer.

Having spent some time in the corporate world - I've seen the overall attitude of engineers towards work. The hunger for free stuff continues there. I personally know professional engineers who copy paste ready made code from Internet. One of my close friends told me that few of his colleagues got caught because they did not remove the comments or change variables from the original code. Shall we say that 'Not every engineer can think and write code; so let him/her copy the code from the Internet".

Is that what we want engineers to do?
Ashraf HZ

Ashraf HZ

Communications
25 Jan 2009
[super rant]

Exactly. Why should we have status quo when CrazyEngineers, a unique place for to unite engineers around the world, can help change the attitude of aspiring (or existing) engineers? Why should we give people leeway for what they want, instead of trying to give them what they really need (i.e. a dose of reality)?

EVERY single person has the capability to generate ideas. That is human nature. Now, whether or not they will do so depends on choice. If they are proactive enough, they will get their answers. Obviously, if you just want to get spoon fed, would you be willing to "think"? We dont need to have so many "Edisons". In fact, its just pure ignorance to think technology progressed on the shoulders of just a few people. There are many others who were not under the spot light that have contributed a lot.

Its sad to hear that professional engineers lack creativity, by choice. If a majority of engineers in this world choose not to be proactive, then I fear technology would become stagnant.

Anyway, I typed a guide for junior (or senior) students on how to be proactive in their project or seminar work. You guys please take a look and tell me, is it really THAT hard to do?

click-> https://www.crazyengineers.com/forum...pics/1928-before-you-post-read.html#post16664

[/super rant]

*phew...*
25 Jan 2009
Well said, Ash. You know, I imagine a musician asking for ready made tunes on the forums so that (s)he can perform on stage. Would we all appreciate that? No!

We are the music makers! We are the engineers and we are responsible for making the world a better place. I think that's something we've forgotten. Again, let me mention- we are here to help the engineers; not to spoon feed. We are here to provide different perspective to solving technical problems, provide technical aid to engineers who want to try.

Though we are small, we are making impact. We have a chance and capacity to make a positive impact to everything around us and we do not want to fail at that.
shalini_goel14

shalini_goel14

Branch Unspecified
25 Jan 2009
@Big_K and @ash: What a lecture? 😉

If I am not wrong that fellow is still a studying engineer(not a final year student or an engineer yet) who might be in 12th standard 2years ago or even less than that. The good part was that he has thought of doing any mini project otherwise many don't care for project in 2nd year. He/She shows so called proactiveness. I thinkthere is no harm if such people ask for suggestions from those who know more and have more experience than those.

This was my perception.

By the way Mr Big_K have you made any special GREAT project from your electrical engineering for which you can have proud?(of course leave this forum):-|

Mr ash, yours project completions I am waiting. Lets see.:-|
Ashraf HZ

Ashraf HZ

Communications
25 Jan 2009
Alright, peace 😛

Shalini, we are not talking about this fella specifically (since we have now generalized this case. However, in the context of your post, mini projects are now compulsary for most laboratory subjects). We are talking about those who lack the initiative and effort to do something for themselves 😀

Admittedly, I found CE when I was 2nd year in engineer, looking for ideas.

But I joined CE to make a difference, because I knew it had a potential to change things around.

However, I realized there were a lot of CEans asking for free things without doing anything themselves. These are the people me and Biggie are focusing on.

Why are we "hounding" on them? Its because we are concerned. We want them to have more proactiveness. People can ask suggestions, but when they don't put an effort to show specific interest, how can we help?

And shalini, you dont have to go that far and antagonize us about our own projects (heck, Biggie sacrificed alot for this forum alone). We are worried about these people, and we want to help. That is why I posted the link about how to find seminar and project topics themselves. Because I myself was in the same situation as every other student! But as an example of proactiveness, I give suggestions on HOW to find a topic by themselves without getting spoon fed. Please read the link if you haven't.

I'm pretty sure you know this quote:
Give a man a fish, and he will feed for a day.
Teach a man to fish, and he will feed for a lifetime.


I really hope you'll understand why we need to change the mentality of this generations aspiring engineers.
gohm

gohm

Branch Unspecified
25 Jan 2009
I can't add any more than Biggie & Ash, I agree 100%
raj87verma88

raj87verma88

Branch Unspecified
25 Jan 2009
Well said Ash, couldn't have put it better.
25 Jan 2009
Well, to the best of my knowledge, colleges ask students to submit a project and it is a part of curriculum. A person wanting to do a project on his own won't seek ready made help in first place.

Secondly, I'd normally discard questions that go like "What have you done...". Because they are irrelevant here. But for the records sake, our project [Titled Transformer Design Web Services] was pretty much innovative (back in 2002-03) and it was my groups' creation; monitored by none other than the author of famous 'Let us C', Mr. Kanetkar. No one we knew had thought of such a project and we were very much on our own. At least, we didn't go searching for ready-made ideas on the Internet. Even Mr. Kanetkar never helped us with ready-made code or technical know-how. He'd correct us only if we showed him what wasn't working. He'd make us think for weeks before he'd give us hints on what was wrong. Now that may not be a 'GREAT' project, but it wasn't built on someone else's ideas for sure.

Beat that?

I'll answer for Ash. Have you seen Ash's contribution to CE Projects? Both Ash and xHeavenlyx have put in more efforts than anyone else in those projects. They have worked very hard to set the designs right and even went out of the way to advance the project; all while managing their studies! I think that is more than enough.

Lately, I do not have any intention of being rude. Hopefully my point will be well taken. Let me reiterate - I am not expecting anyone to develop GREAT projects here. I only question the attitude of engineering students who come looking for free lunch. Of course there is no harm in asking for suggestions; but one needs to show at least some efforts from his/her side before he seeks help.

Anyway, if I continue to write here; I'll be labeled as 'Rude'! Meh! 😁

[PS: Everyone. Please, do not take these discussions personally. My posts are aimed at the 'attitude' not the people.]
25 Jan 2009
Boy so many posts by the time I typed! 😁
silverscorpion

silverscorpion

Branch Unspecified
25 Jan 2009
Well, as long as engineering is pursued for the sole purpose of getting a job, the situation will be like this only.
25 Jan 2009
silverscorpion
Well, as long as engineering is pursued for the sole purpose of getting a job, the situation will be like this only.
Indeed. In fact, the hunger for free lunch continues even after one gets a well paid job.

Its sad. I just hope we'll be able to change the mentality of at least 0.01% of people who want free lunch - we'll make the world a better place.
raj87verma88

raj87verma88

Branch Unspecified
25 Jan 2009
I just checked my mail and this message was on it
hello frnd plz send me electronics and communication related mini projects na plzzzzzzz
And the funny part is, the person had reported a post and had written this in the reason for reporting.
This is the attitude we are against. None of the members of CE have anything personnel against each other or anyone.
Ashraf HZ

Ashraf HZ

Communications
25 Jan 2009
@Biggie
Your rarely talk about your project 😛 I think you only mentioned it once before, since I joined CE.

@ Patty
Indeed, I got a couple of those before. However, its only been a recent trend.. usually people would report spam (you were one of the most vigilant), but now people report their own posts. I thought this was an innocent mistake, but perhaps they know that reporting posts will directly get the admin and moderator's attention.

As Patty rightly puts it, its the attitude we are combating. Its nothing personal *grin*
shalini_goel14

shalini_goel14

Branch Unspecified
25 Jan 2009
Good comments all of you 😀. May be I become too kind for those who ask me for help.😉

But still I would like to tell what I gain by helping such people:

X: Person asking for project ideas and stuff.
Let me consider two cases
Case 1: I help them the way I want to

X: Shalini, can you Please suggest me some ideas for my this semester project and blah blah..

Shalini : Sure man. Why don't you look at our forum's Project & ideas section. I am sure you will definitely find something interesting there. If not do reply me back.😀

X: Shalini, those ideas are too difficult for me. I want some simpler ones. Please sugest me some.

Shalini : [ I give him some ideas] X, Check these suggestions if they can be of any help to you. You are free to add your creativity to them. Otherwise I am always there to help you out.

X: [If that fellow is a real engineer, he will come up with his ideas and things and will reply back showing his proactiveness ]

Shalini : [I will be definitely helping such people and will try to become kind of "Yashwant Kanetkar" for him 😉 ]

X: [If that fellow is of spoon-feeding type, sure he will not reply back and will try to approach some other person.]

Shalini :[ Will forget about him and then no questions of help at all]
Case 1: I help them the way rest of the people here want to

X: Shalini, can you Please suggest me some ideas for my this semester project and blah blah..

Shalini: Man, why don't you come up with ideas?

X: [ Assumes what she thinks of herself I am asking her for ideas and she is asking me to tell me😡. How stupid she is😡 ? Don't even know that if I had some idea why I would have asked her? huh.

Shalini: [Still waits for his reply. No replies for a long time. Forgets him and thinks he is useless]
So what is the conlusion ,
1. I came to know whether that fellow is really an active engineer or not.
2. We can only show them the door, in actual they have to enter themselves.

Anyways, I wish all engineers start thinking like you people soon.😀
Ashraf HZ

Ashraf HZ

Communications
26 Jan 2009
Shalini, you are right, the first case is better.

But we have always used the first case anyway. Thats what we mean by helping.

It is when after we give them suggestions that they demand ready made reports and ppts that we usually get ticked off. Or, request for ideas that no one has done yet (how are we supposed to know that?).

I could safely say we have all responded to thousands of requests for ideas. For biggie via his e-mail, even more. Takes a lot of patience to tolerate all that. Thats why we:
- Compiled ideas for them
- Typing guides for getting ideas
- and so on.

Those things are not easy to do, but we still do them.

You probably got the impression we turn away people after some isolated cases. Should you judge our actions because of that, or should you judge our actions with our general intentions and commitment to help engineers?

😀

I'm not sure if you know this, but the other engineering forums on the web bans students from asking questions related to their studies.
silverscorpion

silverscorpion

Branch Unspecified
26 Jan 2009
well, if he is proactive, then even with the second way of treatment, he will reply and work on his own.
If he's not, then even with the first, he'll not reply. I think this s the gist of all the posts above.
shalini_goel14

shalini_goel14

Branch Unspecified
26 Jan 2009
ash
Should you judge our actions because of that, or should you judge our actions with our general intentions and commitment to help engineers?

I'm not sure if you know this, but the other engineering forums on the web bans students from asking questions related to their studies.
1. I am not judging anyone here. Everyone has right to do what they want to do.😀

2. I have never seen other engineering forums because I never tried to search for ideas.😉

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