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Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/02/2017 8:53 PM

So it turns out my new job as a "controls" engineer is mostly about learning how to program a PLC and building the simplest of circuits using relays to turn stuff off and on and reading inputs and so on. I recently graduated with my EE and I feel like I'm wasting my time with this. I was really interested in controls and took many controls classes in school. I can regurgitate root locus at an insane level. I feel like I'm learning how to play with a big Arduino essentially and its a total waste of my degree and nothing like the controls I took in school. Is this normal? Is PLC and automation a real engineering job? Most people I have met so far are not EE and more technicians then engineers. What do you guys think?

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#1

Re: Is PLC programming a real EE profession?

03/02/2017 9:06 PM

Go work at Boston Dynamics and you'll soon be wondering if you learnt anything in school at all. Top-drawer PhDs cutting their teeth on this stuff, trying to keep up. Bleeding-edge robotics. You want a challenge? There you go.

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#2

Re: Is PLC programming a real EE profession?

03/02/2017 9:18 PM

When you get a job you do what needs to be done at the time....they are not there to suit your needs, you're there to do a job, whatever that job may be at the time that falls under your responsibility....be a team player....guys that complain the job is easy are usually the ones that screw up....People pick up on things, get an attitude that this job is beneath you and you are one step closer to the door...

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Is PLC programming a real EE profession?

03/02/2017 9:21 PM

Yep. GA.

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#5
In reply to #2

Re: Is PLC programming a real EE profession?

03/02/2017 10:52 PM

you have misunderstood what I mean and apparently taking offense to my question

The job is not beneath me. No where did I say that. I feel the opposite. I feel lucky to have a job that gave me a good starting salary, health insurance etc etc and most of all to not be unemployed.

What I'm saying is, MOST PLC programmers I have met thus far are NOT engineers.

Nor so far have I seen any reason for them to be one. Most are technicians and some even electricians. Im not implying that those jobs are beneath me at all. Matter of fact, I recently met an electrician that knows more then I could dream at this point and I have great respect for him.

What my question is about is the following.

Why spend 5 + years banging my head against a wall trying to learn things like Laplace transforms, Fourier series, advanced calculus and differential equations and develop a specific skill set to write code for a glorified Arduino all day.

If you reREAD the title of the post it does not say "I'm an EE and I think I'm better then everyone else".

It simply asked is ,the profession of "plc programming and automation" a typical thing that someone with an EE degree does for a living. Furthermore, I simply ask this question because I'm finding no skill that I learned in school useful for this job that I'm currently doing. A skill unused is easily forgotten and my main goal right now is to not forget all the things I just killed myself to learn.

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#8
In reply to #5

Re: Is PLC programming a real EE profession?

03/03/2017 12:09 AM

Hi wannabecontroller,

This is a typical line of inquiry of many in the Engineering arena.

I am a ChE, and when I received my degree and headed out into the world for a bright shiny new job, looking to apply all of the deep and esoteric lore I had acquired from my time at school, I was also very much wanting to make some money.

After several months, I finally landed at a job with a chemical analysis services company. It was sort of a fit because I knew something about analytical chemistry - AA spectrometry, gas chromatography, and they even had a mass spectrometer. It wasn't anywhere near as challenging as anything I had learned in Transport Phenomena, Unit Operations, Thermodynamics, or Chemical Reaction Engineering. However, it gave me a chance to meet people and develop relationships with the people I worked with. I didn't realize it at the time, but I now know that the relationships that we have with people are more important than the actual work.

You sound like you are out to prove yourself, which is very normal - you want to apply all that you have learned. Isn't that why you learned it - so you could apply it?

But, there are very few jobs that will require you to know even 20% of what you learned. Every job also has a certain portion that you WEREN'T educated for. My advice to you is to learn as much as you can where you are (which I am sure you are doing) while continuing to search for something that you will truly enjoy. The problem is, that often you will not know that you really like a job until you are already in it!

Be patient. Study more on your off-time if it helps. Take it all in, and learn that not only the science matters.

Best wishes in your career!

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#10
In reply to #5

Re: Is PLC programming a real EE profession?

03/03/2017 8:32 AM

What I'm saying is, MOST PLC programmers I have met thus far are NOT engineers.

Finally - someone who actually understands what he is programming. I too am a "controls engineer", but I only do the circuitry design, drawings, implementation, and trouble shooting, leaving the programming to a specialist in the particular PLC chosen by the customer for the job we are working on. It is most frustrating when one of these specialists can't understand how to scale the engineering units on an analog circuit, and I can see how to do so, usually involves the actual span of the 4-20ma in the instrument, but they won't listen to me. (I can program - just don't do it enough to do it on a production job) Or, the next problem is a circuit is wired correctly, but the programming is wrong, and they insist I have it wired wrong. Actually that is probably the worst problem, as it occurs on EVERY job. Oh, and don't ever pull out your 4-20ma loop checker - it totally confuses them. Now they may listen to a VOM reading, as they think they know how to test circuits with the ohm-meter. I would welcome a programmer who actually knew a bit more than programming. They are a rare breed.

Continue on in your field as you are a much needed engineer. You will find openings down the road and probably end up like the last engineer/programmer I worked with. He is now a manager of many projects for one of our customers.

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#19
In reply to #5

Re: Is PLC programming a real EE profession?

03/04/2017 2:54 AM

Many of us apparent misunderstood your original post.....re-reading a few times is always a good idea, before posting. You can easily leave the wrong impression, which might affect any job prospects.....

I personally think that in the big scheme of things, you will regret nothing and maybe it will lead to greater things later.....all experiences are good, positive and negative!!

When young, learning exactly "when" to change your job, I personally found to be very important. Once you get to 45+, you should be where you want to be, if not before!!

Best of luck....

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#32
In reply to #5

Re: Is PLC programming a real EE profession?

03/05/2017 3:51 PM

No some are just technicians... some with no education beyond high school... but as an EE it's best to get into the trenches.

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#39
In reply to #5

Re: Is PLC programming a real EE profession?

03/06/2017 3:07 AM

Unless you get into the R&D side of things, for this type of control equipment, you'll probably end up never using about 70% of what you learnt during your degree. This is what I've found anyway.

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#54
In reply to #5

Re: Is PLC programming a real EE profession?

03/06/2017 12:09 PM

A PLC programmer with a degree in Russian is known here...

What firms want is someone who can do the job, who will do the job, and who will fit the organisation. Many of the qualities that are needed to satisfy these three simple criteria will be found outside the tutoring content of an Engineering degree.

If the proverbial grass is greener elsewhere, one does have the ability to go and graze there instead. Just don't eat it all at once.

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#6
In reply to #2

Re: Is PLC programming a real EE profession?

03/02/2017 10:53 PM

@solareagle

you have misunderstood what I mean and apparently taking offense to my question

The job is not beneath me. No where did I say that. I feel the opposite. I feel lucky to have a job that gave me a good starting salary, health insurance etc etc and most of all to not be unemployed.

What I'm saying is, MOST PLC programmers I have met thus far are NOT engineers.

Nor so far have I seen any reason for them to be one. Most are technicians and some even electricians. Im not implying that those jobs are beneath me at all. Matter of fact, I recently met an electrician that knows more then I could dream at this point and I have great respect for him.

What my question is about is the following.

Why spend 5 + years banging my head against a wall trying to learn things like Laplace transforms, Fourier series, advanced calculus and differential equations and develop a specific skill set to write code for a glorified Arduino all day.

If you reREAD the title of the post it does not say "I'm an EE and I think I'm better then everyone else".

It simply asked is ,the profession of "plc programming and automation" a typical thing that someone with an EE degree does for a living. Furthermore, I simply ask this question because I'm finding no skill that I learned in school useful for this job that I'm currently doing. A skill unused is easily forgotten and my main goal right now is to not forget all the things I just killed myself to learn.

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Is PLC programming a real EE profession?

03/03/2017 12:04 AM

You can say that again, but the third time might not be the charm, either.

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#35
In reply to #7

Re: Is PLC programming a real EE profession?

03/05/2017 10:38 PM

O I would love to know how I was behind?

Other then patronizing a bunch of internet tuff guys that have no interest in a constructive conversation and only wish to lecture while sitting on their thrown

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#18
In reply to #2

Re: Is PLC programming a real EE profession?

03/04/2017 2:48 AM

The perfect answer.

GA

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#4

Re: Is PLC programming a real EE profession?

03/02/2017 9:44 PM

EEs do all sorts of things, and there are a lot of PLCs in use. They are "control systems", although not as "sciencey" or interesting as what you did in school. Most real world jobs are not as much fun as working out problems in school.

My own experience when I started was like yours. I felt under-utilized. Unfortunately, as the new guy, you don't usually get the interesting jobs until you've been around long enough that others realize how much you know. (I suspect that this experience is not just with engineering but other professions as well.)

Hopefully, when you've served time in the trenches (as many of us did), you can migrate into a job which better matches your interests, either with your present employer or elsewhere.

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#9

Re: Is PLC programming a real EE profession?

03/03/2017 5:28 AM

In my experience, one's job seldom uses more than a few percent of what was learnt during education.

The point is that the degree course has given you enough background to cover (or at least understand the basics of) whatever may get thrown at you during your working career in the field, and (maybe more importantly) has taught you how to approach problems, and how to find the information to fill in the gaps when you don't know exactly what the answers are.

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#70
In reply to #9

Re: Is PLC programming a real EE profession?

03/08/2017 6:35 AM

<...how to find the information to fill in the gaps...> Many post such things as questions from Anonymous Poster #1 on CR4, it would appear....

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#71
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Re: Is PLC programming a real EE profession?

03/08/2017 6:51 AM

Sad, but true. In my day (and in the days of many of us here), it meant which library to go to/which shelves to browse/which text or reference book to grab/which journals or theses to trawl through etc. (and sometimes, which individual to corner).

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#72
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Re: Is PLC programming a real EE profession?

03/08/2017 7:04 AM

You said it,... in college, I enjoyed the college library.

After college, I used the library for research quite extensively up until the mid/late 90's.

I have a library card, and I can do a lot of the research on line. Thank you, Ben Franklin

When I tell people I have a library card, they think I'm joking and honestly, I beleive they don't think they exist anymore.

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#73
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Re: Is PLC programming a real EE profession?

03/08/2017 10:31 AM

Same here! Still try to but it goten very disappointing over the years.

Back when I went to tech school at NDSCS Wahpeton it was rare that I didn't spend at lest a hour or two most every evening I had open sitting at the library pouring through every technical book and magazine or trade rag I could get my hands on.

From there I assumed most libraries had similar collections of books and the like but sadly no.

They don't and the ones that did have some seem to have long since disposed of those books from what I am told is simple lack of use. Apparently I was the only one to to have looked at some of them in over a decade according to their checkout card registries and general book usage records.

Now I have not been a in a library in over a decade. just not enough technical info in the local ones to have made taking the time to look anymore worth it.

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#74
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Re: Is PLC programming a real EE profession?

03/08/2017 11:01 AM

I believe city libraries, at least here in NYC, they don't just discard old and antiquated reference books... Old practice is to take pictures of all printed materials for archiving, which are available using microfiche readers.

Presently due to advancements in technology, common practices of archiving is done digitally. Most books, documents, etc., are now available in printed form or can be read digitally using library computers.

Like metrocards, library access are done using password protected library cards!

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#75
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Re: Is PLC programming a real EE profession?

03/08/2017 12:27 PM

Our county library (Brown County Library) in Wisconsin has great online research, where you need your library card to access.

You access

businesses information

ownership, key personal contact, credit rating, employees, competition.

Genealogy

Languages (learning)

to name a few,...

Every now and again, I just enjoy going downtown main county library in Green Bay just to see what they have.... but parking really sucks.

Like metrocards, library access are done using password protected library cards!

But the library cards are free., just need proof of residence in the county, like a bill with your address.

I went out for dinner, it was a place I never was at out in the country off the lake, and the waitress was giving me a hard time, must be my personality ..., She brought the check out, and I used the library card to pay for it... it didn't go through.

btw, I recommend the Gib's cut 20 ounces Prime Rib. it has its own signature garlic seasoning...

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#76
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Re: Is PLC programming a real EE profession?

03/08/2017 12:35 PM

I'm hungry...

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#77
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Re: Is PLC programming a real EE profession?

03/08/2017 1:09 PM

Yes...initially they are free but anytime thereafter there is a charge if one needs a replacement for any lost card, one has to pay!

The metrocard similarity was for anyone to get thru the turnstile when entering the library, he/she has to swipe the card....

Hmmm....I'm starting to get hungry too!

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#78
In reply to #77

Re: Is PLC programming a real EE profession?

03/08/2017 2:05 PM

..there is a charge if one needs a replacement for any lost card, one has to pay!

Really?, must be different in your area... I replaced mine about 2-3 years ago, even though my number on my card worked online, I didn't have it physically.

And it did not work for checking out a book, even though I knew my card number.

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#79
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Re: Is PLC programming a real EE profession?

03/08/2017 2:52 PM

Well, that's the New York city public library's policy I encountered when any of my children's cards were lost/misplaced in the 90s...

On top of that, they also charge /asses a daily fine for any borrowed books taken out of the library if not returned on time on each designated due dates!

In my perspective, the strict guidelines /policy imposes some form of control and discipline to the borrowing public!

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#80
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Re: Is PLC programming a real EE profession?

03/08/2017 3:03 PM

It not that I didn't believe you,... I was just surprised..

On top of that, they also charge /asses a daily fine for any borrowed books taken out of the library if not returned on time on each designated due dates!

Yes, I had a book out all summer,... I kept renewing on line,... most of the time.

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#82
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Re: Is PLC programming a real EE profession?

03/08/2017 7:02 PM

Suspect "library fines" to encourage the timely return of books are probably universal/global.

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#83
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Re: Is PLC programming a real EE profession?

03/08/2017 7:04 PM

Two weeks goes fast...

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#11

Re: Is PLC programming a real EE profession?

03/03/2017 9:23 AM

A few things to remember:

1. Being the 'new guy', you are not going to be called upon to program the complex algorithms, until you prove that you can program the "simplest of circuits" correctly.

2. Although college gave you a good broad foundation of knowledge, it couldn't have covered everything. Remember "gingo" (Garbage IN, Garbage Out)? How well your program performs, is dependent upon the instruments supplying it. Get friendly with the good instrument techs, and learn everything you can from them.

3. In any industrial plant, there are going to be chemical processes to deal with. Learning everything about those will help immensely. That is where you can use your talents to the fullest.

4. If the place you are at now does not hold enough challenges, think about finding work at an Engineering company. Specifically on that works in multiple industries (more new info to learn), on large (=>$300 million USD) plant builds/rebuilds. Just remember if you do, they will burn your candle at both ends - at least. But it will also offer you the ability to move into other work that might suit your career better.

5. While some of the programming can be boring and repetitive, work on hardening your program to handle F-ups. At least a 1/3 of your programming will be making sure that some ID 10 T can't tell the PLC that the month is 13, and how to deal with times when the instrumentation is down. There have been many times when I have programmed a pump curve into a PLC, because a flow meter was going to be down for an extended period. If that pump is on a VFD you can use that pump curve (along with knowledge of the hydraulics of the system) to program a pretty darn accurate 'calculated' flow meter.

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#12

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/03/2017 9:53 AM

Those are just the basics. People like you who wants challenges are better off doing your own. Dont be little control fundamentals. Most of electrical or industrial product even how simple it is sells a profit.

Me?, I am no electrical now but i used to be was. But to tell you frankly I got leverage knowing those stuff.

Oh, there is so much fun in electromagnetics and electrodynamics at macro, micro and quantum scale. You haven't just noticed it.

There lots of mystery still unsolved and unexplained.

Just like, why is current and magnetic flux does always a rigth hand rule? Why not left? Whats causing it to behave that way?

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#13

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/03/2017 12:47 PM

It's normal. Most of the stuff you learn as an undergraduate is intended to guide your thought processes, but the probability you'll actually use 90% of your classroom education immediately upon graduation is near zero. As a newbie you should be a sponge absorbing everything around you. Try learning everything about the internals of the PLC and the system that it controls, that will set you above the folks that only deal with inputs and outputs.

For example, if the PLC doesn't perform the way the programmers/technicians say it should (after all the program is correct), you might be able to determine that there's some sort of internal timing problem that causes a race or lockup condition that a faster PLC model might solve, or that the external system can't handle fast enough.

And be real careful about disparaging the level of work that you're doing or the people that you're working with, someday you might find yourself talking to one of the "higher-ups" who turns to you and says "It might come as a surprise to you, but I started here as a "lowly" technician..."

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#14

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/03/2017 1:37 PM

Not sure why the above posted twice. My apologies.

Thanks to everyone that offered a constructive response to the discussion. As many of you have said "act like a sponge"

I could not agree more and that part i am doing 110%

Im trying to draw a line between asking to many questions and not enough to my supervisor. I have already learned alot in the few weeks ive been here. Some good some boring.

I would be curious to see a poll somewhere on how many people in automation that do plc programming hold an EE

Just out of pure curiosity.

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#16
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Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/03/2017 3:43 PM

I don't but have been programming PLCs for the past 20 years. I am by trade a tool and die maker and a machine designer. I got into PLC programming because I found it easier to do it myself rather than explain to an electrical engineer or technician what I wanted my machine design to do. Fortunatly, I was able to learn from a few engineers, who didn't treat PLCs as some dark art that only the initiated could learn.

Then again, I did have the education (Math and Geology degrees), and experience in "stone age" computer programming ( Fortran and machine language) in the distant past to be able to pick up this skill easily.

This leads up to the point that I and others are trying to make: As you start out in your career, you can never tell where it will lead you. But your education will give you the tools that will not limit you in whatever direction that you have the opportunity to follow.

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#17
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Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/03/2017 4:20 PM

It's not the quantity of the questions but their quality that's going to determine your boss's opinion of your work.

btw- Good engineers can take on almost any task presented to them; you'll find them working in disciplines as diverse as programming, project management, biomedical, legal, sales, pharmaceutical, stock market, etc., etc.

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#60
In reply to #14

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/06/2017 3:28 PM

Maybe your poll should be worded "how many EEs know how to program a PLC?"

Every job you take and every new task you master puts you on another, higher road.

Knowledge is like money.....the more you have, the better off you are.

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#15

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/03/2017 3:22 PM

In most fields of EE you are going to have to do lots of the low-level stuff in order to get competent and to gain the confidence of your leaders in that competence.

You will always be competing with engineers who have come up through the trade as well as other degreed types. My employers in automation have always been keen to train and encourage their engineers to develop their skillset, leading to more demanding tasks and roles.

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#20

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/04/2017 7:06 AM

They almost certainly wish to see your application to the work, whatever they give you to do.

Whatever it is.. do it diligently, whole heartedly, learn from it, and enjoy it! Whatever it is they give you...
Do it better than anyone else, as quickly as you can, with a SMILE.

Your reward? Rapid promotion to better work, more responsibility, better pay, and ... more esteem.
A valuable man. Life is a journey, embrace every bit of it, enjoy it, or spoil it.

I have lots of examples to bore you with... I passed out as a comms engineer and arrived at the station.
The boss said "Know anything about bikes?" I said a little? He took me out to the shed at the back
with about 12 bikes, rusty, broken, in bits and various states of uselessness.
He said " see what you can do with these? And I did.. 2 or 3 good ride-able bikes.
This achieved a lot of respect. Your point is... these were some of the happiest days
of my life. Make good on everything put in front of you! And rejoice!
Succinctly put by my father, long passed away, "Enjoy, whatever you do."

Don't throw these times away. Embrace every minute, you will never get it back.

That's my advice anyway. (and I still do it - at 78) Love life and it will love you back.

jt.

A man never stands so tall, as when he stoops to help a child.

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#21

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/04/2017 11:07 AM

It seems like to me you missed or lack the very basic understanding of what an "engineer" is?

While learning is an ongoing attribute of life, A misconception may serve as a limiting factor of ones abilities..

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#22
In reply to #21

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/04/2017 10:55 PM

For such a good forum as CR4 is there is always one or two that come out of the woodwork with some derogatory comments that are based on no fact or reasoning at all.

Its clear you did not even take the time to read my posts above and what the discussion is about. Please go elsewhere.

Believe me, I know what engineering is about and I take great insult to your insinuation I don't. Im a mid 30,s adult who went back to engineering school after almost a decade of working as a technician

I earned my degree and have done plenty of time in the trenches. Believe me, I know what engineering is about

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#23
In reply to #22

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/04/2017 11:19 PM

Too bad you didn't quit while you were just a little bit behind.

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#25
In reply to #23

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/05/2017 5:10 AM

GA

I have also commented in this area recently.....even before I read your post!!

He also gives an ONLY child or a LAST child/boy impression for me....at least!!

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#24
In reply to #22

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/05/2017 5:06 AM

You have shown the wrong attitude to this website, several times already. Just in this blog alone!!!

You poorly wrote your initial "question", so that it was misunderstood (according to you) by several here, myself included.

But then blaming others for apparently misunderstanding you....this is not the right way to make a start here!!

But you are simply demonstrating immaturity to my mind, we have all done it when young.....as basically all men under 30 and a few over, have this problem....try and lose it as soon as possible.....

But if anyone needs to leave, it's certainly not him.......GOT IT?

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#34
In reply to #24

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/05/2017 10:35 PM

How exactly have I shown the wrong attitude?

Other then patronizing replies from people like you who do not take the time to read the discussion at hand.

Its rather perplexing how you blame me for the misunderstanding.

Im pretty sure the title of the post spelled it out rather simply.

"is PLC programming a real EE Profession"

Followed by me asking several more times for a simple yes or no answer to the question. Instead I get a barrage of fire claiming multiple falsehoods

1: " I know nothing about engineering "

2: "I think PLC programming is beneath me"

3: I have not put my time in and don't the most basic level of respect from posters on this forum that think I should just automatically put up with your arrogance.

right.... but I'm the problem around here?

How funny is it that I'm expected to sit back and listen to internet lectures from people that don't know a single thing about me and when I finally ave enough of it I make a few simple statements ABOUT MYSELf and my experience level to give people a better understanding and yet I'm the PROBLEM

Well, at least your reply was not a total loss, it was good for a less.

Im assuming many here who replied to my post poorly are in fact NOT engineering degree holders and are the technicians that always seem to have a chip on their shoulder towards the engineers.

Don't worry, I won't make the same mistake twice assuming that this forum was different in the sense that I could obtain a reasonable discussion between adults. There are always they Keyboard internet tuff guys like you lurking on forums.

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#40
In reply to #34

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/06/2017 4:58 AM

I give you another 10 years, and then with a bit of luck, you may then "suddenly" (or even slowly!) understand.

At this time I simply cannot be bothered to detail it any further, maybe someone else will? It wil simply be a waste of my time, and I don't have that much left, as I am 70!!

But one thing I will tell you, your present "attitude" (as a word to use!) demonstrated here, will hold you back.....

Also, I am far from alone here with this opinion!! Have you not noticed upto now maybe?

In fact, we are already helping you to improve your attitude, you simply haven't noticed!

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#45
In reply to #40

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/06/2017 9:18 AM

So that explains much more Your a 70 year old grouch who feels he is 100% right with everything and could not possibly be wrong. I can see by the many well written thought out replies on this post that I'm grateful for sooooooo many people are in agreeance with you as you state. Except your WRONG Seeing as only you and 1 other are the only ones that feel it is ok to dish out harassment and abuse towards me. I will waste no more of my life dealing with people like you that are just angry at everyone and wish to dispel their view of life morality and appropriate attitude to someone they have not once met and know nothing about.

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#53
In reply to #45

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/06/2017 10:45 AM

I've known Andy (via this forum only) for quite a few years, and I can assure you that he is no grouch, and he certainly is not trying to harass or abuse you! He has been sincerely trying to help you, as have I, and most of the rest of those who have posted here.

Unfortunately, something in one of the early posts offended you, and you took it the wrong way. You have been on the defensive ever since. Please step back, have a cup or mug of whatever you enjoy drinking, then come back and reread from the beginning.

Regarding all those fancy things you learned in school: You don't actually have to directly use them for the knowledge to be useful. Since the time I got my last college degree over 50 years ago, I have used calculus exactly twice to actually calculate values, and both times I had to dig out the old textbook to remember how. On the other hand, I use the concepts of calculus on a nearly daily basis to understand what is going on...

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#55
In reply to #45

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/06/2017 12:18 PM

It was your original post that started the "ball rolling" and you still do not understand what you did wrong.

Correction, you don't want to admit you made a mistake.

I learned many years ago, that if I screwed up, I stood up and apologised to those adversely affected. "Manned up" is the US term I believe...

Firstly, this is simple good manners. You need some....we all need them, and to know how and when to use them.....

Secondly, people react kindly to a show of good manners as well.....helping each other.....

What you are doing is just stirring the pot and making your initial faux pas even worse.....!!

I trust for your sake, that this "always want to be in the right" does not extend into your personal life in any way....(I sincerely do not want to know either way, its your problem both here and there, not mine!)....but it can certainly screw up relationships for example, on a personal level....

Take a long breather.......

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#57
In reply to #55

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/06/2017 12:34 PM

My original post lol

oooo please do tell how it was so rude

you are really something else

O yes my original post was so terrible by asking a simple question lol

wow

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#58
In reply to #57

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/06/2017 12:59 PM

YOU keep making things worse!

Good bye and good luck!

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#59
In reply to #57

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/06/2017 1:10 PM

Immature.

<gone>

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#62
In reply to #59

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/06/2017 4:53 PM

This is hysterical now

you say my original post is rude and what started this

then I ask how and you refuse to answer yet continue to reply

just can't help yourself now can you?

This thread has no provided me with hours of entertainment thanks for that!

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#66
In reply to #62

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/06/2017 8:14 PM

You must be new to the world of internet forum trolls.

First off it starts with you asking a serious question to which they then answer wrongly simply due to their own inability to read and comprehend what was asked or due to total ignorance/stupidity/ill thought out belief systems and agenda bias.

Next when you ask for clarification for their irrelevant answer they realize their mistake but personal pride or simply just more of the total ignorance/stupidity/ill thought out belief systems and agenda bias compels them to have to try and spin the problem with their answer around on you which for most half wits is to find reason to blame you for their mistake and claim you have provoked them in some way even when you did no such thing.

Third now that they have established an excuse that whatever they did wrong is your fault (contrary to what all evidence and any other rational forum member views and opinions may say) they have free run to go off on you for every tiny inconsistency in whatever they can make up regarding anything you say from henceforth no matter how stupid it make them look.

From that they have made it self justified for themself to attack and run away again and again, and most often with profound and bizarre claims to have proven you are the one who has the total ignorance/stupidity/ill thought out belief systems and agenda bias even though no such thing has ever actually happened, thusly allowing them to declare themselves the winner of the argument thusly are obviously way smarter/more knowledgeable/experienced whatever than you even though they have not once given a single relevant coherent answer to anything ever asked them that shows they know anything other than how to talk out their ass to no end.

Now if you have countered their every move and persisted in bringing up relevant to the topic information with credible reference materials that make them look even stupider that, where they have no choice but to bring in their proxy/puppet account personalities (usually no less than three is standard) they have on the forum so that they can now appear to be proving you wrong and thusly winning by majority agreement because they can now overrun every one of your posts with OT votes and agreements to irrelevant idiotic drivel while voting themselve GA votes despite having shown nothing of contradictory value to anything you have said.

So from there most any sane person will have left the thread and it's just down to you and one proud mouthy idiot that has zero shame or self respect nor any relevant credible information of any kind to defend themself other than a growing number of fake puppet member personalities they have to use to give the false impression that their is a growing number of other members who feel it is you who is wrong and not him.

However even if after all that onslaught of stupidity you have prevailed in making them and their views still look so blatantly stupid that it's undeniable they will eventually start to take attacks on you into every post in every thread you make everywhere else from then so that they can claim that no matter what you say you are wrong no matter how trivial and irrelevant it is to anything of any kind thusly claim they are more of an expert on your life and where you live and everything you have ever done in your life than you are yourself plus of course they have their group of puppet members to totally agree with them as well.

(been there done that more than once now, and on multiple forums too, and every time because I asked for or gave a rational credible technical answer to something that ultimately made some petty ignorant fool look bad by nothing more than his own actions.)

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#67
In reply to #66

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/06/2017 8:31 PM

ha you make many valid points

I also 5 seconds ago read the comment you posted previously I must of missed it

Well said sir

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#68
In reply to #67

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/06/2017 9:18 PM

Rather sad how you can become someone's eternal online enemy simply because their own poor reading skills, ignorance, arrogance or stupidity got the better of them and they couldn't let it go.

Worst part is just how far some will take things in order to discredit you for actually having shown better judgement, tact, knowledge, skills, resourcefulness, experience or just having been the tiniest bit of a better person than them in one or two posts in some thread the world could care less about a week from now.

I've been kicked out of several forums now for being 'disruptive' because I put up a rational logical defence against a few idiot asshats with grudges that would not drop the issue that I had shown myself to be smarter and more knowledgeable in a certain area or areas than they had shown themselves to be.

No harm or illwill intend by me. I just said, "Hey. you know that long drawn out and expensive fix for suchand such machine can be done in no time and with basic hand tools if you do XYZ first. " then posted a write up plus photos of how I did it and how well the alternative fix proved itself to be.

Major shitstorms blew up all over those forums for me having shown some so claimed to be 'seasoned pro service tech and mostly their customer base they made money off of' how to do a hard expensive repair fast and easy with common tools based entirely off of what should have been known concepts and repair practices from other models of the very brand of machines they were dealing with.

Butthurt pride and embarrassment's a real bitch for some simple minded people to get over.

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#69
In reply to #62

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/07/2017 11:50 AM

Feed the right wolf!!

A tale of two Wolfs!!

Unsubscribing again!

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#64
In reply to #59

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/06/2017 7:21 PM

edit

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#41
In reply to #34

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/06/2017 7:13 AM

You sound quite young, so it comes down to this,...

You don't know, what you don't know.

i.e. experience. there are some things that can't be explained. If your happy with your job, stick with it, till things change, for you or the company.

Programming can make you a well rounded engineer.

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#36
In reply to #24

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/05/2017 10:45 PM

.

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#37
In reply to #24

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/05/2017 10:48 PM

I have read this entire post. Your comments are not the way to inspire engineering youth. I believe your comments to the original poster after he nearly defended himself are out of line. I would reconsider YOUR attitude sir not him

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#42
In reply to #37

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/06/2017 7:20 AM

That is an opinion,... There are a number of ways to deal with it,...

I myself have found one can be wet nursed or a cold digital slap in the face. Each has its merits. I have used both, depending on the situation.

Currently,... the merit being issued now, is teaching wannabe how to handle himself.

We've all been through it, and there's going to be times, wannabe will have to deal with it on his own.

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#46
In reply to #42

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/06/2017 9:21 AM

Merit? There is no merit to you internet keyboard heroes harassing and abusing a young engineer who came to a forum, made a professional post looking for answers from his seniors. Instead he was rewarded with assumptions, sarcasm, disrespect and flat out harassment.

And your right, its my opinion, and I'm entitled to it. Just like you are entitled to sit on your thrown and harass a young newly minted engineer when he came here to an engineering forum looking and seeking answers and help from people that are suppose to be his career family.

You should be ashamed of yourself

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#47
In reply to #46

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/06/2017 9:59 AM

Feel better?,....

As far as abusing a young engineer?, making them uncomfortable, yes,... abused,.. no,...

Remember this,... first impressions are lasting. If this 'young engineer' thinks he's going to get wet nursed out on the field, he's going to get a very rude awakening.

I've seen young engineers that was totally decimated by the operators and other technicians because they expected to get wet nursed through out their career, only to get jumped on, ridiculed, bullied until they either quit, or have a nervous break down.

With engineering comes responsibility. I've worked with engineers, who were too busy CYA, to be totally useless. So put on your big boy pants.

Because Engineering can be quite enjoyable,... that is, if your confident enough because know what your doing.

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#48
In reply to #47

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/06/2017 10:15 AM

Not really off topic, a valid point. I have found it common in my experience, for some tradesmen at least, to have a little fun at the expense of new engineers (having been at the brunt on more than one occasion many, many years ago). All one can really do is smile, accept you have been had and learn, from the experience. You can't be afraid of getting embarrassed by anyone with a lot of years of practical experience, you just have to roll with the punches (as they are) move forward. I, for one, have learned and remembered a lot of things by trial and error and yes, even the embarrassing moments are teachers and those are the ones you always remember.

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#50
In reply to #48

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/06/2017 10:26 AM

It seems to be getting personal.

A OEM company where I worked, hire a BSME fresh out of college and was given the responsibility to not only set up the engineering department, but to do the engineering as well.

I basically replaced him after he quit. I ended up hiring him back, I didn't realize that one of the fabricators the first time he worked there had him cornered with his design drawings crumbled up in a ball shaking it in his face asking what is this BS...

He was scared to interact with the shop floor, and this was bad. Depending on the company, one of responsibility can be communication. Sometimes diplomacy relations.

As a engineering manager,... I was approachable, but I never considered befriending the people I managed. Because, with out holding back, I needed them to tell me how it is.

It turned out,... that even after I left, or the engineers I managed left, years later, they either wrote me a letter thanking me, or even inviting me to their wedding, and telling me thanks for preparing them.

And all I did was, I trained them to take over my position.

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#52
In reply to #50

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/06/2017 10:36 AM

Sometimes personal comments can reveal some good points. Have done the setting up thing for a few companies myself-1st one right out of school as well. Hopefully the OP can see what points are trying to be made. Learn from others experiences. While they not be especially specific to the current situtation there are lessons.

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#49
In reply to #47

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/06/2017 10:19 AM

How wrong you are

my first days on the job and the weeks that followed onsite with operators electricians and technicians have been nothing but positive

many of the techs and electricians have given me tours of plants answered questions for me and helped me to understand things I've never seen before

some really great guys

im sorry your career sucked so bad but mine is nothing like yours apparently so keep your opinions to yourself. Maybe that's how it was 40 years ago but not today. We are all on the same team to get the job done

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#51
In reply to #49

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/06/2017 10:31 AM

The only thing that sucked is hiring engineers fresh out of college who thought they could do my job.

It took some time (years), but eventually with the correct training and mentoring,... they could...

So, maybe pull on your know-it-all reins a little bit... because you don't know, what you don't know.

And in this case,... you don't know.

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#26
In reply to #22

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/05/2017 8:19 AM

I earned my degree and have done plenty of time in the trenches. Believe me, I know what engineering is about"

Mr. Wannabe..

Somehow I think you missed something along that route you took...And may have to go back..?

You may have earned a degree or two but those may just be for some letters that can be added to ones name.. But In all actuality there is also the need for one to be able, to show and demonstrate the ability he/she is worth using those name extensions!

I too had passed that same stage some 50 years ago ... and along the way had the chance and met, hired and fired a few....fired simply for "Attitude" problems!

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#38
In reply to #26

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/05/2017 10:50 PM

I have reviewed this thread and you sir have no idea how to inspire youthful engineers.

Your derogatory comments have inspired excitable rebuttals and when the original poster defends himself towards your poor replies you are surprised?

If anyone needs an attitude adjustment its you not the OP

You should think twice about how to inspire young engineers.

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#27
In reply to #22

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/05/2017 11:01 AM

My first full-time (summer) job was washing dishes, at $10 per week, plus room and board. While doing that job happily, I voluntarily helped repair numerous items. The next year I was paid triple the amount to do maintenance. Since that time (mid '50s) I only did one single job search. All the rest of my jobs came to me without my asking!

Once you show that you are capable, always there when needed, and have a positive attitude, people and jobs will come to you. At that point, you can choose which ones are more interesting/challenging/rewarding.

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#28
In reply to #27

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/05/2017 12:05 PM

Oh how times have changed. Back when I entered the working world about 25 years a goto guy like you or me were looked favorably upon for such attitudes and skill sets.

Now thanks to so many village idiots having lied and conned their way into most management positions guys like you tend to be the ones most likely to be run off first and the pot/meth head buddies of those village idiots kept and reassigned your jobs, since they will clearly never be a threat to to any management positions of any sort ill gotten or otherwise, plus they will work for half your wage while being billed out at double what you were and never say a word about it.

Sad part is in the last year or so I have heard of several bonafide well rounded goto type senior people at various places around the area let go only to be replaced by the half wits of the new high strung 20 - 30 something age managers (who know even less than they do about what their job is) for 'reasons unknown' or 'downsizing despite their employer adding more (less qualified people who get paid way less).

Worst is these guys are at the age range where they are just a bit too young to go full retirement, nor really want to, yet given their past experiences and pay scales likely won't pick up any jobs that come close to matching what they had from here on out due to be 'too overqualified to hire'.

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#29
In reply to #28

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/05/2017 12:18 PM

Wow! How depressing!

I suspect that what you say applies mostly to larger corporations.

I retired from my first career (Teaching physics etc.) almost 22 years ago. Less than a year later, a pair of brothers starting up a new company found me. They have grown from 2 to something approaching 100 people, and still find me useful enough to fly me down to San Diego rather frequently.

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#30
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Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/05/2017 12:57 PM

Unfortunately no.

Around here we don't have much for big corp employment places. Most of it is small town type mid sized corporate (bareilly national or chain store at most) or larger 2nd - 3rd gen family founded places with the latest generation of village idiot rich spoiled kids taking over operations.

So far vilage idiot kids taking over seem to be the most common reason for the more seasoned skilled people getting run off or quitting.

They hired on with 'the old man' decades ago and helped build the company then he decided to retire and turned the company over to his dim wit kid or kids or now the grandkids whose main goal is improve profits while cutting operating costs (without care in the world how or who they have to get rid of of to do it) to make themselves richer than the old man ever was.

One of my first jobs turned out that way. I was damn good at what I did (office copier and machine technician) but the company owner wanted to retire and he was turning the place over to his spoiled half wit son who never worked or had a complete and rational thought a day in his life.

Everyone in the service department knew what was coming and thusly I took the first alternative job offer i found while two other senior guys who helped build the company up to where it was decided that come hell or high water they only had a year or two to go to retire and just waited him out.

From what I learned of back then after I had left in that first year or so of junior running things (into the ground of course) almost all the company staff left, some had bene there for 20 + years even, only to be replaced with people of far less skill caliber and experience.

That place is still here and going? but I have not heard or seen or heard a word about them in years. No advertisement or nothing and it's rare to ever see a single customer vehicle in the parking lot either.

To be honest the building is in the exact same paint and signage it was in when I was there near 20 years ago only a lot rougher looking now. Same half dozen POS Ford Escorts and Dodge cargo vans we had for service vehicles from back then are still there to.

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#31
In reply to #28

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/05/2017 2:41 PM

Old hat!

You should read this book first published in 1969!

"The Peter Principle"

Good explanation here:-

Peter_principle

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#33
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Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/05/2017 8:05 PM

I know the process has been around way longer than that term was used for it but still I just hate seeing good people who are legitimate assets to a company or business and the overall community get dumped so that more of the village idiots, town crooks and their buddies/underlings can have jobs they are neither qualified nor capable of handling.

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#44
In reply to #22

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/06/2017 9:06 AM

Don't get too excited about what some people post online regarding their likely far from knowledgeable or accurate assumptions of you they made purely from a string of words. Half the internet population doesn't know (or will accept) they are on the bottom half of the literacy and general reading/writing comprehension and abilities scale to begin with.

Plus far too many people go into these discussions only wanting to find and read what they want to find and read even if it never existed anywhere but in their little narrow minded highly biassed heads.

As for getting a better understanding of where and how the various people on these sorts of forums fit into the working world I suggest reading up on and learn how to spot the differences between someone who is 'educated and learned' in their trade Vs someone who is 'indoctrinated' in it.

Once you know the differences it become far easier to separate who is a blustering pompous old fool who largely got where they are by dumb luck, knowing the secret handshake of the good ol boys club and just generally failed upwards into their final position in life from whose well learned and have a widely diversified experience and are or were actually very good at the technical aspects of their life long jobs.

So once you factor in that,

1. half the people can't read and get the proper context from what you post,

2. half already have highly biased and preconceived views of you and what you do and say before they do read anything,

3.half are indoctrinated half wits who don't know they are or ever were indoctrinated half wits

4. a few are just idiots and trolls who hate everyone who they perceive is smarter or has gotten further or could go further than them in life.

and you will be lucky if 10% of the replies to whatever you post are of any valid use, relevance or concern at all being the overlap of these four basic negatives has potential to represent a considerable part of the majority of whom are here to begin with.

Personally as with you I too went back to school to try and transition from being a technician who used the vast majority of what I learned in trades school only to find that all the time and money I wasted on a EE degree got me a highly diversified education in pure useless irrelevant crap that had little to do with any form of engineering let alone much of any EE related stuff which means that even some ~15 years later after going after my second degree what I got out of my first one is where my life's work has came from.

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#61
In reply to #22

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/06/2017 4:32 PM

My initial comment to you was exactly just a comment....take it or leave it!

Mr. Wannabe & co.

I may have mis-understood your topic heading correctly, but my comments were all based on the following recollections, which were derived from my now rusting memory!

1. PLC programming - is a task, an assignment I normally assigned to one of my trainees or engineer-in-training. To test and validate which was one of many requirements for job permanency.

2. Engineer - to me can be anyone who has shown and demonstrated the abilities to properly convert the science into something that is physically tangible, real and useful.

3. Profession - in my book is anything that anyone can practice to earn a decent livelihood...

4. EE profession - is a very wide, varied field. The holder, how he/she applied the science knowledge may be the only limiting factor?

At this point it may now be clear to you where my comments were derived from... I am not sure if we share anything in common? Based on my above definitions, it may also now possible for you to answer your own query?

So you decide..is it an EE profession?

Mr. Phoenix...stated it seems to be getting personal....which I can concur! Since my comments were all based on past personal experiences....

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#56
In reply to #21

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/06/2017 12:21 PM

My initial comment to you was exactly just a comment....take it or leave it!

Mr. Wannabe & co.

Now if I understood your topic heading correctly, above comment was all based on my now rusting experience;

1. PLC programming - is a task, only an assignment given to one of my trainees or engineer-in-training, one of many requirements for job permanency.

2. Engineer - can be anybody to me who has shown and demonstrated the abilities to properly convert the science into something that is physically tangible, real and useful.

3. Profession - in my book is anything that anyone can practice to earn a decent livelihood...

4. EE profession - is a very wide, varied field. The holder, how he/she applied the science knowledge may be the only limiting factor?

At this point it may now be clear to you where my comments were derived.. I am not sure if we share anything in common? Based on my above definitions, it may also now possible for you to answer your own query?

So you decide..is it an EE profession?

As to Mr. Phoenix...stated it seems to be getting personal....which I can concur! My comments were all based on personal experience...

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#43

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/06/2017 8:46 AM

Consider it as stepping stone in your career. We all had to start somewhere. Do the best you can and express your concern to your employer about being underutilized. Perchance it is only a "test" to see how you can do before you can move up in complexity/responsibility. How long have you been doing this? Have you researched alternate ways to do the same functions which may be more effective? If you've been at it for a few years it may be time to start a job search if your employer intends this to be your job for life.

On the other hand, I have known engineers quite happy to do just what they started out doing and stuck with it their entire working life.

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#63

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/06/2017 7:18 PM

Head on over to the Control Engineering forum on Eng-Tips. About half of the threads are control theory and calc oriented. You might find some like-minded company there.

I follow the PLC fora and find that the majority of the threads are actually communications related. When you work your way up, comm issues will probably what will be a focus.

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#65

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/06/2017 7:34 PM

Some of the comments here are great and constructive

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#81

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/08/2017 3:37 PM

I got into this discussion early but kept out of it until now because it has turned into another pissing contest! Rightfully or wrongfully you have been accused of complaining that your current job is beneath your education level. I, for one, don't interpret your question in that way, and I hope that you don't give up on this forum because of this.

PLC programming is not a profession, unless you want to pursue it as a profession, and with your education you can be very successful in this. Rather, as a control engineer, it is an important skill that you must master as a part of a profession designing sophisticated control systems.

In my career as a machine and tool designer, CAD and solid modeling programs such as Solidworks have become essential skills. Many have made mastery of these programs their careers, but for me, they are just tools that I use to transform my ideas into a real working machine. However, It took me many years in the tool room and on the drawing board (now the computer) before I achieved my current position.

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#84

Re: Is PLC Programming a Real EE Profession?

03/13/2017 10:22 AM

Hang in there bud, you can learn a tremendous amount from those technicians and electricians about real world applications to supplement all of the theory that you learned in school. It will only serve to make you a better EE.

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