Today’s Engineering sector is, and always has been, full of extremely driven and talented people. The driver for success in this relentless space, in my mind, is differentiation. Here a little left-of-field knowledge goes a long way.
Scott Adams says that even if you know only 10% more than someone else about a given subject, you’ll seem like an expert. It is for this reason I try to research and apply widely different subject areas, from machine learning to electronics design, lisp programming to web development. I dip my toe in everything I can. All on top of my foundational role of doing mechanical design and manufacturing in my day-job.
Jack of all trades, master of none
is the classic description of this skill-set. I fundamentally disagree that this is a bad thing, however. Of course we need boffins working tirelessly on painfully obscure and specific niches, but the average joe like me?
I can do much more useful work for people whilst standing on the shoulders of giants: the complex work done by actual smart people to make machine learning, electronics design and web dev easy. Thanks to the fantastic work like python and sklearn, nodered and laravel, I can pick a few packages, wire them up, and have some IoT gateway or a Fusion360 Add-in up and running in a few weeks.
This is where we’re at, a Mechanical Engineer trying everything, I suggest you try something too!