The profile of an engineer

(The photo is a piece of in store made of thick bacon from Luke’s, Cole Valley, San Francisco)

A potential engineer doesn’t have to like math, abstract thinking, typing on the computer all day creating software. I head an interview with a IBM Fellow, who happens to be a woman say that she didn’t fit the well known profile of a geek.

What she likes to do is to solve puzzles. The harder the puzzle, the more interest she had. Hard problems pique her interest. This statement really resonates with me. In software engineering, we have problems that are not deterministic. The folks who don’t let that frustrate them, succeed and make the largest impact.

Here is a small problem, how to prevent the grease from cooking bacon keep on forming around my morning bacon. This is a hack, but now I am wondering whether there is a cast iron rod I can get to solve the same problem. By elevating one side of the skillet underneath?


Tony Tam (Li Zhi)

Senior Principal Engineer @ Splunk, &