The Journey Begins

I’m an Electrical Engineer, and, a Software Engineer. Let me explain what I mean. In the beginning, I received my BSEE from New Mexico State University, began my professional career as an Electrical Engineer designing integrated circuits for Texas Instruments (remember the 74HCxx family?), and 35 years later, by way of a resume of positions, here I am . As you probably know, most Electrical Engineers “think” they can program. I’d venture to guess that if you graduated from any accredited University in the past 45 years with an Engineering degree (say,  since the mid-70’s; remember the 20th century?),  you probably learn to program in  assembly, FORTRAN, Pascal, C, C++, or Python, other computer language, right?  Hence, “Most” EE’s think they are Electrical and Software Engineers. I found out later in my career that, although I had learned many programming languages, you really aren’t a Software Engineer until you master the skills used in the field of Software Engineering and not simply how to program many programming languages regardless of how well you program. The skills of software modeling, configuration management,  software testing, are but a few of these skills. So, many EE’s graduated as skilled programmers (coders?) and later, become Software Engineers due to interest, a change in career, necessity or other reasons. That is my opinion base on my experience starting with my first position after graduation from NMSU.

Somewhere in the early 1980’s, as I recall, when I was attending NMSU, the field of Electrical Engineering morphed into Electrical and Computer Science Engineering (the name of the program at other institutions vary, but the idea is the same). With the introduction and advancement of the integrated circuit, and Digital Signal Processing, the two Electrical Engineering fields I was involved in at NMSU, analog and digital electronics,  started to morph together. I recall one of my favorite professors Ray J. Black (He was not a PhD and I am not being disrespectful for not using the suffix for Dr.), exclaimed that ‘these digital guys think that the analog electronics is becoming less important’. That’s a paraphrase, not a direct quote as that was 30-something years ago.  Professor Black was one of those individuals at NMSU that I remember fondly and credit for my understanding of analog circuits, especially communications. But, I digress….

Those of us that graduated in the 1980’s experienced the transition from Electrical Engineering to Electrical and Computer Engineering and either took courses or used a combination of self-training and on-the-job training to become proficient on both fields (Electrical Engineering and Software Engineering) with the advent of the integrated circuit, micro-processor, micro-computer, mainframe computer; computers in general. The world of engineering changed immensely. The days of the IBM punch card, the DECwriter terminal, VT100, whatever, became the personal computer with software programs that changed the way one theorized, designed, developed, tests, and produced the systems for the future. Today, the paradigm is shifting with tablets, and the Internet. The Internet introduced Web-based tools, enhanced information sharing, communications, and added social networking. This is a huge change of paradigm compared to what I started out with at NMSU. I am continually striving to keep up with the pace. So, to make a long story shorter, this is all to say, as I often tell others ,”My left-half brain is Electronics and my right-half brain is Software”.  This website/blog site is an example of my right-half brain venturing into the land of on-line publishing. I hope to publish experiments and observations I personally am involved in  that are specific to Amateur Radio. Hence, the journey begins.