One of the things that I miss since starting my own company are the lunch and learns. When I was at H2E Inc. we would have a lunch and learn every month or so that would cover a specific topic from the National Electrical Code, or describing how different transducers work, etc.
These lunch and learns would be prepared by us, the lowly engineers and designers, and then presented to the office in the boardroom. The senior engineers and managers were there too. They would help steer the discussion in the right direction with questions or answering the questions that we didn’t have right away.
Covid and Skills
There were two great benefits from these lunch and learns, one was that it helped develop research and presentation skills.
The second reason is that it helped everyone get on the same page and build skills that can be used in all areas of our designs.
Learning WHY things are done a particular way allows you to use that principle in many areas of your work. Understanding first principles is critical to being a flexible employee, designer or engineer.
Nobody’s in the office
It was when COVID-19 started shutting down all offices that I realized that there isn’t a great place to have those guided tutorial experiences online. Sure a lot of the information is available for free on youtube or wikipedia, but how do you know what you need to know and what’s fluff?
The Role of Teachers
Having the experts in the room when these discussions where happening allows for the discussion to be steered in a way that allowed everyone in the room to get something from the discussion.
Self learning is an important skill, but if you have ever jumped into wikipedia learning about one thing and then end up on the Philosophy page (it typically only takes 6-10 clicks) then you know the problem.
Teachers, mentors, courses, etc help focus and guide in the learning process, similar to the bumpers on some bowling lanes. The best mentors all you to bounce back and forth, but keep you guided towards the end goal.
The Apprentice Membership
This is the goal of the apprentice membership subscription. Every month I create learning content that helps guide your technical skills through the first steps of your career.
Every month I publish new lunch and learn skill tutorials, small courses that focus on the principles of electrical design vs a specific industry, program, etc.
Electrons don’t care if they are running a motor in a pulp mill, fish plant or beverage factory.
If you’re interested, learn more about the program here.