Hanspeter Dinner’s account of his “baptism by fire” into the gear industry contains a number of important lessons for other “newbies”; some reminders for us old timers also.
- A good preparation in general engineering is never wasted. His original interaction with KISSsoft was as a customer with a question on some results. The “error” was his but the person he spoke to respected his background and they worked together to find the problem. One of my concerns with “black box programs” is the lack of transparency when the results do not line up with the output of other “trusted” methods [in this case Mr. Dinner’s spreadsheet.]
- His “three tracks” for incoming gear engineers is brilliant. No one likes posers and if you do not want to do the hard work of learning the topic you would be wise to find another field of work. Pretending to understand often results in disastrous design and manufacturing decisions.
- We all have to learn from our own mistakes or from others. Learning from others is much less stressful once you let go of your personal need to always be right.
- If you are willing to keep learning, the gear trade will keep teaching you. I have been at it for over 48 years and still look forward to each issue of Gear Technology so I can learn something new.
We are enjoying these “origin stories” very much and hope to continue posting them as long as people submit them. Don’t be afraid that your experience isn’t of interest to our world wide audience. Everybody got their start somewhere. Each of us learned a few things the hard way. Sharing your story just might encourage someone to stick with it long enough to make gears their career too.
PS: Believe it or not, there are people in the gear trade that I have not met yet. Hanspeter Dinner is one of those people, although I do know several of his co-workers at KISSsoft. I wonder if the good doctor’s pet racoons were part of that job interview?
Dr. Ulrich Kissling’s pet raccoons were a major source of humor within his company. If you ever get a chance to talk to anyone who worked or visited the farmhouse make sure to ask about the raccoons.