The Moment the AwkEng Became a Program Manager

Hi all,

Today's post is about the exact moment in time when I transitioned from mechanical engineering to a role as a technical program manager. I can pinpoint the instant it happened.

There were already telltale signs, namely, that when other engineers called me over to their desks to show me a demo, the software or the hardware mysteriously stopped working. It was like there was an aura around me.

That was my first clue that a transition was underway.

The transformation was complete during one particular final stretch before a project deadline. It was crunch time and I went down to the hardware lab to lend a hand. We were attaching fairings to the sides of the build. I picked up two different sized machine screws and I realized I didn't know which one went where, what the torque specs were, the part numbers to look up the assembly drawings, or where to find any of that information in our document control system.

I remembered thinking to myself in that moment, "I am utterly useless here." And then my next thought, was "Oh my god. Now I really am a program manager."

And that, gentlepeople, is the exact moment in time when it happened.

best regards,
Sam Feller
aka THE Awkward Engineer

p.s. I'm actually a product manager now and no longer a program manager, but I know that deep down, there's still an engineer on the inside. Every now and then, I cook up a side project, just to show I can still spin CAD and make things. It's good to stay busy

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