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Is Process Engineering Cool or is it boring work?

Dennis Escueta
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 29, 2003
Posts: 14
I come from a developer background and a while back, our GGM asked for expressions of interest for a number of roles within the eBusiness group.
One of the roles asked was Process Engineer. I applied/volunteered to take on the role, but some of my co-developers joked and made fun of it. They seem to think its a boring job and not a lot of people really pay much attention to it. It is seen more of a hindrance to what they are trying to achieve.
I certainly thought Process Engineering was something good to learn and get experience in. I didn't want to just concentrate on pure analysis and development. I want to ensure that what I'm doing is properly documented for other people to understand and that I am efficient at what I do.
What is your experience?
Lasse Koskela
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 11962
    
    5
Process Engineering suffers from the same in developers' eyes as Software Development does in the eyes of Joe Ordinary...
I have too noticed that some developers (I was once among them) think of Process Engineering to be nothing more than drawing boxes and sitting in meetings. Well, what do you know -- the same developer sits (or stands) in meetings 20% of his time, spends another 20% drawing different kind of boxes, a whopping 30% fixing his development environment, 10% exploring his nostrils, and at best 20% to do the actual work...
I'd say Process Engineering is an important and demanding task. One key to successful perception of a Process Engineer doing his thing is to involve the developers by asking them about the current process, eliciting improvement ideas, etc.


Author of Test Driven (2007) and Effective Unit Testing (2013) [Blog] [HowToAskQuestionsOnJavaRanch]
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Well considering the process engineers can make 2-5 times what software engineers make, I'd say non-software people consider it a much more important task. Personally, I find it very interesting, but that's because of late, I'm finding technical challenges more and more repetitive and people-related problems more and more interesting.
--Mark
Lasse Koskela
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 11962
    
    5
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
Well considering the process engineers can make 2-5 times what software engineers make, I'd say non-software people consider it a much more important task.

The monetary compensation pretty much correlates with the distance between wallet and worker. It's not just process engineers versus software engineers. Every "abstraction layer" also hides part of that $$$ of the total cost of the service. When the wallet has been passed all the way to the programmer, well... Green beans are on sale at K-Mart...
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
You are very correct. Unfortunately most comapnies aren't capabile enough to correctly attribute to engineers their value-add. Still the average process engineer can typically add more value then the average software engineer because a process has a larger area of impact in many companies.
--Mark
Rick Rodriguez
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 02, 2001
Posts: 44
Hello all.
I hope to learn more about "Process", as it relates to software engineering, by reading postings in this forum and hopefully winning the book giveaway.
"Fingers crossed."
--Rick
 
With a little knowledge, a cast iron skillet is non-stick and lasts a lifetime.
 
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