This was a comment that I made today to an EETimes article entitled ‘What Makes a Good Manager for Engineers‘.
I blame myself for being a better engineer than I was a politician.
I should have listened to the warning bells when a senior Intel manager confided in me that ‘It wasn’t what you do that makes you successful here. It’s the perception of what you do.’
So perception was more important to management in my organization than solid engineering: on schedule, under budget, and delivering a quality system kind of thing.
Those solid engineering values I learned in the Texas oil patch where there was accountability. Output was indeed measurable. And output was the metric by which engineers lived or died. Shoddy engineering was not tolerated in Texas.
Intel drove the stake through the heart of many a fine engineer by burying them in meetings and bureaucracy.
Andy Grove might have been a great man and a great leader but his skills didn’t translate down the foodchain.
And I will always remember Intel mid-layer management being nothing more than a tremendous disappointment.