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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Technical Arguments

In order for a systems engineer to come up with a decision, there has to be a solid argument. Arguments are not conflicts, but rather expressions of ideas with evidence and facts. Arguments should be verifiable and are not based on emotions.

I am teaching a debate class for middle schoolers this weekend. So what is the link between that and this blog. Well, everyone needs to debate. Debate is not just for politicians, attorneys and TV host shows. Engineers need to debate technical ideas, requirements and design constraints. the systems engineer needs to ensure that technical arguments are backed up by solid facts. These facts need to be verifiable, just like requirements.

Teaching engineers how to debate is as important as teaching attorneys how to present a case in court. Dealing effectively with complicated and complex systems requires no only engineering and science, but also art in the form of architecture, soft skills and critical thinking.

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