I'm a very nervous blogger. I've read too many horror stories of people being sacked for inadvertently saying the wrong thing. As a consultant / contractor the decision would be an easy one for my customers - no tribunal, no notice period, just "Your services are no longer required".
So, sorry folks but you won't be getting any inside track on any industry programmes, there will be no dirt dished and if I could find a whistle it would stay unblown. As it says on the sidebar of the blog, I am open to criticism, correction and abuse. Ask me nicely and I'll remove posts, ask me nastily and I'll fold like a pack of cards. Take offence at my username and I'll point out that I have no affiliations, that I'm generally eclectic in my outlook and that's really all it says about me. No-one should read anything else into it all..., family to feed and all that. Getting the picture?
So I was heartened to see that the IT policy of my current customer included a section on Blogging that was neither dismissive or prescriptive. Not in company time, don't talk about us or your work. That was about it. Sensible stuff.
I hope this doesn't count as talking about them..... Ah. Someone let me know if I need to find the delete button will you?
What working environment do you prefer to operate in? Do you prefer a rigid structure, rules and regulation..., or would you rather be left to get on with it? Now, obviously we're talking about the Aerospace industry so it's all relative and I'm not offering completely free reign. But have you ever thought about it?
I worked for one company where I had my first Design Review submission rejected because it wasn't printed on yellow paper. I was asked to modify one unit to include a shallow channel in the surface to reduce the risk of another part touching it - the drawing took half a day, the justification took nearly six months on and off. When I talk of Design Review I mean one opportunity a week to enter a room to face the great and the good. They regularly sent people packing, me included, for insufficient preparation. It was deeply, deeply frustrating.
I then moved to a company where much more complicated changes could be signed off in a day. Want to get a drawing signed off? Well, then you needed to walk round and persuade each of the signatories in turn and that meant that they didn't gang up on you. Designers were responsible for their own work and it was up to them, more or less, to ensure procedure was followed, justification was sufficient and everything was in place.
So which would you prefer?
The thing is, it's the first company that I remember the fondest and it was there that I did the better work. At the second, whilst the freedom to "do" seemed liberating, the effect of mistake was very time consuming - lots of investigation and lots of unpicking and studying of what had gone before. And therein lay the problem: there was always a faint suspicion that something wasn't as good as it could be. The free hand became partially paralysed by the lack of clarity and the consequence of going wrong.
Again, let me be clear that I'm talking in degrees here and the work was always robust. This is Aerospace and was always well regulated. But I still prefer to have had the reassurance that there is no way I could have done it better. The lessons I learnt at the first company, from each time I was sent packing, continue to stand me in good stead for my working life and give my customers confidence in my work.