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What is it like seeing a car you've designed being both tested and then in the future, sold and driven?

Is it a feeling of excitement or rather a feeling of worry that something could go wrong in the car then you're to blame? #automotive #mechanical-engineering #cars

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Sam’s Answer

Hello Taylor,


I work in product development, and I am always excited when my product goes to market. The projects I have worked on and the team members I have worked with have always strived to do a good job and produce quality results. Product development, depending on the scope of work, for me has ranged from a couple of months to about a year in length. During this time much design work, calculations/analysis, prototyping, and testing is done before the product is released to the market. This is a lot of work and if the product makes it to the end of the development process, you will be excited.


Hope this helps!!


Sam

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Nelson’s Answer

Hi Taylor, great question!

I have spent my career primarily in software engineering and tech. While I have never designed or built a car, I have worked on the design of many software systems that have been released to customers. The release and feedback from customers has always been my favorite part of the job. It's where you discover if you are building the "right" thing for users, and it's often not until you release that you learn what works well, what does not work well, and how to improve on your first launch product. Fortunately, we can use data and metrics to discover how people are actually using our products, and understand what features they use the most or least, and where they run into problems in any application. We can run experiments and A/B test different approaches to see what approaches work the best for customers, before and after launch. Often times, the success of a software product is based on how efficiently the team gathers customer feedback and improves the product after launch. While this may seem different than how companies typically design and build cars, it is remarkable how continuous improvement cycles that are a part of the culture of software engineering has become a part of automobile industry as well. Just take a look at Tesla and how they constantly improve vehicles with over-the-air software updates throughout the lifetime of your vehicle.

The flip side of your worry about what could go wrong is your passion for building amazing products that delight customers, which is the most important trait of any engineer.


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