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BA's VW moment

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Geoff Theasby06/06/2017 09:00:28
613 forum posts
17 photos

Oh Dear! It appears that the Great BA Computer Disaster was caused by an engineer disconnecting the power, and then reconnecting it without using the correct start up procedures. Anyone can make a mistake, but it takes an engineer to royally screw it up!!!


Jon Gibbs06/06/2017 09:12:36
739 forum posts

Sorry Geoff but my Institutes (IET and IEEE) both insist that I point out that the person responsible must have been a Technician and not an Engineer wink


Chris Evans 606/06/2017 09:24:52
1978 forum posts

I think I have paid towards the problem. They charged me 736 euro for a one way flight Pisa to Gatwick on Friday after I got held up in traffic and missed a flight to Stanstead.

john fletcher 106/06/2017 09:29:51
742 forum posts

So, the blame game is about, good to know that old British snobbery still prevails, it is so important to some. John

John Haine06/06/2017 09:51:56
4279 forum posts
252 photos

According to the Register, it was an "IT bod" - a softie then....wink

not done it yet06/06/2017 10:04:05
6444 forum posts
20 photos

Shirley, the system should have been designed such that this could not occur?

Not quite sure who Shirley is/was but she must be to blame....

That problem would be about as basic as starting an automatic car while not in either 'park' or 'neutral'. One could expect a crash!

Ady106/06/2017 10:05:39
4827 forum posts
724 photos

It must have been the UPS system he unplugged then, since no other power source should affect critical systems

Edited By Ady1 on 06/06/2017 10:07:05

Jon Gibbs06/06/2017 10:06:33
739 forum posts
Posted by john fletcher 1 on 06/06/2017 09:29:51:

good to know that old British snobbery still prevails, it is so important to some.

My comment was meant in jest (perhaps the smiley was missed) but I am guilty as charged of pride in my Profession.

It's clearly not just "British snobbery" though - I'd say it's quite international if you see **LINK**


Bazyle06/06/2017 13:16:37
6085 forum posts
221 photos

But I thought turning it off and on again was supposed to be a good idea for computers. We keep telling our customers to do that and my laptop told me it had received and update and would reboot in 40 seconds so I'll just have time to fini

Stuart Bridger06/06/2017 13:25:05
535 forum posts
29 photos

The IT industry is very guilty of using the Engineer Job title very liberally with no respect to chartered status. I know as I have been working in the industry for 30 years. Consultant is equally abused.

Back to the BA fiasco, we certainly haven't heard the full story on this, even if the whole data centre power was taken down due to "human error". Backup systems and procedures should have kicked in to minimise downtime.

Major businesses (should) have their systems designed to a RPO, Recovery Point Objective and RTO, Recovery Time Objective. The former being a measure on a time period that you can afford to loose transactions (zero, 1 min, 1 hour, 1 day, etc) . The latter how long it takes you get get back up an running. The shorter time, typically the higher cost for both.

In addition disaster and business recovery scenarios should be anticipated, rehearsed and tested regularly, to ensure both systems and staff are working handing the situations appropriately.

KWIL06/06/2017 14:34:54
3447 forum posts
66 photos

It would have helped if the Terminal Staff had openly admitted that they did not have any information at the time of announcement but would update the public as soon as available. Instead sheep syndrome takes over and they say nothing


Peter G. Shaw06/06/2017 20:33:43
1345 forum posts
44 photos

When I worked for BT & its predecessors, we were known as "telephone engineers" although our grades were Technician this or Technical that.

Then when I was promoted to 1st line manager, I was informed that this meant that the company now considered me to be an "engineer".

In later years, when I discovered the technical requirements for an Engineer, eg a degree in an engineering subject and membership of an appropriate body, it became obvious that in fact I was nothing more than a technician, and that most of my colleagues were the same, especially as our highest qualification tended to be City & Guilds Telecoms Technicians either Final Certificate or Full Technological Certificate.

So what am I? Technician or Engineer? Answers of a £5 note please!

By the way, a small number of my colleagues gained an OU degree in some discipline or other. So did that make them an Engineer? Or were they still only Technicians? I suspect the latter.

Peter G. Shaw

SillyOldDuffer06/06/2017 20:52:15
7709 forum posts
1704 photos

Q: Why does a boy become an engineer?
A: Because he doesn't have sufficient charisma to be an undertaker.


John Haine06/06/2017 20:52:22
4279 forum posts
252 photos

When I was a graduate engineer at the Post Office Research Department my boss belonged to the society of post office engineers SPOE which was a union representing "executive engineers" and above. They decided to merge with the union the association of post office executives APOE which dealt with assistant executive engineers and below. Off he went to a conference to discuss the merger and at dinner the first night he was sitting at a table with other SPOE members when the waitress asked them "are you engineers or executives?". They answered, engineers, "well I'll serve the executives first then" she said. Says it all really.

Ron Colvin06/06/2017 21:37:40
78 forum posts
6 photos

The Engineering Council's web-site gives a clear explanation of the problems of reserving the title of "Engineer" to only those with the relevant professional qualifications.


vintagengineer06/06/2017 22:33:13
468 forum posts
6 photos

The term engineer is a generic word. The term Chartered Engineer is a protected title only to be used by Chartered Engineers.

Edited By vintagengineer on 06/06/2017 22:36:17

NJH07/06/2017 17:05:40
2314 forum posts
139 photos

Not this old chestnut again! What's in a name anyway? I guess we are all model ENGINEERS here and, as the saying goes " Sicks munce ergo I cudn't even spel injineer and now I are one"

Here , surely, we are all defined by what we do not by by any formal qualification relevant or otherwise.


Enough!07/06/2017 22:04:22
1719 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by NJH on 07/06/2017 17:05:40:

I guess we are all model ENGINEERS here

Certainly not sequiturs if this thread is anything to go by devil

Phil Whitley08/06/2017 13:28:20
1385 forum posts
147 photos

I served a five year apprenticeship, and did 3 years at Technical college, culminating in a City and Guilds National Diploma in Electrical Engineering, I am therfore a qualified Electrical engineer, and it says so on my certificate, but I do not have a degree. If I had gone to college for a further year, I would have got the Higher national diploma (HND) which we were told, was "a degree level qualification". In my experience, degress get better pay, but HND's are better engineers, because they have done practical engineering work alongside their academic qualification. In the electrical field, the IEE has now merged with (become?) the IET and the latest set of regulations issued by them have been called "unintelligble gobbleydegook" and "language mangling tripe" by various well qualified and respected engineers. They have been reprinted three times now to correct various errors, some glaring, in the early issues. The IEE regulations were simple, straightforward, easily understandable, and safe. In my trained estimation, the IET regulations have removed quite a few safety regulations, in order to make modern equipment comply, and also removal of requiremntys for earthing have already killed people. I have written on this matter in Electrical Review" It seems to me that the Engineering organisations are closing ranks to try to raise, not the standards, but the public esteem and respect of "Engineers" I would remind those organisations that respect must be earned by proving competence over a long period. It cannot be demanded or legislated into being. All this is designed to give the public the impression that standards are rising. I can tell you from first hand experience that they most certainly are not! I am really glad that I am retiring very soon.


richardandtracy08/06/2017 14:13:13
943 forum posts
10 photos

I would say there is no move to improve standards in the profession.

There are, however, moves to increase bureaucratic interference. A number of people mistake that for an increase in standards. Including institution leaders & politicians.

I have, on a number of occasions, considered I Mech E membership. Well, I'll be specific, I have filled in the papers on 4 occasions but never got around to sending them after considerable thought & internal debate. The advantages come out as follows:

  1. You can get to a job interview more easily with I Eng or C Eng after your name.

The disadvantages are, for someone who has an approved degree and spent a majority of their working life in engineering, occasionally alongside Chartered engineers, as follows:

  1. Pay a fee. Painful.
  2. Go through an interview process. Unpleasant
  3. Be sponsored by someone who is already an institution member. Need to hunt around to find one & get them to waste a lot of time for you.
  4. Write a small book on your experience. Long, slow & tedious.
  5. Have the book checked & approved by your sponsor. Embarrassing.
  6. Make a presentation. Terrifying.
  7. Suck up to the local institution secretary if you don't know a second institution member to sponsor you. Utterly Humiliating.
  8. Attend 3 lectures (to show a commitment to continuing professional development [CPD]) Tedious.
  9. Once approved, pay a fee. Painful.
  10. Pay a fee every year. Very Painful.
  11. Not get paid a penny more because said CPD lectures are utterly irrelevant for your job and anyway it's likely you're paid the most the job can support. Makes all the above effort entirely Pointless.

So, in my view institution membership is fine for those who enjoy the 'Gentleman's Club' exclusive atmosphere and smugness of an institution. The real world point of said organisation is negligible, and any efforts to extend their range must be resisted by anyone who revolts at the malicious attempts by some people to make engineering exclusive and restrictive. Increasing the influence of the institutions will ghettoize engineering and make it even less impingement on people's awareness. It's the best way to kill engineering.



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