• Question: Have you every had to teach a skill to others?

    Asked by Rach to Catherine, Laura on 21 Nov 2014.
    • Photo: Laura Tobin

      Laura Tobin answered on 21 Nov 2014:

      Yes. When I joined I was trained up and now that I am more senior I pass on my knowledge. I was a teaching assistant (TA) for the first year electronic engineering labs – I would teach the first years how to make a burglar alarm or help them out with (design and programming) Roborugby (Lego robot competition) http://roborugby.ucd.ie I also have had interns and final year students. I would show them how to use the equipment in the lab and help them interpret their results.

      It’s great teaching others because it helps you understand that area a bit better. If you cannot explain what and why you do something to anyone, then you don’t understand it. You should be able to communicate your work to someone of any age or skill level. It doesn’t matter if I am talking to a 5 year old or a Prof in my area, I should be able to communicate to both.

    • Photo: Catherine Conaghan

      Catherine Conaghan answered on 21 Nov 2014:

      Yes, all the time. In fact yesterday I had to do an hour training people to use Microsoft Project software. But I also had to sit in on training to learning more about databases – so it works both ways. As time goes on you will become better in certain areas and then you pass your knowledge onto someone else. In my last job I was moved on from a graduate engineer to a project manager, and we had a new graduate engineer to replace me, so over the course of a few months I was passing on skills/knowledge that I had learned in my time so that they could get up to speed and then improve on what I had done. Learning from others and passing on what you have learned is really the basis of engineering and because of it technology can progress so quickly.

      Imagine an alien arrived on earth and was just told how electricity worked, and then without any other information you asked them to design the electrical circuitry for a chip in a mobile phone – impossible. It took decades and centuries of passing on information and improving it in small steps to get there!