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Last year former Cisco CEO John Chambers predicted that 40 % won’t survive the next 10 years.
Are mechanical engineers falling behind?

In my last blog post I referred to the famous “Software is eating the world”. Today I am wondering if this is also true for the field of mechanical and civil engineering and how their world will look like in 10 years.

Digital is changing the world

As Rodrigo Martinez from Point Nine Capital points out, there are two key reasons which allow software to disrupt traditional industries.

  • Software and infrastructure development reached an unprecedented speed and
  • Online marketing enables fast and scalable distribution of software.

The increase in development speed is driven by the innovation of re-using existing blocks. This means that developers don’t need to reinvent the wheel every day.

In the case of technical infrastructure, we find that every generation of software or application is connected with platforms for innovation. In the PC era, a developer didn’t design and build the parts of a computer to develop an application. Today, you wouldn’t build a datacentre to bring an app to the market. In fact, vendors like Amazon Web services or Microsoft Azure are the default choice.

But that not only happens within the field of infrastructure. The same happens with most critical parts of software development.

Unless you’re a provider of a special link in the chain of typical software, you are leveraging and connecting what is available. If you’re not a database provider for example you won’t consider developing a new database technology, but connecting and using what’s available.

This usage of platforms and APIs allows the modularization and continuous innovation in software development.

Both fields together lead to a positive feedback loop: New platforms enable new applications, which in turn make the new platforms more valuable, impelling the flywheel.

As a result, everybody enjoys faster development processes built on top of somebody else’s efforts.

Mode of operation of mechanical engineers

But what does the world of mechanical or civil engineers look like?

Of course, there are innovators using todays possibilities, connecting existing blocks, further developing their working methods and establishing new business models. We experience this nearly every day speaking to our customers.

But we also recognise that the working methods of the majority are dominated by continuing inventing the wheel every day.

We at engidesk believe that for surviving the next 10 years it is not enough to give only skilled coders the ability to use today's possibilities.

We believe that those with the ideas and the customer, production and application knowledge – respectively all non-coders – need the right tools to easily transfer their knowledge into professional applications and easily connect all the APIs to the tools they are familiar with. Thus, the digital transformation will speed up and new value will be created in 1000s of places helping not to fall behind. That is what engidesk is about.

Posted by Lars Lambrecht on June 17, 2016