Always try to validate your predictions, even if the project has already finished

Engineering is mostly about using assumptions and models to make predictions.  For example, we predict the maximum demand on a circuit, then size the cable appropriately based on a predicted voltage drop, predicted temperature rise, etc. The project often ends at this point.  We’ve done the modelling and produced a result or a design.  We …

Write “tech notes”

This tip has completely changed the way I work. A Technical Note is essentially an informal written report.  The idea is that you can publish a tech note on any topic you choose, whenever you like, with no review process and no bureaucracy. For me, they have replaced having a lab book to record day-to-day …

Back up your work

Sooner or later your laptop will spontaneously combust or get left on a train.  Work on the basis that this could happen at any moment. Store your actual work in a central location (company server or cloud) rather than having the only copy on your computer.  This also goes for any important data that you …