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Engineering Documentation Methods Questionnaire

North Dakota State University

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Engineering Student Questionnaire, North Dakota State University - RF Cafe

 

RF Cafe visitor Michael Maassel, an electrical engineering professor in North Dakota State University's Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, requested that I post these few questions to help him effectively prepare students taking senior-level (aka "Capstone") design courses for a real-world experience after graduation.

Says the good professor, "The biggest headache I have is getting the students to document their work, both in hardware and in software. Currently, I am requiring that the students use a quad line notebook. This has not been very successful."

How do you handle documentation in your every-day work?

 

Question #1

What is(are) the method(s) used by engineers in the workplace for documentation?

Many options are available these days including quadrille and regular lined paper notebooks, computer software, tablet apps, and smart phone apps. Specific examples of product names and manufacturers would be helpful.

Question #2

How is software typically documented in a professional environment?

I usually tell my students to include documentation directly in their code. What is the best way to document it in a lab notebooks, or is paper documentation not used anymore? In the past (with very limited success) I have them put a flowchart in the lab notebook and then reference this flowchart to the code.

Question #3

What ways do engineers handle documentation when working remotely?

For example, one engineer is in the United States and the other engineer is in the United Kingdom. How is information moved between the two engineers (or the two sites)?

With the pandemic situation, a lot of the senior design students are working remotely, physically separated from their advisors and from the rest of their design group.

 

Feedback

If you have suggestions or question, please send Michael an email at michael.maassel@ndsu.edu

 

Michael Maassel, Professor, North Dakota State University - RF CafeMichael Maassel

Visiting Assistant Professor

Electrical and Computer Engineering Department

North Dakota State University

Fargo, North Dakota  58102

michael.maassel@ndsu.edu

 

 

Posted January 12, 2021

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