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Dispatch from SolidWorks World: James Cameron, engineering manager?

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James Cameron

James Cameron

You may think of James Cameron as a hopeless romantic or a sci-fi nerd, but an engineering manager? At this morning’s keynote presentation at SolidWorks World, that’s just how he fancied himself.

When you think about it, he’s delivered some truly amazing products over the years. In addition to the movies, he’s also very involved in space exploration (working with NASA), deep sea expeditions (he’s going to the bottom of the 7-mile deep Mariana Trench in a submersible he helped design and test) and cutting-edge high-tech imaging products. An engineer at heart, he credits part of his success to his approach to managing engineers. He believes that, in order to be successful, you’ve got to sit down with the designers and take the time to understand the design of the product.

(Interesting. All too often, interactions with engineering involve expediting and yelling. “Design faster, Jeff!  Are you done yet?  Are you done yet?  How about now?”)

Finally, Cameron shared his approach to starting every project. He gathers his core team and reinforces these three tenets:

  • Hope is not a strategy

  • Luck is not a factor

  • Fear is not an option

Sounds like good advice, and he’s got the accolades to prove it.

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