Wednesday, February 16, 2011
As an engineer, there is a specific time to skim and a specific time to read every word. For example, the difference between "shall" and "may" in a specification or statement of work could cost you millions of dollars through failure to understand the requirements. Sure, you skimmed them, and got the gist of the idea, but you failed to realize the difference between a recommendation from a requirement, and that's what cost you. (This particular instructor was not too fond of me stealing his sales potential by questioning that point publicly.)
None the less, skimming is a great time saver when used properly and we are cognizant when it can fail. Taking the time to do the job right should be every engineer's motto. Increasing your reading skills is great, but don't take shortcuts when public safety and well-being is on the line.