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Exploring the Core of Systems Engineering

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Document pages: 12 pages

Abstract: Reflecting on three decades of engineering experiences through a rhetorical narrative, this paper describes four proposed core cognitive characteristics of effective systems engineers, independent of any of their particular technical skills or domain expertise. Framing these characteristics through four aphorisms provides a structure to support discussion and subsequent peer consideration as to how (or if) addressing these selected qualitative attributes might support the systems engineering discipline with a stronger foundation for its continued maturation.My experience has been that a successful, effective systems engineer: Performs “English to English” (E2E) translation, focuses on “Behavior Defined Systems” (BDS), recognizes the importance of the “Art of Good Enough” (AGE), and understands that in the end “We Are Generalists” (WAG).

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